№ 3, 2022
The article is devoted to the analysis of the dynamics and factors that explain resignations of regional party leaders in Russia via the example of the United Russia and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). The authors studied rotations of the leaders of the above mentioned parties’ regional branches and revealed the general logic of this process, documenting important differences in its intensity. Possessing limited resources, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation does not seek to frequently replace its first secretaries in the regions; on the contrary, the turnover within the regional organizations of the United Russia is extremely active. The authors found a correlation between personnel turnover in the United Russia and electoral cycles, with federal elections having a more profound effect on them than regional ones. In the recent years, resignations after elections have become a priority choice, while earlier, during the formation of the United Russia party network, replacements often took place during the preparation of election campaigns.
In turn, the regression analysis has revealed only an unstable influence on the removal from office of regional leaders of Russian parties of external and internal factors, usually identified by researchers of Western democracies, including the results obtained by these parties in the elections. One possible explanation for this finding, according to the authors, could lie in the high importance of intra-party patron-client networks, the analysis of which is hampered by the difficulties with data verification. Another reason is the impact of the principles of personnel selection, set by the central party leadership, on the turnover. This influence is especially clear-cut in the United Russia that in the recent years has relied on the combination of the posts of regional party leaders and governors, the practice that was previously discouraged. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which is experiencing a shortage of personnel, is more likely to demonstrate a tendency towards conserving the party leadership. Therefore, the replacement of party secretaries in the CPRF is more often due to the advanced age or death of the former leader, as well as internal conflicts.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ R. F.Turovsky