Developments in Russian Politics
The 9th iteration of this go-to textbook on contemporary Russian politics offers comprehensive and critical discussion of the country’s most recent developments, providing substantive coverage of the key areas in domestic and foreign Russian politics. Ranging from established topics such as executive leadership, parties and elections, to newer issues of national identity, protest, and Russia and Greater Eurasia, it reflects the changing nature of Russian politics in a globalising world defined by ever-shifting balances of power.
Building on the success of previous versions, Developments in Russian Politics 9 is an established text for modules on Russian politics. Its chapters can also be used as standalone or supplementary reading at various points throughout courses on comparative government and politics. Accessibly written, and compiled by an international team of specialists, it will appeal to both undergraduate and postgraduate students from across the world.
The drive for “authoritarian modernization” provides incentives for the government to bypass democratic institutions and circumvent public discussions, similarly to what happened in education reform in the 2000s; or, alternatively, the government would go for a partial policy compromise, which may have satisfied major interest groups at the expense of policy efficiency, similarly to the case of the 2000-2001 pension reform. However, the 2000-2001 labor reform in Russia (analysed in this chapter) was adopted with the genuine use of democratic mechanisms and procedures. Moreover, the reformers proved successful in the process of selecting among policy alternatives and building a coalition to support the reform, which they managed to accomplish with only relatively minor compromises. This case study demonstrates that the government can squeeze unpopular reforms through the parliament without relying upon an “authoritarian modernization” model if its policies are backed by a strong and popular president and when its efforts to secure the support of various actors prove enough to build a broad informal coalition of supporters. The case of labor reform is also revealing because there were two full-fledged attempts at this reform in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and only the latter succeeded. This allows us to trace the ultimate policy success back to the factors that conditioned it in the second try but were lacking in the first attempt, and to consider some effects of policy learning.
Empirical research conducted in 5 Russian local communities in 2011-2015 discovered asymmetric principal-agent relations between regional and municipal authorities in which regional authorities have all the necessary resources for effective control over the urban elites and interference in the local political process. However, despite the increasing centralization, the regional-local government relationships remain variable. The active presence or absence of the governor and his team in urban politics largely depends on personal relations between the heads of regional and municipal administrations, the resource base of the territory, the severity of conflicts and/or problems that threaten its stable development. Spectrum of relations between the regional and local elites varies from quite constructive and relatively conflict-free, to rather tense and open confrontation, while the interference of the regional authorities in the activities of the local government bodies differs from episodic to permanent.
Moscow has progressively replaced geopolitics with geoeconomics as power is recognised to derive from the state’s ability to establish a privileged position in strategic markets and transportation corridors. The objective is to bridge the vast Eurasian continent to reposition Russia from the periphery of Europe and Asia to the centre of a new constellation. Moscow’s ‘Greater Europe’ ambition of the previous decades produced a failed Western-centric foreign policy culminating in excessive dependence on the West. Instead of constructing Gorbachev’s ‘Common European Home’, the ‘leaning-to-one-side’ approach deprived Russia of the market value and leverage needed to negotiate a more favourable and inclusive Europe. Eurasian integration offers Russia the opportunity to address this ‘overreliance’ on the West by using the Russia’s position as a Eurasian state to advance its influence in Europe.
Offering an account steeped in Russian economic statecraft and power politics, this book offers a rare glimpse into the dominant narratives of Russian strategic culture. It explains how the country’s outlook adjusts to the ongoing realignment towards Asia while engaging in a parallel assessment of Russia’s interactions with other significant actors. The author offers discussion both on Russian responses and adaptations to the current power transition and the ways in which the economic initiatives promoted by Moscow in its project for a ‘Greater Eurasia’ reflect the entrepreneurial foreign policy strategy of the country.
This chapter seeks to provide a detailed account of the policy process that led to the adoption of the pension reform in Russia in 2001. Focusing on the major actors involved in the elaboration of the reform concept and their preferences, I show that the 2001 Russian pension reform appeared to be a compromise squared for the liberal insiders of Kasyanov’s government and, most of all, for Mikhail Dmitriev, a major driver and proponent of the market-oriented reform. As the 2000-2001 attempts to reform pensions in Russia were not the first of such endeavours, a previous attempt to introduce a model of privatization into the Russian pension system, carried out by the “young reformers” government in 1997-1998, is also examined in this chapter. This analysis helps us to identify the network of policy actors involved in the bargaining at the turn of the century (namely, distinguishing the “old” bureaucracy from the Ministry of Labour and the liberal reformers who were invited by Anatoly Chubais from the outside to elaborate the reform). Also, I show how the “window of opportunities” which opened when Vladimir Putin became the Russian president in spring 2000, in fact, limited the liberal reformers’ room for manoeuvre as the newly elected president chose to stake on the “old” bureaucracy as the backbone of the regime in the earliest stage of his presidency.
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.
This article explores the map of political preferences of Russian Twitter users in the wake of March 2017 anti-corruption protests. So far there is little research on the political aspects of Twitter in Russia and our paper seeks to ﬁll this gap in the scholarship. It is based on content analysis of over 45,000 tweets published during a week after March 26 events. According to the project preliminary results, political attitudes of Russians remain fairly moderate, though evidence points to some polarization among the politically involved. The research also reveals a variety of value patterns shared by politically active users and investigates corresponding clusters of users that are taking shape in the ongoing online discussion and networking. The article concludes with an interpretation of how these clusters might relate to menu of political participation during current electoral cycle in Russia.
In this article we consider the trajectory of xenophobia in Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Using survey data from 1996, 2004, and 2012, we examine Russians' negative attitudes toward seven outgroups over time. We also statistically analyze the degree to which correlates of xenophobia have changed between 1996 and 2012. We find that Muscovites have become more xenophobic toward many groups over time relative to residents of other regions. This change is particularly striking in comparison to 1996, when Muscovites were generally less xenophobic than residents of other regions. Finally, we find that a strong lack of confidence in Russian President Putin is associated with higher levels of xenophobia across time, complicating the perceived link between the Russian government and xenophobic sentiment.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
We address the external effects on public sector efficiency measures acquired using Data Envelopment Analysis. We use the health care system in Russian regions in 2011 to evaluate modern approaches to accounting for external effects. We propose a promising method of correcting DEA efficiency measures. Despite the multiple advantages DEA offers, the usage of this approach carries with it a number of methodological difficulties. Accounting for multiple factors of efficiency calls for more complex methods, among which the most promising are DMU clustering and calculating local production possibility frontiers. Using regression models for estimate correction requires further study due to possible systematic errors during estimation. A mixture of data correction and DMU clustering together with multi-stage DEA seems most promising at the moment. Analyzing several stages of transforming society’s resources into social welfare will allow for picking out the weak points in a state agency’s work.