¹ 2, 2017
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the post-Soviet countries carried out policy reforms largely within the framework of the technocratic model. The transformation projects were elaborated and partly implemented by the groups of professionals under the mandate granted to them by the political leadership. The latter sought to consolidate its monopoly over decision-making and assessing reform projects realization, “isolating” their content from the impact of public opinion. The article is devoted to a critical analysis of the technocratic model of policy in the post-Soviet Eurasia of the 1990—2010s. The author focuses on the political and institutional constraints associated with the influence of vested interests and mechanisms of functioning of the state apparatus. The final part of the article discusses alternatives to the technocratic model, the prospects for their implementation and the potential effect.
¹ 3, 2016
Why are some countries governed much more poorly than one might expect judging by their degree of socio-economic development? In particular, why are most countries of post-Soviet Eurasia, according to numerous international evaluations of quality of state governance, similar to underdeveloped Third World countries and lagging behind their post-Communist counterparts in Eastern Europe? In search for answers to these questions, V.Gel’man refers to the analysis of factors and mechanisms that explain the formation of “bad governance” in post-Soviet Eurasia. The article discusses such explanations of this development as “legacy of the past”, dynamics of regime changes and international influence. The author considers possible ways and means to overcome “bad governance” and provides suggestions for further research of this phenomenon.
¹ 4, 2014
In order to answer the question of whether key socio-economic changes can be implemented successfully under the conditions of electoral authoritarianism, V.Gel’man and A.Starodubtsev turn to the analysis of the Russian experience of the 2000s. The study conducted by the authors shows that, despite the existence of opportunities for authoritarian modernization, its implementation encounters a number of political and institutional constraints, including the poor quality of the state apparatus and inefficiency of institutional design. The authors conclude that under the regimes of electoral authoritarianism the success of an innovative policy is determined by three interrelated factors: (1) strategic priority of reforms in the eyes of a country’s president; (2) focused implementation of these reforms by their proponents within certain ministerial jurisdictions; (3) one-step nature of the reforms and their implementation within a limited time.
¹ 4, 2012
Nowadays almost none of the serious-minded specialists uses the term “democracy” when talking about the situation in Russia. According to the opinion of many experts, the political regime that was established in the country should be qualified as electoral authoritarianism. What are the key parameters of the Russian version of such regime type, reasons for its emergence, mechanisms of its sustainment and possible trajectories of changes? Searching for answers to these questions V.Gel’man analyzes institutional and political factors that are responsible for the rise and consequent decline of the Russian electoral authoritarianism, considers main stages of its establishment and development, discusses variants and prospects of its transformation.
¹ 2, 2010
The article attempts to review the “informal institutionalization” in Russia from both theoretical and comparative perspective and critically analyze some explanations of the prevalence of the “subversive” institutions in the country i.e. norms and regulations that at first sight partly resemble the modern democratic institutions, but in reality inhibit the development of the latter. Having clearly demonstrated the comprehensive character of the factors that cause this pathology being one of the manifestations of the “institutional traps”, V.Gel’man draws a conclusion that neither long-term therapy in the form of the socio-cultural evolution nor radical surgical intervention taking shape of the political regime change guarantee overcoming of its effects and what is more, might even aggravate them.
¹ 4, 2001
The Other Side of the Garden Ring: the Experience of Political Regional Students in Russia
The author dates the factual beginning of the regional aspects of Russian politics back to 1990-ies. Using works by Russian and foreign researchers he evaluates the ten years experience from both theoretical and comparative prospective. The article covers the analysis of such problems as the federal arrangement of the Russian Federation and relations between the Center and regions, political institutions and political processes at regional level, local self-government in Russia.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Gel’man Vladimir