How do Russian leaders balance the need to decentralize governance in a socially and politically complex country with the need to guarantee political control of the state?
Since the early 2000s Russian federal authorities have arranged a system of political control on regional elites and their leaders, providing a "police control" of special bodies subordinated by the federal center on policy implementation in the regions. Different mechanisms of fiscal federalism and investment policy have been used to ensure regional elites’ loyalty and a politically centralized but administratively decentralized system has been created.
Asking clear, direct, and theoretically informed questions about the relationship between federalism, decentralization and authoritarianism, this book explores the political survival of authoritarian leaders, the determinants of policy formulation, and theories of federalism and decentralization, to reach a new understanding of territorial governance in contemporary Russia. As such, it is an important work for students and researchers in Russian studies and regional and federal studies.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Tertius gaudens: what is wrong with Russian federalism?
Chapter 2. Why has regional development in Russia failed?
Chapter 3. Who, how, when and how much? Factors of Redistribution of Intergovernmental Transfers in Russia
Chapter 4. Decentralize but not federalize: coordination, subordination and control in Russian territorial governance
Andrey Starodubtsev is a postdoctoral researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland. He collaborates with the Center for Modernization Studies, European University at St Petersburg and the Department of Political Science, National Research University Higher School of Economics - St Petersburg, Russia. His expertise covers the issues of federalism and regional policy as well as the problems of governance and modernization in contemporary Russia.
"This book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of post-Soviet Russian development. It is the first to explain Putin’s ability to dominate the regions through an analysis of political, financial, and administrative tools. Crucially, it highlights the stresses inherent to the system due to uncertainties of outcomes, information, and institutions." - Robert W. Orttung, George Washington University, USA
"Two central arguments of Federalism and Regional Policy in Contemporary Russia are that the territorial dimension has fateful significance for Russian politics and that Russian intergovernmental relations are strongly affected by the political uncertainty of electoral authoritarianism. The book provides exciting theoretical and empirical material for scholars who wish to access the impact intergovernmental relations on government policies in Russia." - Mikhail Filippov, Binghamton University, NY, USA