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.
Widespread acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines is crucial for achieving sufficient immunization coverage to end the global pandemic, yet few studies have investigated COVID-19 vaccination attitudes in lower-income countries, where large-scale vaccination is just beginning. We analyze COVID-19 vaccine acceptance across 15 survey samples covering 10 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia, Africa and South America, Russia (an upper-middle-income country) and the United States, including a total of 44,260 individuals. We find considerably higher willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine in our LMIC samples (mean 80.3%; median 78%; range 30.1 percentage points) compared with the United States (mean 64.6%) and Russia (mean 30.4%). Vaccine acceptance in LMICs is primarily explained by an interest in personal protection against COVID-19, while concern about side effects is the most common reason for hesitancy. Health workers are the most trusted sources of guidance about COVID-19 vaccines. Evidence from this sample of LMICs suggests that prioritizing vaccine distribution to the Global South should yield high returns in advancing global immunization coverage. Vaccination campaigns should focus on translating the high levels of stated acceptance into actual uptake. Messages highlighting vaccine efficacy and safety, delivered by healthcare workers, could be effective for addressing any remaining hesitancy in the analyzed LMICs.
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.
Following the literature on variety of capitalism, this chapter discusses the general trends in the evolution of models of capitalism with special focus on developmental state as specific form of organized capitalism. Key advantages, drivers, and challenges of the current liberal phase of global capitalism are considered. Attention is paid to the contradictions between opportunistic incentives of global market players and limits of national-level organized capitalism. The necessity of new global governance mechanisms is argued. However, such mechanisms of global governance can emerge only in response to serious threats for the global order. New ideas for development shared by elites and broader social groups in major developed and developing countries is another crucial precondition for emergence of new global governance architecture to foster international cooperation in response to all challenges faced by humankind now.
This paper provides comprehensive empirical evidence on political connections of Russian corporations based on a sample of companies for the period 2011–2015 (divided into subsamples before and after the events in Ukraine). Based on a unique database, the study (1) evaluates how common political connections are for Russian corporate environment, and (2) investigates the impact of political connections on firm value through an event study. The research shows that 27% of Russian corporations from the sample had the top officials of Russia as directors, and 43% of corporations were found to be politically connected on the basis of either state ownership or directorship. Political connections are unevenly distributed among industries, and regulated industries are more heavily politicized. Aviation, oil & gas, and banking were the most politically connected sectors of the Russian economy. The event study showed that political connections have a value-destructive total effect which is statistically significant and robust. Generally, the stock market responds to announcements of political connections with a drop in share prices by 1.34% on average within 5 trading days. Different groups of stakeholders exert different impacts on firm value. The most negative influence on firm value is that of politically connected owners. The stock market reacts to acquisitions of shares by politically connected owners with a drop in stock prices by 1.82% within 5 trading days, and with a drop in stock prices by 4.3% when the politically connected owners were individuals. The negative value effect of political connections strengthened after the events in Ukraine.