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Janet Elise Johnson Brooklyn College, CUNY

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1 Janet Elise Johnson Brooklyn College, CUNY Johnson@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Russia’s dual state Janet Elise Johnson Brooklyn College, CUNY Presented June 13, 2011 at the AP reading for Comp GoPo

2 Objectives PRACTICAL To update information about Russia
To introduce a potentially useful theoretical framework for understanding Russia NORMATIVE To illustrate how to integrate social justice concerns MORE SPECULATIVE To suggest some radical ways to begin to reimagine comparative politics Objectives Janet Elise

3 censored last Thursday by EP for restricting opposiition rights
Upcoming “elections” in Russia Duma elections scheduled for December 2011 Presidential elections for March 2012  “Democratic recession” around the globe since 2008* Moving beyond the transition paradigm thicker concept of democracy: electoral democracy vs. constitutional liberalism many states in the grey zone: “hybrid regimes” and “soft authoritarianism” ? Context Janet Elise *Larry Diamond “Democracy Rollback,” Foreign Affairs

4 The basic way I teach comparative political institutions*
POLITICAL SOCIETY STATE Executive Bureaucracy Judiciary Military and Intelligence Parliaments Parties Elections CIVIL SOCIETY Key organizations and their prominence Conditions for civil society: independence of the media Protection of civil liberties Corrup-tion *thanks to Jean C. Robinson

5 The dual state like 1930s Germany where a prerogative state that exercised power arbitrarily and without constraints existed alongside a constitutional state legitimacy is rooted in constitutionalism, but a parallel Byzantine parapolitics of factions & informal groups not just de facto vs. de jure, but paraconstitutionalism consolidated through Putin’s modernization program to “normalize” the Yeltsin period

6 1. Executive-parliamentary relations
most obvious example of dual state: Putin’s 2008 move from Pres to PM Putin’s commitment to a modernizing project and the letter of the constitution vs. his commitment to governance rooted in Russian traditions result: what Russians call tandemocracy* power sharing between Putin and Medvedev since 2008 elections based on a personal agreement important disagreements 1. Executive-parliamentary relations *Perhaps the “The Team” for the oligarchy see Janet Elise

7 Semi-presidential Superexecutive
Constitution: Duma must approve president’s PM nominee Typical categorization by comparative politics textbooks a form of government in which presidents are more than just figureheads but are ultimately subordinate to the parliament Costs of rejecting nominee three times precipitates dissolution Fish (2000): superpresidentialism huge apparatus of executive power presidential control of the purse presidential decrees almost impossible impeachment little legislative oversight little judicial oversight Janet Elise

8 Neither or both? Failure of constitutional liberalism or lack of a spirit of constitutionalism? Janet Elise

9 2. The media Freedom of expression No freedom of the press*
def: freedom to say what you want independent small audience media proliferating: print dailies and weeklies, smaller TV stations, blogs, etc. def: ability to hold the govt accountable govt take over of national TV stations no live political talk shows or political satire biased coverage of terrorism and Chechnya mysterious contract killings of journalists 2. The media Janet Elise *Masha Lipman & Michael McFaul in After Putin’s Russia (2010)

10 3. Dual system of law Rule by law Not rule of law Putin strengthened
qualifications accountability accessibility police now must get search warrants more jury trials & jurors becoming activists “telephone justice” FSB getting acquittals reversed, not allowing jury trials, going after defense attorneys 1/5 ECHR cases are from Russia (pays fines, but no policy change) Khodorkovksy just won $35,000 for rights abuse 3. Dual system of law Janet Elise

11 4. “Parallel parliaments”*
Duma primary legislature elected through PR w/ 7% threshold Federation Council represents regions Public Chamber (2005) forum for policy discussion members chosen by Putin State Council (2000) 7 governors chosen by Kremlin 4. “Parallel parliaments”* Janet Elise *Thomas Remington in After Putin’s Russia (2010)

12 5. Parties and elections But, dominant party system secured through
Elections where multiple parties win President Duma mayors But, dominant party system secured through loyal majority since 2000s, supramajority since 2003 Party of power (United Russia) throughout country change electoral rules to eliminate regional powers direct control of Fed Council justified through war on terrorism 5. Parties and elections Duality: Creation of “loyal opposition” Janet Elise

13 6. “Imitation civil society”*
many NGOs remain untouched protests have increased, especially regarding social issues some have even succeeded Public Chamber channels and funds favored NGOs Kremlin-supported groups such as Nashi etc. 6. “Imitation civil society”* Janet Elise *Masha Lipman

14 7. Fake federalism Asymmetric ethnofederalism
Power vertical by siloviki 7 federal districts/supergovernors appted FC with a lot of Kremlin input appted governors with a lot of Kremlin input United Russia as a superparty and banning regional political parties changing to PR (over FPTP) nationally and regionally constitution but chaotic decentralization under Yeltsin bilateral treaties ad hoc “brown areas” 7. Fake federalism Janet Elise

15 8. Dual economy all companies have two sets of books
appearance of transparency for FDI but then use shell companies, off-shore banking, etc. two ways of doing things: legally and through bribes 8. Dual economy Janet Elise

16 Regime type: democratic, hybrid, or authoritarianism
Regime type: democratic, hybrid, or authoritarianism? “Authoritarian democracy”* *several AP Comp GoPo students, Q8, 2011, who aren’t getting credit for assessing the regime type of Russia Janet Elise

17 Intersectional consequences
Intersectional consequences Janet Elise

18 Women in formal politics
Interparliamentary Union, Janet Elise

19 a. Gender more women in formal politics women dominate NGO sector
facilitated by transnational women’s movement pressures and European supranational institutions but in the parallel universe siloviki dominate KGB-like strategies: compromat national identity fostered through homophobic masculinity (muzhik) Janet Elise

20 b. +Social class Parallel universe control by all male oligarchs
just as corrupt as before, if not more so huge rich/poor gap disastrous working age male mortality but women entrepreneurship and increased state paternalism: crisis centers + maternity capital “Accessible Surroundings” for the disabled b. +Social class Janet Elise

21 Responsible man campaign
Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity, 2008 (Moscow Times) Health like a habit, 2008 Responsible man campaign Janet Elise

22 c. +Race: Chechnya Grozny 2007-9 Janet Elise Johnson@brooklyn.cuny.edu
c. +Race: Chechnya Janet Elise

23 parallel universe Pres. Khadyrov veiling by paintball, 2011
veiling by paintball, 2011

24 Corrupting the accountability mechanisms of democracy, but not unconstitutional Undermining institutions by making personalistic despite the temporary stability/growth Janet Elise

25 Implications move beyond transition theory:
use “hybrid” countries as at the model not the West isn’t dual system also at work in Western countries? financial crisis created by unelected officials the virtual finance economy dwarfs the real economy not bribe-paying, not clientalism, mostly perfectly legal Implications Janet Elise

26 gendered consequences: Iceland
male architects of financial crisis undermined the most powerful women’s policy agency in the world but then: government collapse, replaced with a gender balanced government, 40% quota for corp boards by 2012* Women’s Strike 2010 gendered consequences: Iceland *http://www.thenation.com/signup/158279?destination=article/158279/most-feminist-place-world Janet Elise

27 Janet Elise Johnson@brooklyn.cuny.edu

28 Can we really think about politics anywhere without the parallel universe?
Janet Elise


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