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Regular version of the site

Working paper

A Vignette: Industrial Development versus Agrarian Constituency, Russian Constitutional Democracy 1905-1917

Comparative Politics. PS. academia.edu, 2016
Why did the Russian experiment with electoral democracy fail in the early Twentieth century? I examine the results of the elections to the first Duma in 1906 on the province (Guberniya) level in conjunction with the socioeconomic data from the 1897 national census, in order to show that at the onset of the first Duma elections, economic class partitions, an emblem of the radical oppositional campaign, mapped only onto the Center Right party politics of the Octobrists, not the rest of the political spectrum. The Bolshevik vote distribution on the Guberniya level in the 1917 elections to the Constituent Assembly, on the other hand, reveals significant correlations with those of the Octobrists’ in 1906. For both parties, the industrial sector, in contrast to the agricultural workforce, provided a significant boost in the votes. The same reinforcing link between the electorate and the Duma was severed, following interventions in favor of the landed elite from 1907 onward.