Since 2012, with a view to strengthen the development of strategically important regions, Russia has established several federal agencies responsible for these territories. The essay investigates one of these agencies: the Ministry for the Development of the Far East (Ministerstvo Rossiiskoi Federatsii po razvitiyu Dal’nego Vostoka). We identify two main trade-offs associated with the governance approach used in Russia—between federal power and local knowledge, and between bureaucratic expertise and novel ideas—and examine how the ministry has dealt with these trade-offs and their consequences for the ministry’s performance.
Models for converting expert-coded data to estimates of latent concepts assume different data-generating processes (DGPs). In this paper, we simulate ecologically valid data according to different assumptions, and examine the degree to which common methods for aggregating expert-coded data (1) recover true values and (2) construct appropriate coverage intervals. We find that the mean and both hierarchical Aldrich–McKelvey (A–M) scaling and hierarchical item-response theory (IRT) models perform similarly when expert error is low; the hierarchical latent variable models (A-M and IRT) outperform the mean when expert error is high. Hierarchical A–M and IRT models generally perform similarly, although IRT models are often more likely to include true values within their coverage intervals. The median and non-hierarchical latent variable models perform poorly under most assumed DGPs.
This paper investigates the links between investment activity and personal contacts for small and medium-sized firms with public officials at the sub-national level in Russia. A list-experiment design, using a survey of 21,000 Russian firms in 2017, was used to evaluate the importance of personal connections with officials for conducting business. A total of 27% of firms without investment and 37% with investment considered personal connections with officials an important factor for doing business. The importance of such contacts was lower in regions with a better investment climate. However, a higher proportion of firms were likely to invest in the regions where higher importance was placed on political connections. Therefore, in Russia in the mid-2010s, investment from politically connected firms did not crowd out investment from other firms. Although the available data did not allow causality to be defined, the research shows that political connections are important for investors in emerging markets and that the importance of political connections diminishes with improvement in the business climate. This paper provides a quantitative estimate of the relationship between political connections and firm investment in Russia, an example of large emerging economy. This relationship is moderated by institutional quality at the subnational level. The results provide empirical support for the theory of limited access orders elaborated by North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009), and stress the importance of rents and their productive utilization for the development of emerging economies.
A high level of corruption usually constrains economic development in emerging countries. However, anti-corruption campaigns often fail because the relevant policies need to be implemented by existing corrupt governments. This article studies the extent of bureaucrats’ heterogeneity in attitude to the problem of corruption. Due to the sensitivity of direct questions on corruption, we conduct the list experiment among public procurement officials in Russia. We show that female bureaucrats consider corruption an obstacle to public procurement development, and find no such evidence for male bureaucrats. This heterogeneity holds even at the high-level occupied positions. Although the negative attitude to corruption does not necessarily imply the anti-corruption activity by women, recognition of the problem seems to be a prerequisite for supporting an anti-corruption policy.
This paper develops the concept of stolichnaya praktika (‘capital practice’) to understand how centralized power is maintained in contemporary authoritarian and hybrid regimes that face the dual challenges of protracted economic crisis (which limits their use of traditional patronage mechanisms) and the necessity of maintaining a democratic guise (which limits their use of force). The concept is derived from the experience of Russia, where, since the onset of a prolonged economic crisis in 2014, centralization of power is increasingly maintained by demanding that regional elites compete for symbolic—rather than financial—resources for implementing policies. Central authorities instrumentalize Moscow’s expertise, packaging it as a resource available to the regions. Through a case study of the Moscow Housing Renovation program and its proposed federal expansion, the paper conceptualizes stolichnaya praktika as a technology of government that relies on the interplay of the capital and federal scales, simultaneously constructing Moscow’s exceptionalism and reviving the perception of a caring and paternalistic federal state. By seeming to extend an invitation to the regions to emulate the capital, stolichnaya praktika provides top-down policies with a semblance of voluntarism, while actually reinforcing regional dependencies. This study contributes to the burgeoning scholarship on authoritarian urbanism, by shifting empirical attention away from spectacular mega-projects in capital cities to demonstrate how basic urban service provisioning serves as a tool of authoritarian governance, and by excavating how central authorities make regional actors comply with, and locally implement, the center’s political development goals in and through the field of urbanism.
Little is known about the motives of lawyers who provide free legal assistance in countries that lack both a developed professional community and developed institutions related to the rule of law. Based on a survey of 3,317 criminal defense lawyers (advokaty) in 35 regions of Russia, we analyze the provision of two types of free legal services: participation in legal proceedings “on appointment” (po naznacheniyu) and the provision of pro bono legal assistance. We show that work on appointment usually involves lawyers with low social capital and a lack of regular clients. In contrast, pro bono legal assistance is encouraged by lawyers’ organizations. It is typically provided by professionals with a high level of social capital and with values aimed at maintaining an excellent professional reputation. We conclude that the provision of free legal services might best be stimulated within the professional community rather than by the government.
In non-democracies, lawyers face various constraints ranging from the absence of acquittals or violations of their clients’ rights to threats and criminal proceedings against them. Yet, we know little about the working conditions of attorneys’ in authoritarian regimes, and what influences their desire to remain in the profession. Using a survey of attorneys in Russia, our study demonstrates which factors impact the desire to stay in the profession and how self-legitimacy influences these choices. We find that the frequency of violations of their clients’ rights by law enforcement agencies undermines self-legitimacy of attorneys. In turn, this increases the attorneys’ willingness to leave the profession, which is mitigated by two factors. First, attorneys with closer contacts with their colleagues in the regional bar associations are less willing to leave the bar for other career options. Second, when such associations actively exclude their members for violations of professional ethics, bona fide attorneys are more willing to stay. Lastly, we find that the expressed desire of leaving the profession transforms into actual voluntary leave in the following year. These findings have important implications, as attorneys do not only defend their clients but can also influence the political regime, either through the mobilisation of law or engaging into collective actions with their colleagues.
The current article investigates societal indicators associated with economic development that may account for the strong positive correlation between GDP per capita and protest intensity. The authors’ tests reveal that the expansion of democratization, education, and urbanization are one of the main influences accounting for this positive relationship between GDP per capita growth and anti-government protest intensity. Moreover, when controlling for these factors, the relationship between GDP per capita and anti-state protests becomes negative indicating that the forces associated with economic development at a certain point play a larger role than economic growth itself. The results of this study, thus, have implications for both Resource Mobilization and Cultural Theorists due to the fact that further GDP per capita growth becomes an inhibitor of protests in the high-income countries instead of a promoter.
We contribute to research on the democratic role of middle classes. Our paper distinguishes between middle classes emerging autonomously during gradual capitalist development and those fabricated rapidly as part of state-led modernization. To make the case for a conceptual distinction between these groups within one national setting, we employ author-assembled historical district data, survey, and archival materials for pre-Revolutionary Russia and its feudal estates. Our analysis reveals that the bourgeois estate of meshchane covaries with post-communist democratic competitiveness and media freedoms, our proxies of regional democratic variations. We propose two causal pathways explaining the puzzling persistence of social structure despite the Bolsheviks’ leveling ideology and post-communist autocratic consolidation: (a) processes at the juncture of familial channels of human capital transmission and the revolutionaries’ modernization drive and (b) entrepreneurial value transmission outside of state policy. Our findings help refine recent work on political regime orientations of public-sector-dependent societies subjected to authoritarian modernization.
What factors affect citizens’ engagement with the state? We explore this question through a study of victims’ and bystanders’ willingness to report crimes to the police, using data from survey experiments conducted in Russia and Georgia. We find that citizens’ willingness to report in both countries is strongly influenced by the nature of the crime, but not generally by instruments that the state might use to encourage greater reporting. Our results recommend scepticism about the ability of governments to easily engineer citizens’ engagement with the state.
Studies in political demography suggest that there should be a positive correlation between the increased share of youth in the total population (‘youth bulges’) and the intensity of anti-government demonstrations. However, a correlation analysis (without adding any control variables) between the youth bulges and the intensity of non-violent protests demonstrates unexpected results, since in this case we find a statistically significant negativecorrelation. It is shown that this is due to the sociopolitical, sociocultural and economic modernization factors. In the long run, modernization, through a decrease in the birth rate and an increase in life expectancy, leads to the population ageing and reduction in the share of youth in the total adult population, which by itself acts as a factor reducing the intensity of anti-government demonstrations. But, on the other hand, modernization gives rise to other powerful factors, such as democratization, urbanization, and the expansion of formal education, which are more than able to compensate the ‘youth bulge’ decline These theoretical expectations have been confirmed by our tests. After the introduction of respective control variables, ‘youth bulges’ turn out to be a factor increasing the intensity of protests, while without these controls they become a predictor of the relatively low intensity of non-violent protests. Thus, our tests show that a high proportion of young people in the total population, all other things being equal, is nevertheless a factor of the increased intensity of anti-government demonstrations; thus, without a decrease in ‘youth bulges’, modernization would have led to a significantly more pronounced increase in the intensity of non-violent protests.
This paper, based on two surveys of manufacturing enterprises in 2014 and 2018, analyzed the characteristics of enterprises receiving public orders, as well as the dynamics of changes in access to public procurement after tightening external conditions for the Russian economy against the backdrop of international sanctions and the 2014-2015 crisis. The analysis showed that in 2016-2017 in the manufacturing industry, almost half (45%) of large and a third of medium-sized firms had public contracts. However, among the small firms that took part in the survey, only 22% received public contracts, despite the declared policy of supporting small businesses. In contrast to 2013, in the post-crisis period, there were no significant differences in access to public procurement for enterprises with and without state participation. Along with this, the state began to impose more requirements on the disclosure of information on the structure of ownership by enterprises. Membership in business associations gave advantages in access to public procurement for medium and large enterprises, but this effect was absent for small firms. In general, against the background of international sanctions and the crisis of 2014-2015 for all types of enterprises in the post-crisis period, the scheme of complementarity of direct and indirect instruments of state support has been preserved, and for small enterprises, the manifestations of the "model of exchanges" between government and business have become more significant, thus small enterprises providing assistance to the regional and local authorities in the social development of the region, more often received public orders.
В центре внимания данной монографии находятся дестабилизационные процессы, протекающие в модернизирующихся социально-политических системах. Настоящая работа представляет собой попытку учесть, насколько это возможно, влияние демографических, культурных, политических и экономических факторов на дестабилизацию такого рода систем. Монография состоит из трех частей. В первой части рассматриваются теоретические аспекты модернизации стран мир-системной периферии и полупериферии, а также связь модернизационных процессов с дестабилизационными. Во второй части представлены результаты количественного анализа и моделирования социально-политической динамики модернизирующихся систем. Наконец, в третьей части анализируется социально-политическая динамика отдельных стран и регионов. Монография будет интересна не только специалистам, но и всем, кто интересуется дестабилизационными процессами и революциями, их причинами, факторами и механизмами.
This paper evaluates the impact of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and measures of the state anti-crisis policy on the Russian tourism sector, as well as opportunities and directions of its development. The study is based on the results of a series of semi-structured interviews with owners of firms and heads of key business associations in this sector. The analysis showed that, on the one hand, the crisis has exacerbated the problems that have long been brewing in the Russian tourism sector. On the other hand, the shift in demand to domestic market due to restrictions on international travel provides a real opportunity for the development of the domestic tourism segment. Should the federal and regional authorities, in cooperation with the tourism business, use this window of opportunity, it could help provide the necessary incentives for the inflow of investments into the Russian tourism sector and contribute to the socio-economic development of the regions.
This paper considers the evolution of global capitalism in the context of high economic uncertainty and socio-political tensions affecting most countries, using the “varieties of capitalism” approach. It discusses the key advantages and driving forces of the neoliberal model of capitalism as well as the symptoms of its crisis. It argues that broader governmental intervention in the economy, i.e., a transition to “organized capitalism”, will not solve the problem of inequality, which has recently become the main factor of socio-political destabilization. Traditional political institutions of representation and the reconciliation of the interests of large social groups will be not able to solve these problems because such institutions operate at the national level, whereas rising inequality is largely due to the logic of competition in global markets. Only deep cooperation between developed and the main developing countries can produce a proper response to the challenges faced by global capitalism. An important precondition for such cooperation is the ability of national elites in these countries to limit their ambitions. However national elites still do not face strong enough internal and external pressures. As a result, they are not ready to cooperate and search for new ideas and solutions to satisfy broader public interests. Therefore, the move to new forms of global “organized capitalism” will, with high probability, be coupled with new political and armed conflicts and with risks of technological, ecological and epidemic crises.
This article investigates the role of boards in founder-managed firms with concentrated ownership in emerging markets. The literature frequently suggests that in this type of companies, boards have little influence on the corporate decision making. The article conducts a case study of AFK Sistema—a large Russian founder-managed firm with concentrated ownership. We observe that, contrary to the expectations, in this company, the founder provided real authority to the board, at the same time focusing on recruiting independent (mainly foreign) members. Based on this case, we argue that selectively empowering boards in this type of ownership setting could be beneficial for the firm: Selective empowerment is a source of intrinsic motivationfor the independent board members, making them proactively search for new projects and assist in their implementation on behalf of the firm. As a result, the company can overcome a number of important barriers in its development.
What characteristics of firms give them the confidence to invest in settings rife with expropriation by local officials? Empirically, firms in the developing world often face the threat of expropriation from local agents of the state rather than a centralized autocrat. Because policing local officials is costly, the state cannot easily credibly commit to doing so. This has negative consequences for investment. We argue that one solution is to allow firms to approach the state directly to ask for intervention. Not all firms are equally able to successfully get the attention of the state, however, so this mechanism only works for some. We develop an argument about the firm-level characteristics – large-scale employment, political connections, foreign ownership, and business association membership – that should make the central state more attentive to calls for help. Because firm with these characteristics are more likely to secure intervention against predatory bureaucrats, the latter are less likely to try to expropriate them. These firms’ investment decisions should be less sensitive to local expropriation than other firms. We test this argument using data on cases of decentralized expropriation across Russia’s regions and firm-level data from a cross-regional, large scale survey of Russian firms.