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Regular version of the site
Of all publications in the section: 30
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Article
Busygina I., Филиппов М. Russian Politics. 2018. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 196-215.

Strong institutions and good governance are instrumental for success in the global economy. While the quality of national governance has positive effect on a country’s economic performance, it is not a necessary condition. Poor governance can be offset with the country’s comparative advantages; however, such advantages are likely to be geographically concentrated. We argue that in present-day Russia weak institutions and low quality of national governance make most regions unable to compete in the global economy.

Added: Nov 1, 2018
Article
Ferguson I., Akopov S. Russian Politics. 2021. Vol. 6. No. 4. P. 453-477.

Russia’s use of force in Ukraine has been described as a challenge to the rule of international

law and an event of unilateral intervention. This paper provides a reinterpretation

of this standard history of Russian revisionism. Our new history places this

practice in a global governance context through an analysis of the politics concerning

the international legal norm of ‘non-intervention’ and its legitimate/illegitimate

exceptions for collective intervention. This analysis discloses a practice of Russian

diplomacy that emerges out of resistance to humanitarian interventions advocated

for by Western states. This practice justifies its own state-bound humanitarian intervention

as the legitimate exception to the foundation of international order, which

Russian diplomacy had previously sought to restore. We argue the political discourse

of the worldview of ‘state civilization’ explains these events of Russian revisionism. We

conclude with an analysis of the international paradoxes of peace and conflict contingent

on this Russian worldview.

Added: Oct 29, 2021
Article
Cook L. J., Holm-Hansen J., Kivinen M. et al. Russian Politics. 2019. Vol. 4. No. 3. P. 291-301.

This Special Issue is devoted to Russia’s welfare state during the years of economic stagnation that began in 2013. Twelve experts assess social conditions and reforms in poverty, labor market, pension, housing and education policies. They show that social mobility has stagnated in conditions of deep inequality and just-above-poverty incomes for many. Innovative labour market and anti-poverty policies are hampered by low productivity and wages, both features of an oligarchic economic model that blocks competition and development. Welfare commitments heavily burden the state budget, producing reforms that transfer costs to users. The authors find that popular protests have forced government to partially mitigate these reforms. Putin’s government appears trapped between oligarchic economic interests and popular expectations for welfare. The final article compares China’s comparatively successful welfare trajectories with those of Russia, and proposes an agenda for further research.

Added: Mar 22, 2021
Article
Burkhardt F., Libman A. Russian Politics. 2018. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 239-259.

The paper investigates the link between the sub-national variation of political regimes in a (at the federal level) non-democratic country and the appointments of federal officials in the sub-national provinces. In particular, we look at the appointment of the chief federal inspectors to the regions in Putin’s Russia in 2000–2012. Our main research question is whether appointment patterns can be explained by top-down concerns of the central government willing to keep control over the most unruly regions or by bottom-up self-selection of bureaucrats belonging to influential groups into more attractive positions more suitable for rent-seeking. The advantage of our case is that data we have at hand allow us to distinguish these two logics. Our results indicate that for the Russian chief federal inspectors in 2000–2012 bottom-up self-selection appears to be the more plausible explanation of the link between sub-national political regimes and appointment patterns.

Added: Oct 1, 2018
Article
Ivanov E., Petrov N. Russian Politics. 2021. Vol. 6. No. 2. P. 153-184.

An array of qualitative and quantitative information on 2016–2020 Russian governors’ replacements are used to analyze decision-making and the patterns of governors’ appointments as well as their evolution in conjunction with regime transformation and regional variation. Regression analysis is used to establish what factors influence replacements, based on regional monitoring data from the Committee of Civic Initiatives. Ethnic republics in the North Caucasus are taken as a special case.

Added: Sep 11, 2021
Article
Turchenko M., Shevchuk S. Russian Politics. 2016. Vol. 1. No. 2. P. 203-221.

Within the period of 1993–2014 Russia experienced four major electoral reforms: in 1993, 2002, 2005 and 2014. One further attempt to change the Russian electoral system, initiated by President Yeltsin in 1994–95, was unsuccessful. We suggest that the suc­cesses as well as the failures of the electoral reforms in Russia can be explained with the same reasons as in other countries regardless of their political regime. In our view, electoral reforms within any political system are rooted in the specific arrangement of the veto players within the system and their political preferences. This paper demon­strates that major electoral reforms were successfully implemented in cases when the executive branch headed by the Russian president, striving for maximum control over the legislative process, was interested in such implementation and there were no other veto players able to block passage of the law.

Added: Jun 21, 2016
Article
Grigoriev I. Russian Politics. 2021. Vol. 6. No. 1. P. 27-49.

Of the 206 amendments introduced to the Russian constitution and adopted on July 1, 2020, 24 deal directly with the Constitutional Court, its organization, functioning, and the role it plays in the political system. Compared to many other, these are also rather precise and detailed, ranging from the number of judges on the bench, their nomina-tion and dismissal, to the Court’s inner procedures, new locus standi limitations, and the primacy of the Constitution over Russia’s international obligations. Most changes only reproduce amendments brought to the secondary legislation over the last twenty years, and are therefore meant to preserve the status quo rather than change anything significantly. At the same time, a number of amendments aim at politicizing and instrumentalizing the Court for the president’s benefit, marking a significant departure from the previous institutional development.

Added: Sep 8, 2021
Article
Melville A. Y., Akhremenko A. S., Mironyuk M. Russian Politics. 2019. Vol. 4. No. 2. P. 137-167.

There is a striking opposition within the current discourse on Russia’s position in the world. On the one hand, there are well-known arguments about Russia’s “weak hand” (relatively small and stagnating economy, vulnerability to sanctions, technological backwardness, deteriorating demography, corruption, bad institutions, etc.). On the other hand, Russia is accused of “global revisionism”, attempts to reshape and undermine the liberal world order, and Western democracy itself. There seems to be a paradox: Russia with a perceived decline of major resources of national power, exercises dramatically increased international influence. This paradox of power and/or influence is further explored. This paper introduces a new complex Index of national power. On the basis of ratings of countries authors compare the dynamics of distribution of power in the world with a focus on Russia’s national power in world politics since 1995. The analysis brings evidence that the cumulative resources of Russia’s power in international affairs did not increase during the last two decades. However, Russia’s influence in world politics has significantly increased as demonstrated by assertive foreign policy in different parts of the world and its perception by the international political community and the public. Russia remains a major power in today’s world, although some of its power resources are stagnating or decreasing in comparison to the US and rising China. To compensate for weaknesses Russia is using both traditional and nontraditional capabilities of international influence.

Added: Aug 27, 2019
Article
Grigoriev I. Russian Politics. 2020. Vol. 5. No. 4. P. 375-400.

The Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) has over time developed a practice of adopting so-called “Positive inadmissibility decisions” (Pozitivnoe Opredelenie) which complements (but also undermines) the existent formal procedure of only delivering decisions on merits with Judgments (Postanovlenie). The paper explores the uses of this peculiar practice. I show that the Positive inadmissibility doctrine is used by the Court to overcome the rigidity of the formal procedure where this is necessary for reasons of inter- or intra-organizational expediency. To do that I construct and analyze quantitatively a unique comprehensive dataset of all decisions handed down by the RCC in 1995–2015. I show that “Positive inadmissibility decisions” are handed whenever a subpar case is deemed too important to be simply dismissed: in particular, if it is submitted by a powerful petitioner, or when the case is assigned to a longer serving member of the Court for judicial report.

Added: Apr 15, 2017
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