Federalism and Regional Policy in Contemporary Russia
How do Russian leaders balance the need to decentralize governance in a socially and politically complex country with the need to guarantee political control of the state?
Since the early 2000’s Russian federal authorities have arranged a system of political control on regional elites and their leaders providing a ‘police control’ of special bodies subordinated by the federal centre on policy implementation in the regions. Different mechanisms of fiscal federalism and investment policy were used to ensure regional elites’ loyalty and a politically centralized but administratively decentralized system was created.
Asking clear, direct and theoretically informed questions about the relationship between federalism, decentralisation and authoritarianism, this book explores the political survival of authoritarian leaders, the determinants of policy formulation and theories of federalism and decentralization, to reach a new understanding of territorial governance in contemporary Russia. An important work for students and researchers in Russian studies and regional and federal studies.
The author considers the hypothesis that under certain circumstances mistrust acts as the driving force for political development whereas trust, especially in its essential paternalistic forms, preserves the unsatisfactory status quo. The problem analyses as a part of general trend in the contemporary world towards declining prestige of public institutions and taking into account the Russian specifics.
This article describes the results of sociological research on estimation of condition and development prospects of federalism in Russia, which was conducted by ZIRCON Research Group in January - May 2011. The opinion of population and elite groups of four regions about the foundations of Russian federalism development, administrative-territorial system of the Russian Federation and its principles, relations between subjects-regions and federative centre is presented. The results of the research indicate that at the moment a request for political and administrative autonomy of the subjects of the Federation is not obviously formulated by either citizens or regional elite groups. Regional identity is not a common phenomenon. The authors mark out necessary factors of federalism development: expansion of economic self-dependence of regions, existence of ethno-national or regional identity of citizens, democratization and decentralization.
The article concerns the problem of the Russian absolutist monarchy of the XVIII - the beginning of XX-th centuries in a comparative perspective. The social function of absolutism consisted in national integration, cultural unification and social transformation of traditional society by using of legal and coercive measures. The crucial problem is the changing role of the bureaucracy which could be the main protagonist of reforms or, just the opposite – its main opponent. From this point of view the author summarizes positive and negative aspects of absolutist reforms making outlook on the comparative experience of other absolutist empires of Europe and Asia.
Intergovernmental Reforms in the Russian Federation: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? is a critical analysis of Russia’s intergovernmental reform program which began in the early 1990s. It assesses the effects of a broad range of reforms adopted over two tumultuous decades during which the Russian Federation experienced significant, and at times drastic, political regime changes, coupled with a similarly turbulent economic growth trajectory. This environment reshaped intergovernmental relations, requiring certain fiscal responsibilities to be delegated to the subnational levels. These reforms, however, were not always accompanied by the kinds of administrative and political structures required to support a truly devolved system of intergovernmental fiscal relations. As this study indicates, in recent years there has been a tendency to recentralize some powers that had been granted to subnational governments under earlier reforms—a trend that may call into question the future of fiscal decentralization in the federation. Moreover, the current global economic downturn has had a significant effect on Russia’ economic growth, largely because of the country’s overdependence on oil, gas, and mineral exports. It is likely that in the present economic climate the political regime will be inclined to further limit subnational autonomy.
Истражујући историјске везе Србије и Русије стиче се утисак да је у досадашњем времену већа пажња поклањана уметничким, културним, духовним и политичким, а знатно мање економским односима наших држава и народа. Управо због тога историјат економских веза нема тако богату прошлост, какав је случај са дугом традицијом и богатством српско-руске сарадње на осталим пољима. Први документи о економској сарадњи ове две земље потичу из 15. века када су први трговци путовали из Србије у Русију и обратно. Србија је први кредит од Русије добила 1867. године за изградњу железнице од Радујевца до Ниша. У новије време економски односи се значајно интензивирају и може се рећи они сада представљају прву и главну линију српско-руске сарадње. Србија је са Русијом 2000. године склопила Споразум о слободној трговини који омогућава нашој земљи да преко 95% домаћих производа извезе у Русију без царине. То је веома важан адут наше земље у привлачењу страних инвестиција, али и у бољем искоришћавању сопствених ресурса кроз покривање тражње на огромном руском тржишту. Србија и Русија су током 2008. године закључиле Споразум о сарадњи у нафтногасној области и Меморандум о разумевању за реализацију гасовода ЈУЖНИ ТОК, чија изградња је почела крајем 2012. године. Ради се о крупном и изузетно значајном пројекту чијом реализацијом ће се обезбедити енергетска сигурност наше земље, уз низ пратећих погодности за убрзани економски развој читаве привреде. Највећа руска банка СБЕРБАНКА започела је пословање у нашој земљи, а у најави су и стратешко партнерство руских компанија са смедеревском железаром, као и улагања у читав низ пројеката у нашој земљи. Под повољним условима започиње реализација руског кредита у износу од 800 милиона долара намењеног реконструкцији и модернизацији наших железница, а ускоро се очекује нови кредитни аранжман од једне милијарде долара. Велике инвестиције очекују се кроз војно-техничку сарадњу, као и на реализацији читавог низа других развојних пројеката. Потпуно је излишна дилема да ли се Србија окреће истоку или западу. Најбоља је солуција за све да Србија буде мост за повезивање истока и запада, пре свега у економској, али и не мање важним подручјима културне, научне, безбедносне, политичке и сваке друге корисне сарадње која ће бити на ползу земљама и народима који се у ту сарадњу укључују.
The article discusses the contemporary state of political regional science in Russia. The author outlines three approaches towards the key notion of political region (political administrative, political system and political sociological), based on its own region-making factors, such as administrative borders, political interests and political identities. The author points out two main parts of political regional science; these are comparative federalism and regionalism on one hand and cross-regional comparative politics on the other hand. The key concepts of political regional science are intergovernmental (or inter-level in broader sense) relations and regional politics. The successful development of Russian political regional science needs for the integration with the Western political science and the resolution of contradictions with some of its traditions.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.
The article is devoted to the study of the authoritarianism prevalent in the mass consciousness of Russians. The article describes a new approach to the consideration of the authoritarian syndrome as the effects of the cultural trauma as a result of political and socio-cultural transformation of society. The article shows the dynamics of the symptoms of the authoritarianism, which appear in the mass consciousness of Russians from 1993 to 2011. This paper proposes a package of measures aimed at reducing the level of the authoritarianism in Russian society.
This work looks at a model of spatial election competition with two candidates who can spend effort in order to increase their popularity through advertisement. It is shown that under certain condition the political programs of the candidates will be different. The work derives the comparative statics of equilibrium policy platform and campaign spending with respect the distribution of voter policy preferences and the proportionality of the electoral system. In particular, it is whown that the equilibrium does not exist if the policy preferences are distributed over too narrow an interval.
The article examines "regulatory requirements" as a subject of state control over business in Russia. The author deliberately does not use the term "the rule of law". The article states that a set of requirements for business is wider than the legislative regulation.
First, the article analyzes the regulatory nature of the requirements, especially in the technical field. The requirements are considered in relation to the rule of law. The article explores approaches to the definition of regulatory requirements in Russian legal science. The author analyzes legislation definitions for a set of requirements for business. The author concludes that regulatory requirements are not always identical to the rule of law. Regulatory requirements are a set of obligatory requirements for entrepreneurs’ economic activity. Validation failure leads to negative consequences.
Second, the article analyzes the problems of the regulatory requirements in practice. Lack of information about the requirements, their irrelevance and inconsistency are problems of the regulatory requirements in Russia.
Many requirements regulating economic activity are not compatible with the current development level of science and technology. The problems are analyzed on the basis of the Russian judicial practice and annual monitoring reports by Higher School of Economics.
Finally, the author provides an approach to the possible solution of the regulatory requirements’ problem. The author proposes to create a nationwide Internet portal about regulatory requirements. The portal should contain full information about all regulatory requirements. The author recommends extending moratorium on the use of the requirements adopted by the bodies and organizations of the former USSR government.