This article explores the nature of the 2008 crisis and the channels through which it affected the performance of firms in Russia. Based on the findings of a manufacturing industry survey, the evidence suggests that all manufacturing firms were affected by crisis and that there is no single and dominant transmission channel. Crisis reactions were signficantly related to participation in international markets, although participation in trade, in external borrowing or FDi can not explain recession by themselves. The reversal of growth was mainly caused by a demand shock, and, following that, by financial constraints. Thus, the hypothesis that blames the overheating of internal demand in the years prior to the crisis seems to receive statistical backing. Globalised companies, though hit by external shocks, were better prepared to pay the costs and balance the consequences of the crisis.
This article offers a variety of approaches on how to conceptualise Russian legal responses to these globalised challenges and think about future legal developments. The scholars who have contributed to this volume examine a number of issues analysing human rights, migration law, the Russian approach to international criminal law, free speech, the concepts of state and society and the Crimean crisis. The analytical material and empirical evidence they offer could be further conceptualised within the framework of conservative jurisprudence: the Russian legal profession and scholarship have been slowly adapting to it as a method of dealing with the law rather than as an ideology or practical tool for legal implementation. In this Introduction, I focus on how conservative jurisprudence works in the Russian environment to further offer a useful framework for thinking about Russian law.
The essay addresses the current trends in the criminalisation of free speech in Russia. It critically discusses the amendments to the Russian Criminal Code, criminalising various forms of public expression of opinions, adopted in the years following the presidential elections in March 2012, and questions their compliance with international human rights law. Seeking to identify the motives behind the new provisions, the article argues that the amendments are intended to cause a ‘chilling effect’, to control public dissent by selective or random criminal prosecution. Two of the new criminal law provisions—‘Public Calls for Separatism’ and ‘Rehabilitation of Nazism’—are considered in detail to illustrate the author’s conclusions.
Through case studies of four Russian regions, we examine the trade-offs between social and economic policy at the regional level. All four regions studied seek to stimulate entrepreneurship while preserving or expanding social welfare coverage. Regions differ in development strategies, some placing greater emphasis on indigenous business development and others seeking to attract outside investment. Variation in levels of democracy are unrelated to policy choices. All four regional governments consult actively with local business associations while organised labour is weak. The absence of effective institutions to enforce commitments undermines regional capacity to make social policy an instrument for long-term development.
The post-Soviet period in Russia has seen the emergence of strong identities shaped around ethnicity issues. The current Putin presidency is marked by a political concern for the 'national question' with strong traditionalist connotations. State dominated politics of identity promoting an encompassing Russian (rossiyskaya) identity aim to become a game changer in nation-building. This agenda has to take in different repertioires of contention, and bridging cleavages within Russian society is not only and primarily a question of elite-tailored politics of identity. It is about the assertion of inclusive identities innate both to the cultural tradition and to the needs of a community confronting modernization challenges.
The contentious politics paradigm provides a general framework for assessing conflict potential in transforming institutional environments that goes beyond institutionalism. However, the territorial dimension of ethnicity historically rooted in Russia and the complex nature of nationalism call for additional theoretical framing. The paper explores the interaction of policy and identity factors to assess the resource capacities of politics of identity for promoting nation-building in a multiethnic society. It uses research and expert sources, poll data and personal expert experience to contribute to 'upgrading' theoretical approaches and public discourse on the future of the Russian nation.
The article examines a crucial shift in models of domestication of the Soviet Far North during the Thaw period. The closure of the Gulag system and the social transformations of the 1950s caused changes in the social space of the Soviet North and in the role of expert knowledge in the USSR. By focusing on modernist urban projects for the Soviet Arctic, I analyse how urban specialists during the Thaw attempted to formulate a new conception of the North as a place for ‘ordinary life’ and therefore transform a peripheral region into an ‘average’ Soviet space.
The paper reports on the organizational transformation of the Russian defence industry during the period of privatisation and radical market reforms. The study is based on the results of the original large-scale longitudinal survey of the directors (CEOs) of the industry. We find that during a decade of transition, 1996-2006, Russian defence industry managers were able to largely preserve the production potential of their enterprises and make them capable to operate under market conditions. Coupled with the restoration of government orders and the 2020 rearmament program these newly acquired market skills contributed to the impressive revival of the Russian defence industry in the Putin’s era.
Contemporary motherhood in Russia is a complex discursive field. The article analyses various ways in which knowledge about motherhood produces specific maternal experiences. The general theoretical framework is the foucauldian concept of discursive power based on knowledge. Motherhood is viewed as a class specific practice. The primary focus of the article analysis is the Russian middle class motherhood. The paper analyses the ways in which middle class women talk about motherhood and negotiate various forms of expert knowledge. The author on the basis of analysis of the interview and parental forums discussions data, and specifically on elaborating the ways in which class is integral to the normative understandings of motherhood. The article presents the short theoretical discussion of the concept of motherhood in relation to such concepts as power and social class; describes political and cultural context of motherhood in Russia; elaborates the concept of responsibility and a number of related to it categories as the primary meaning of middle class motherhood. In the conclusion the issue of why and when Russian middle class mothers consider themselves as “responsible” is discussed.
Using data for post-communist economies (1989-2002), we examine the determinants of income inequality. We find a strong positive association between equality and tax collection but note that this relationship is significantly stronger under authoritarian regimes than under democracies. We also discover that countries introducing sustainable democratic institutions early are characterised by lower inequality; we confirm that education fosters equality and find that larger countries are prone to higher levels of inequality.
The essay investigates how Russian veterans’ organisations represent the concerns of their constituency visà-vis the Russian state. An interest group approach is applied to investigate the ‘brokering’ function exercised by veterans’ organisations to lobby on behalf of their constituency. The analysis is based on the study of selected veterans’ organisations in Karelia and St Petersburg. The research finds that veterans’ organisations operate in a restricted environment, though our analysis shows that their agency has mattered, largely due to their political connections. The investigation reveals those mechanisms through which Russian veterans’ organisations act as brokers.
Charles Walker, Learning to Labour in Post-Soviet Russia. Vocational Youth in Transition. Abingdon & New York: Routledge, 2011, xiii þ 229pp., £90.00 h/b. THIS BOOK EXPLORES ‘GROWING UP WORKING-CLASS’ IN POST-SOVIET Russia by examining how young women and men graduating from vocational colleges experience transitions to adulthood in the context of the transformation of the economic and educational systems and patterns of family and everyday life. It describes how young people construct their pathways to adulthood and realise their life plans, and how these pathways and plans are structured by the institutional context of Russian society and the resources young people can access and mobilise.
We explore the evolution of the Kremlin’s election control strategy in response to the reintroduction of gubernatorial elections in 2012. Our analysis focuses on the evolution of four tools used to engineer electoral competition: auxiliary institutions, subnational punishment regimes, ballot construction, and turnout manipulation. We argue that election managers deploy these mechanisms to maximise victories for state-sponsored candidates while minimising the possibility for post-election protest. The analysis demonstrates that electoral manipulation presents conflicting incentives for the Kremlin and its regional officials. It also shows the critical role that Russia’s systemic opposition plays in the electoral management system and regime stability.
The article discusses power asymmetries and transcultural entanglements in the Baikal region on the border between the Russian and Qing empires. The Russian imperial authorities used transculturality, the diversity of the regional population and its transboundary connections, as a resource in their attempts to control parts of the former Qing Empire, but at the same time they tried to reduce it through Russification, Christianisation, and the homogenisation of social groups, which led to protest and instability instead of the anticipated results. Consolidation of Russian rule in some spheres undermined its control over others and led to an unexpected increase in cultural and political diversity.
This paper aims to explain the alternation of phases in the Soviet nationalities policy through developments in foreign policy, demonstrating the alternation of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ waves. Drawing upon Randall Collins’ geopolitical theory within a broader historical macrosociology perspective, I examine the effect of geopolitical tensions on the patterns of nationalities policy. Collins argues that geopolitical stability positively affects multiculturalism, while periods of geopolitical tension are associated with assimilation. I test Collins’ theory using a dataset on USSR engagement in international conflicts between 1926 and 1991. The results conform to our theoretical expectations: international security issues have a significant effect on Soviet nationalities policy.