¹ 4, 2022
Recruitment of the Governor’s Corps in Contemporary Russia: Evolution of Patronal Networks (2017—2021)
The article presents an attempt to study the structural dynamics of federal-regional political networks in the process of recruiting heads of the regions. The authors focus their attention on the current stage of the evolution of the federal center’s approach towards the formation of the governor’s corps, which began with the change of the team in the presidential administration in the second half of 2016. The theoretical framework of the study is the concepts of patron-client relations and patronal politics. For the empirical testing, the authors employ the apparatus of the Social Network Analysis (SNA), which makes it possible to assess both the political elite itself and the specific influence of individual figures.
The conducted research documents a distinct tendency towards the growing structural complexity of the federal-regional patronal network, when an increasing number of federal actors are directly or indirectly involved in the process of recruiting regional leaders, which entails the formation of new intra-elite connections. However, despite the intensive personnel rotation, the tectonic shifts in the structure of patronage are not visible. The backbone of the network remains unchanged and contains on the stable basis a part of the federal political and economic elite, who looks to the leader of the state and enjoys his support. At the same time, the process of the growing complexity of the patronal network is accompanied by an increase in the importance of the President of the Russian Federation, primarily from the point of view of intra-network coordination, which, according to the authors, indicates a rising demand for such coordination in the modern Russia.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Yu. O.Gaivoronsky