Semenov A. V.

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  • 1, 2024

    • Mobilization Momentum and Electoral Results of Party in Power

      The article examines the connection between protests and elections in an authoritarian context. Using the concept of mobilization momentum, the authors attempt to find out whether intensive and massive collective actions on the eve of elections can affect electoral mobilization and support for the “party in power”, and if so, in what direction.

      Based on the modern literature on this topic, the authors identify two alternative models of the possible electoral effect of the mobilization momentum. According to the first model, by breaking through the information blockade and signaling to citizens about the widespread dissatisfaction with the authorities’ policies, intense mass protests contribute to an increase in voters’ turnout and a decrease in support for pro-government forces. According to the second model, such protests may easily increase the electoral performance of the “party in power,” since they often lead to the mobilization of an electorate that is loyal to the ruling circles.

      The authors test these hypotheses against the evidence from the 2011— 2016 parliamentary electoral cycle in Russia using methods of standard multiple linear regression, difference-in-differences and synthetic control. The results are mixed. It appears that the mobilization momentum has a weak electoral effect or even a positive effect on the performance of the “party in power,” but its influence may depend on threshold values: in the most protesting cities, support for the United Russia turns out to be lower than it would be in the absence of the mobilization momentum. At the same time, the findings convincingly demonstrate that the evidence and data from the Russian context, combined with modern methods of analysis, opens up an excellent opportunity for research at the intersection of the spheres of political participation and electoral politics.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2024-112-1-77-97

      Pages: 77-97

  • 2, 2022

    • Factor of Ethnicity in Voting at Local Level in Russia

      Ethnicity, being one of the most important forms of selfidentification, plays a significant role in many political processes, including the electoral process. Many research articles document a systematic relationship between ethnic identity and voting. At the same time, there is a dearth of studies about the concrete mechanisms on how ethnicity and voting are connected at the individual level. The question of their efficiency remains debatable. In the article, based on the materials of the focus group discussions in small towns in five ethnic republics of the Russian Federation, the author analyzes such mechanisms and tries to assess their possible effects in the Russian context.

      The research study shows that the factor of ethnicity is very weak in voting at the local level. Although ethnic identification helps reduce information uncertainty due to the presence of the common cultural markers, these markers are not the only or even the priority basis for electoral choices — the socio-economic agenda and personal qualities of candidates are equally or even more important. Such mechanisms as group pressure and political machines that are driven by ethnicity almost fail to predict electoral behavior. The research findings call into question a number of conclusions based on the crosssectional analysis of aggregated data, indicating that even if ethnicity plays a role in voting, this role is mediated by other factors.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-105-2-102-117

      Pages: 102-117