Political Accountability and Real Authority of Government Bureaucracy
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.
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 article examines the trends of the recruitment channels to the Cabinet of ministers in the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1989 till 2017. It intends to fill the lacunae in the literature on Cabinets and ministerial elites of Iran. The theoretical framework is based on the literature dedicated to the Cabinet formation in Europe and Middle East. The biographical analysis is a research method of the paper. Publicly available aggregated data on 274 ministers and vice-presidents in seven governments is the key source of information. The first conclusion is the faction institutionalization inside the government occurred in 1993. In addition, every president created his own team for governance. The army is also an important group playing a significant role during particular periods. The second conclusion shows that dominating areas of studies switched from technocrats to specialists in humanities. The Cabinets were relatively ‘westernized’ regarding permanent presence of members with western education. Nevertheless, a sustainable majority of the members of Cabinets always had Iranian education. The third conclusion is that there is a high level of professionalization of governments: the key recruiting group was bureaucracy; the second group were academic scientists. The military, clergy, professionals had become the second group only for one term, while scholars kept their role during all the period. The fourth conclusion is that clericalization of the cabinets remained relatively low. The representation of the IRGC veterans gradually increased during approximately all the period reflecting militarization of the Cabinets. The fifth conclusion is that the share of natives from regional capitals remained high during the period, being more than 50%. The key provinces for recruitment were Tehran and Isfahan.