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Regular version of the site
Of all publications in the section: 8
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Working paper
Noah Buckley, Garifullina G., Reuter O. J. Political Science. PS. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2012. No. 11.
Scholars associate bureaucratic quality with economic development. One particularly important component of a well-functioning bureaucracy is meritocratic promotion. This paper explores the conditions under which politicians will appoint high-level bureaucrats on the basis of economic performance. We argue that two key features of democracy—electoral competition and media freedom—  increase  the incidence of performance-based appointments among high-level bureaucrats. We test these claims using original data on turnover among 3762 vice governors in Russia’s 89 regions between 2001 and 2011. We also find that levels of bureaucratic turnover depend on the characteristics of the principal making those appointments.    
Added: Jan 17, 2013
Working paper
Rosenberg D. Political Science. PS. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2012. No. 06/PS/2012.
Technological innovations are inherently problematic (risky, uncertain, possess public goods properties (enhances free-riding since it is easy to steal), but once they succeed, they create negative externalities for incumbents in the form of economic resources redistribution. Economic resources are convertible into political power. Therefore, economic redistribution might eventually result in political power redistribution. Those who fear to lose political power have incentives to defend status quo. Innovators will face collective action problems (who will be willing to innovate and risk to fight with incumbents) and commitment problems (who will compensate losers from innovations and why they should believe such promises). My answer is that market is not enough. It is political institutions that solve collective action and commitment problems. Some political institutions e.g. parliamentary government form will deal with political risks better than others e.g. presidential one.
Added: Feb 18, 2013
Working paper
Dekalchuk A. A., Khokhlova A. A., Skougarevskiy D. Political Science. PS. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2016. No. WP BRP 35/PS/2016.
The European Parliament (EP) is viewed as a normal parliament. Voting patterns of its members (MEPs) are mainly aligned with transnational political groups, not national cleavages. Yet, it has been proven by many that MEP voting patterns are an outcome of conflicting pressures and a distorted indicator of their individual political orientations. In this stud y we rely on MEP written questions to the European Commission to measure the policy positions and their determinants. Using the universe of 100,000+ such questions in 2002 – 2015 linked with MEP country and European Political Group affiliation data, we test whether one issue of high sensitivity to their domestic audiences — Russia — makes the MEPs take their nationality seriously and pay more attention to it regardless of their transnational partisan affiliations. We rely on supervised machine learning to unc over sentiment of every question asked on a negative - positive scale. Then we contrast the sentiment of questions related to Russia with the rest of questions conditional on party and national affiliation of the MEP asking the question. We find that (i) MEP question involving Russia is twice as negative in tonality as an average question, (ii) more variation in modality of Russia - related questions is explained by MEP national affiliation than her EPG. Our findings are robust to alternative methods of sentime nt extraction and to controlling for time - invariant unobserved heterogeneity of MEPs.
Added: May 16, 2016
Working paper
Frye T., Reuter O. J., Szakonyi D. Political Science. PS. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2012. No. 08.
We explore how modern autocrats win elections by inducing employers to mobilize their employees to vote for the regime and thereby subvert the electoral process. Using two original surveys of employers and workers conducted around the 2011 parliamentary elections in Russia, we find that just under one quarter of employers engaged in some  form of political mobilization. We then develop a simple framework for identifying which firms engage in voter mobilization and which workers are targeted for mobilization. We find that large, financially dependent firms in sectors characterized by asset  immobility or slack labor markets whose managers are “core” supporters of the regime can offer their votes to the regime at the lowest cost and therefore are especially likely to mobilize their workers. By identifying the conditions under which workplace mobilization occurs in authoritarian regimes, we contribute to the longstanding debate about the economic bases of democratization. In addition, we explore an understudied means of subverting elections in contemporary autocracies: the use of economic coercion to mobilize voters.  Moreover, our research finds that clientelist exchange can thrive in the absence of deeply embedded political parties when it is brokered by employers.
Added: Jan 17, 2013
Working paper
Kazun A. D. Political Science. PS. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2016. No. WP BRP 33/PS/2016 .
This article analyzes a paradoxical situation: against the background of a large-scale economic and political crisis in Russia, Vladimir Putin's support is increasing. In explanation, we propose the rally-around-the-flag effect. This effect reflects how and why a national leader’s approval rating substantially increases during tragedies and international conflicts. However, the circumstances in Russia differ significantly from those described in the literature. For example, the rally effect in Russia is substantially more stable than in other countries. Because the rally-around-the-flag effect is closely linked with debates that are presented in the media, we search for explanations in this area. We assume that the use of deproblematization strategies in the media discussion on economic sanctions proves to people that the effects of the sanctions are not severe and generates images of Russia’s external enemies and Vladimir Putin as a strong leader who resists these enemies. Such strategies and practices can contribute to the rally effect. The article analyzes the key strategies used to deproblematize the economic sanctions (and the Russian food embargo) that were used in four Russian newspapers from March 2014 to December 2014.
Added: Apr 6, 2016
Working paper
Turovsky R. F. Political Science. PS. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2016
This paper tests the methods of electoral analysis elaborated by the author previously and based on the concept of nationalization that is used to measure the spatial homogeneity of voting patterns. The study of nationalization scores leads to the conclusion about rather high degree of nationalization of the post-Soviet party system from its very beginning while short and small-scale upsurges of regionalization were coming along with anti-government protests of 1995-1995 and 2011. To deepen the analysis of the electoral space the author has analyzed the phenomenon of deviant and typical regions where ethnic cleavage has appeared to produce the main deviations. Finally, the analysis of dynamic nationalization brings about the better understanding of nationalization revealing the changing territorial patterns of voting for the same actors masked by the same overall national scores. 
Added: Dec 7, 2016
Working paper
Grigoriev I., Dekalchuk A. A. Political Science. PS. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2015. No. WP BRP 24/PS/2015.
The early 2000s marked a surge in uncertainty in Russian politics caused by the succession crisis and the profound political turnover it triggered. This uncertainty could resolve in a number of ways, each leading to a different political development. We trace the actual way out of this uncertainty and suggest that the major factor to condition the further regime trajectory was the way reforms were conducted. The article questions the teleological approach that sees government as knowingly and purposefully building autocracy, and contributes to the tradition emphasizing the plurality of possible regime developments (Golosov 2011) and the role of contingency therein (Hale 2004) by providing a more systematic treatment of such contingency. We use insights from basic coordination game theory and cognitive institutionalism to show how local reform practices become accepted as a trusted way of interaction by political actors and stick with the regime in a path dependent manner. This intuition is substantiated with a casestudy of pensions and labour reforms. Course of these reforms determined the major features of the Putin regime, such as building up a single party of power, crowding out the political market, opposition decay, and informal institutionalisation.
Added: Mar 3, 2015
Working paper
Lazarev Y. A., Sobolev A. S., Soboleva I. V. et al. Political Science. PS. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2012. No. WP BRP .
This study aims to explore the logic of political support under a non-democratic regime by investigating the impact of a natural disaster on the political attitudes of the local population. The research exploits the enormous wildfires that occurred in rural Russia during the summer of 2010 as a natural experiment. Since wildfire spreads due to the direction of the wind, the local distribution of fire is totally random: one village may burn while the neighboring village is left unscathed. We test the effects of this exogenous variation with a survey of almost 800 respondents in randomly selected villages, 34 of which were burned and 36 of which were unburned, in the four regions of Russia that were most severely affected. Contrary to the conventional scholarly wisdom that suggests that natural disasters cause people to blame politicians, our study finds that in the burned villages there is higher support for the government at all levels, namely for the United Russia Party, the village head, the governor, Prime Minister Putin, and President Medvedev. These finding are robust even for models that control for the generous governmental aid provided to the villages that were damaged by the fires. We interpret the results within the framework of system justification theory, developing it by adding to individual characteristics the factors of the political regime and the demonstration effect.
Added: Nov 12, 2013