The paper aims to contribute to studies of women’s human capital and fertility in post-Soviet societies. The post-Soviet regions are a particularly interesting setting to study this question because they have combined traditional family organization and rapid social change in recent decades. Based on evidence from Karachay-Cherkessia (Russia), we examine whether elements of a woman’s human capital can account for her fertility behavior in the context of family traditionalism. Our analysis is based in a sample survey of women conducted in 2018. Using Poisson regressions, we analyze the relation of human capital and family traditionalism to the number of children born to women of different ages. We conclude that both human capital and cultural family traditionalism (the empowerment of elder relatives in a woman’s family and a woman’s observance of religious rituals) appear to be significant for fertility decisions, with their effects working in opposite directions.
Since about 2009, increasing budgetary constraints forced the Russian state to become notably less tolerant of lower-level corruption and predatory behavior by state agencies. In this paper, we argue that after a first stage of decentralized corruption and state capture during the 1990s, and a second period of decentralized corruption and business capture during the 2000s, Russia has entered a third stage of more centralized corruption since 2009. We build our argument on a detailed discussion of property rights relations in Russia, and support it with indicative quantitative data, suggesting that raiding attacks on businesses and corrupt behavior by state agencies have become less frequent and more centralized between 2009 and 2016. The sustainability of this move towards a more centralized mode of corruption remains questionable, however, mainly due to the lack of a long-term vision for the development of the country.
We compare three countries where public policy has explicitly sought to align incentives of employers and educational institutions around closing the gap between skill formation and labor market demand. In large, heterogeneous countries such as the United States, Russia and China, collaborative arrangements such apprenticeships and other forms of public-private partnerships can be constructed at the subnational level by building on direct, face-to-face ties across educational, business, government, and civic sectors. Drawing on existing literature as well as fieldwork studying a number of specific cases in the three countries, the paper develops a typology of such arrangements and proposes an explanation for the observed variation. It emphasizes the importance of two sets of factors: those that induce cooperation on the part of firms and schools, and those that influence the character of such partnerships.
This paper seeks to explain the surprising decline in Russian President Vladimir Putin's approval rating in 2011. During the previous 10 years, Putin's rating had correlated closely with Russians' perceptions of the state of the economy. Yet the fall in his approval – from 79% in December 2010 to 63% a year later – occurred despite roughly stable economic perceptions. Comparing Levada Center polls from late 2010 and 2011, the paper explores both who (what types of respondents) grew disenchanted with Putin, and why(what issues or grievances prompted this switch). It finds that (a) the fall in support for the Kremlin – although faster among members of the “creative class,” women, the rich, and residents of provincial cities – was broad-based, occurring among all social groups examined; (b) attitudes toward immigration, the West, and Russia's international status, as well as assessments of public service quality, changed little during 2011; (c) Putin's declining popularity most likely reflected stronger – not weaker – economic concerns; although the proportion judging economic performance to be poor did not increase, those who saw economic weakness became much less supportive of the Kremlin. Russians appear to have increasingly blamed their political leaders for unsatisfactory economic and political outcomes.
A political scientist examines how regional elites shape the electoral fortunes of Russia’s hegemonic party, United Russia (UR). Using original data on regional legislative elections from 2003 to 2011, we show that UR performs better in those regions where regional governors control strong political machines. Russia’s leadership undercut its own electoral strategy by replacing popular elected governors with colorless bureaucrats who struggled to mobilize votes on behalf of United Russia. This is one of the reasons for United Russia’s poor performance in recent elections.
Few tasks are more important in the post-communist setting than rebuilding the welfare state. We study individual preferences for increasing social welfare spending to reduce inequality. Using two surveys of about 34,000 and 37,000 Russians we show great importance of the bridging type of social capital for redistribution preferences in Russia as it precludes possibilities of cheating and free-riding. Instrumenting social capital with education, climate and distance from Moscow we deal with endogeneity concerns and also contribute to the understanding of the deep roots of social capital in Russia. We also claim that social capital in post-socialist countries could help mobilize public support for the redistribution schemes in spite of the fact that institutions are weak
This paper analyzes the process of renegotiation of the informal contract between the regional and federal elites of Russia after the economic crisis. We use the database of Center of Public Procedures’ “Business against Corruption” to show that, after 2011, regional elites in Russia lost the preexisting opportunity to extract rents from businesses in return for favorable election results for Vladimir Putin and United Russia. We also analyze the connection between the level of corporate raiding in various Russian regions and the political competition, tenure, and ties of their governors. We show that there are two distinct models for fighting raiding in a region: an authoritarian model for suppressing negative signals and a competitive model with the creation of a new consensus among the elites. Although both models are similar in terms of the absence of negative signals, they have very different consequences in the business context of an area.
What role do formal institutions play in the consolidation of authoritarian regimes such as the Russian Federation? Oftentimes, it is assumed that autocrats, usually potent presidents, wield informal powers and control far-flung patron–client networks that undermine formal institutions and bolster their rule. After the institutional turn in authoritarianism studies, elections, parties, legislatures, or courts have taken center stage, yet presidencies and public law are still on the margins of this research paradigm. This paper proposes a method for measuring subconstitutional presidential power and its change by federal law, decrees, and Constitutional Court rulings as well as a theoretical framework for explaining when and under which conditions subconstitutional presidential power expands. It is argued that as a result of a gradual, small-scale, and slow-moving process of layering, presidential powers have been accumulated over time. This furthers the institutionalization of presidential advantage toward other federal and regional institutions, which in turn contributes to the consolidation of authoritarianism.
Most studies of intergovernmental financial flows in the Russian Federation focus on the federal center’s decision-making in determining the direction of these flows. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that regional governments employ a variety of tools and strategies to compete over federal transfers. This study uses data on federal transfers during 2002–2012 to examine the factors associated with the politically sensitive share of such transfers occurring in this period. The key findings highlight the importance of administrative capacity and the value of attracting attention from, as well as cultivating relations with, federal officials for shaping decision-making on the distribution of federal transfers. We discuss some specific strategies used by more successful regional governments in attracting additional federal funds.
A specialist on Russian society and politics analyzes recent plans for reform of social policy in Russia. Based on documentary and interview evidence, case studies of housing and pension reform are presented. Prospects for the Putin government's social-sector reform program are considered.
Corruption is widespread throughout the former Communist states, and it is particularly severe and entrenched in Russia. Despite the fact that Russia's contemporary corruption has recently become a subject of analysis, there is, however, no study that has addressed the role of the Communist legacy in the development of various aspects of corruption. This paper contributes to the debates through, first, disentangling the complex phenomenon that is corruption, and focusing on its three aspects: supply, demand, and the attitude of the population. Second, the paper also contributes to the literature on modern corruption by explicitly focusing on the role of the historical legacy in these different aspects of corruption. The study is based on several rich data-sets on corruption and on an original data-set compiled to measure the percentage share of Communists in various regions of Russia in the last decades of the USSR (1970s–1980s). The analysis presented in the paper uncovers different roles of the Communist legacies across the development of various aspects of corruption. By doing so, the paper contributes to the literature on historical legacies in general, on Communist legacies in particular, as well as to the broader literature on the causes of corruption in transitional societies.
Corruption is widespread throughout the former Communist states, and it is particularly severe and entrenched in Russia. Despite the fact that Russia's contemporary corruption has recently become a subject of analysis, there is, however, no study that has addressed the role of the Communist legacy in the development of various aspects of corruption. This paper contributes to the debates through, first, disentangling the complex phenomenon that is corruption, and focusing on its three aspects: supply, demand, and the attitude of the population. Second, the paper also contributes to the literature on modern corruption by explicitly focusing on the role of the historical legacy in these different aspects of corruption. The study is based on several rich data-sets on corruption and on an original data-set compiled to measure the percentage share of Communists in various regions of Russia in the last decades of the USSR (1970s-1980s). The analysis presented in the paper uncovers different roles of the Communist legacies across the development of various aspects of corruption. By doing so, the paper contributes to the literature on historical legacies in general, on Communist legacies in particular, as well as to the broader literature on the causes of corruption in transitional societies. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
In this paper, we build a theory that presents the process of succession at the subnational level as bargaining between the region and the center. The region should first be able to produce qualifying candidates for successor status, which requires incumbent control. If potential successors emerge and one is designated as such by the incumbent, the central authorities still need to accept such a candidate as the new leader. The center’s strength (depending on the level of centralization) and the region’s strength (depending on regional elite cohesion) shape this negotiation. Using biographical data on subnational political elites in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan in the 1990s and 2000s, we construct elite social networks and demonstrate how and why we observe leader succession in Tatarstan in 2010, but not in Bashkortostan.
Which reaction takes the upper hand: a “rally around the flag,” born of geopolitical success, or grievance over economic misfortune? By means of a survey experiment, we aim to explore the mechanisms of blame and credit when a rally around the flag coincides with a major economic downturn, and we estimate the effects of the Crimean events and the economic crisis on how Russians assess the performance of federal political institutions. Our findings suggest that economic hardships are attributed exclusively to the government and the State Duma, while it is only the president who benefits from the rally around the flag. Moreover, the president receives an additional benefit when the “patriotic unity” priming meets the “economic hardship” priming, thereby resulting in a double rally around the flag effect. This suggests that the president stands apart from state institutions when responsibility is assigned, and he is the only one to enjoy national consolidation around him, which is further reinforced by poor economic conditions. Spotlighting the president increases his popularity and consequently increases the costs of political divides, while the legislature and the government can be exploited as scapegoats for policy failures.