This article is devoted to the Digest of the Laws of the Russian Empire – an embodiment of the operative legal system in late imperial Russia. Even though the Digest contained the law in force, and thus should be studied as a crucial source on Russian (legal) history, its meaning has been often overlooked. The reason for that is a remarkable difference between the original texts of laws adopted by the legislator, and their published form in the Digest. This difference came from the necessary editing procedures when every new piece of legislation was included in the existing system of the Digest. This strange feature of legal procedure when two different versions of a particular law – the original one and the one codified in the Digest – both remained in force should be considered as a part of official autocratic legality in late imperial Russia. Even though it may seem inefficient and irrational, the practice of obligatory codification of laws in the Digest existed for a rather long time – from 1835 until 1917. My research aims to find possible explanations for the Digest’s prolonged existence in the context of political and legal culture of late imperial Russia. What did Russian ‘official legality’ actually mean on the levels of theory and action?
One of the measures implemented as a part of administrative reform in Russia was the introduction of administrative procedures — special rules for providing government services that specify the process, the timing, the sanctions, etc, which can be used by bureaucrats for coordinating their activities, and by their principals (higher ranking bureaucrats and citizens) to control their agents. The main idea behind the administrative procedures was to increase the transparency of bureaucracies that provide government services, to simplify the control over bureaucrats, to prevent corruption, and, consequently, to increase the quality of government services. But after a few years since the introduction of administrative procedures we still face the problem of low accountability of bureaucrats. Thus, the main goal of the paper is to show whether administrative procedures can solve the problem of bureaucrats’ opportunism, and if they can, what are the key determinants of their effectiveness. To answer the question we provide two simple models of interaction between bureaucrats and citizens, and bureaucrats of different ranks, and describe the links between the models, to show how the introduction of administrative procedures influences the outcome of the interaction between the agents. We also define the set of parameters that can make administrative procedures a real means of control over bureaucrats and thus lead to better quality of government services.
This paper represents an initial report on findings for a study aimed at analyzing several key aspects of middle class development in the Russian regions (subjects of Federation - oblasts, krays, autonomous republics), namely: Federal and regional government programs to stimulate the growth of the middle class (content, tools of implementation, effectiveness); Behavioral strategies and economic behavior (consumption patterns propensity to save, investment) of different sections of Russian middle class; Middle class value orientation and political preferences (including preferences for democracy).
On the basis of in-depth case studies of four Russian regions, Kirov and Voronezh oblasts and Krasnoyarsk and Perm' krais, the trade-offs among social and economic policy at the regional level in Russia are examined. All four regional governments seek to develop entrepreneurship while preserving social welfare obligations and improving compensation in the public sector. Richer regions have a greater ability to reconcile social commitments with the promotion of business. Regions differ in their development strategies, some placing greater emphasis on indigenous business development and others seeking to attract federal or foreign investment. Governors have considerable discretion in choosing their strategy so long as they meet basic performance demands set by the federal government such as ensuring good results for the United Russia party. In all four regions, governments consult actively with local business associations whereas organized labor is weak. However, the absence of effective institutions to enforce commitments undertaken by government and its social partners undermines regional capacity to use social policy as a basis for long-term economic development.