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Препринт

Making sense of Russian civil service reform: what matters in explaining policy implementation process?

Since the early 1990s, there have been a number of incomplete efforts made by the Russian government to modernize state bureaucracy. The first wave started during the early years of Perestroika and it coincided with the collapse of the Communist system. In 1997- 2001, bureaucratic reform agenda has become one of the key priorities of the Russian government again. In 2001, Federal powers launched a set of comprehensive policy measures aiming to modernize the system of bureaucratic organization. However, research to date has paid insufficient attention to the model of public bureaucracy that the Russian policy-makers were trying to build. Furthermore, little attention has been attributed to the relationship between the stages of policy formulation and policy implementation, and accordingly, to the idea of measuring and evaluating civil service reform progress. This paper uses the insights of policy implementation research to evaluate the dynamic of civil service reform (CSR) in Russia. Based on the study of government and legislative documents, I observe that despite major efforts taken by the group of reform advocates to establish clear and coherent regulations in the area of CSR, the goal of comprehensive bureaucratic modernization has not been met. Based on data acquired in expert interviews with research community specialists, State Duma representatives, former City Council members and lawmakers, I conclude that this failure has resulted from the pressure of dissatisfied interests, the lack of willingness and capacity of reform leadership to resists this pressure.