The Emerging Civil Society-State Nexus in Putin’S Russia: A Case Study in Public Health
Human rights advocacy has evolved into a legitimate foreign policy priority of the contemporary United States. The values and beliefs behind this concern are endorsed by a variety of American NGOs. The paper looks at American human rights advocacy and its impact on foreign policy decision-making. Human rights groups constitute a powerful independent lobby sector, whose success must be attributed to the unique nature of the American political culture. The article analyses the industrys specific characteristics and offers a classification of NGOs based on their mission, activities and lobbying profile.
As NGOs are emerging into prominent actors in international politics, the issue of measuring their political capability and efficiency draws particular interest. The paper offers a critical overview of core theoretical approaches to evaluating NGOs as politically accountable actors of global civil society.
Russian health care policy turns on a number of significant tensions between three vectors – all evolving at different speeds: first, the extent and nature of substantive state health care guarantees for Russian citizens; second, the extent or size of state versus non-state funding of health care; and, third, organisational challenges in the national health care system, including due to the advent of new health care technologies. Russia’s ability to negotiate these tensions will determine the future health of the country’s population.
Russian regions exhibit wide diversity in institutional arrangements, not only due to varying natural conditions and economic development, but also due to the different political strategies pursued by their governors. Governors have wide discretion over the kinds of relationships they establish with local economic and social elites in the pursuit of nationally established goals. Some regional regimes are more pluralistic, others more authoritarian. Strategies for social and economic development vary as well. Some governors cooperate with local business associations and firms to induce investment and to overcome collective dilemmas such as those associated with skill formation. Characteristically, it is state actors who usually take the initiative in shaping state–society relations.
In many Russian regions, new institutions have been created that are meant to enable the partnership between the legislative, the regional administration and civil society actors. These forms of institutionalized cooperation include permanent roundtables, consultative councils, regional or local grant competitions for social projects and the institutionalized cooperation in externally funded social projects. In addressing social problems, nonprofit organizations have often played a pioneer role and are today more and more accepted as partners of the state, while at the same time facing multiple barriers in terms of their institutional context, organizational development and participation in policy formation. Although regional and local administrations and civil society actors share many concerns about social policy issues, the level of real involvement of NGOs in policy formation in present-day Russia is often described as ineffective and insufficient. The underlying motivation of this paper is to identify the forms and degree of cooperation between governmental and non-governmental actors in addressing social problems and the participation of non-profit actors in shaping policy formation in Russia’s regions. The focus is on the sub-national level, as regional authorities bear the main responsibility for financing and implementing welfare policies. The paper thereby addresses the following question: What are the incentives, barriers and outcomes of nonprofit participation in service delivery and policy formation?
The nonprofit sector weakness in Russia is no doubt. The most frequently cited reasons - immaturity of still young civil society structures and the lack of public funding in the third sector. Meanwhile, the process of becoming a non-profit sector can hardly be accelerated. The growth of the federal and regional subsidies, will not provide significant improvements. The main problem lies in the structural characteristics and low efficiency of voluntary sector. In this case, if some structure of the nonprofit sector, such as condominiums, generally demonstrate some progress in recent years, the socially-oriented NGOs are still in stagnation. Public policy can only partly correct the current state and trends.
This is the first annual special issue of the International Organisations Research Journal published in English. It presents a collection of papers focused on the G8/G20 summitry performance, the division of labor emerging over the period of their co-existence, their comparative strengths and limitations, and how the future G8 – G20 partnership can be improved to the benefit of both, prosperity and well-being of their citizens, sustainable and balanced growth of world economy. Though the papers present the analysis and insights of the authors, they are the outcome of a collaborative research of the International Organisations Research Institute of the University Higher School of Economics and the Munk School of Global Affairs of the University of Toronto. The collection also draws on the wisdom of a network of international experts including analysts from the World Bank, Royal Institute for International Relations of Belgium, University of Ghent and Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (IFANS) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. It opens with reflections from Dr. Vadim Lukov, Ambassador-at-Large, Deputy Representative of the President of Russia in the G8, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Coordinator for G20 and BRIC Affairs, which combine unique practical experience and analytical assessments. Most of the papers and research findings were debated in the international conference “Partnership for Progress. From the 2010 Muskoka – Toronto Summits to the Seoul Summit” organized by the International Organisations Research Institute of the University Higher School of Economics with support of Oxfam and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom.
The paper analyses the process of establishment and development of the national system of international development assistance in Russia. The analysis covers the period starting from 2005 when key national priorities for international development assistance were defined and amounts of foreign aid were substantially increased on the threshold of Russia’s G8 Presidency preparations. The emerging structure of governance, the aid flows and amounts of allocated ODA, as well as the funding priorities in the sphere of development assistance are described on the basis of the analysis of official documents, statements and speeches of officials, reports of international institutions, and statistics available for public access. Russia’s participation in multilateral international organizations and institutions in the sphere of development cooperation is also considered. Drawing on the results of the analysis the author proposes recommendations for further development of the national system of international development assistance in Russia.
The article examines the main trends in the study of the Stalinist period and the phenomenon of Stalinism in connection with the mass opening of the archives.
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.