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The nation of RUSSIA TODAY Comparative Government Presentation By Brian Godfrey.

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1 The nation of RUSSIA TODAY Comparative Government Presentation By Brian Godfrey

2 Understanding Geography Largest Country on Earth. Largest Country on Earth. Many different ethnicities. Many different ethnicities. Russian Federation = regional/state powers. Russian Federation = regional/state powers. Very few warm water ports. Especially during winter, ice makes navigation difficult or impossible. Historically, Russia has aimed to conquer countries that have blocked Russian access to the sea. Very few warm water ports. Especially during winter, ice makes navigation difficult or impossible. Historically, Russia has aimed to conquer countries that have blocked Russian access to the sea. Many natural resources- including oil, gas, and timber. Many natural resources- including oil, gas, and timber. Geography Continued…

3 Political Map & Neighboring Countries

4 Ethnicities – Russia and Surrounding Areas

5 Understanding Oil and Gas - The EU imports almost half of its natural gas and 30% of its oil from Russia.

6 Legitimacy Historically, based on strong autocratic rule (tsars all the way to dictators) Historically, based on strong autocratic rule (tsars all the way to dictators) Under communist rule, Marxism- Leninism provided the legitimacy base for the party, with its ideology of democratic centralism- rule by few for the benefit of many Under communist rule, Marxism- Leninism provided the legitimacy base for the party, with its ideology of democratic centralism- rule by few for the benefit of many Today, the Constitution of 1993 represents a Western-style system of legitimacy Today, the Constitution of 1993 represents a Western-style system of legitimacy

7 Historical Influences on Political Traditions Absolute, Centralized Rule- From tsars to Soviets. Necessary to protect against Huns, Vikings, Mongols. Absolute, Centralized Rule- From tsars to Soviets. Necessary to protect against Huns, Vikings, Mongols. Extensive cultural heterogeneity-changing border in a vast area=many ethnicities. Extensive cultural heterogeneity-changing border in a vast area=many ethnicities. Slavophile v. Westernizer- “lover of Slavs.” Distinctly different culture from that of mainly Western Europe. Slavophile v. Westernizer- “lover of Slavs.” Distinctly different culture from that of mainly Western Europe. Revoultions of the 20 th century- Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized power in 1917 and communism begins. In 1991, U.S.S.R. dissolves in a second revolution, and democracy begins. Revoultions of the 20 th century- Lenin’s Bolsheviks seized power in 1917 and communism begins. In 1991, U.S.S.R. dissolves in a second revolution, and democracy begins.

8 Political Culture Russia’s political culture has been shaped by its geographic setting, cultural orientation, and confliction attitudes toward the state. Russia’s political culture has been shaped by its geographic setting, cultural orientation, and confliction attitudes toward the state. Geographic Setting Geographic Setting Eastern Orthodoxy Eastern Orthodoxy Equality of Result (contrasted to Equality of Opportunity) Equality of Result (contrasted to Equality of Opportunity) Skepticism about Power Skepticism about Power Importance of Nationality Importance of Nationality Also Lack of Democratic Values, Generational Issues, And not a lot of experience with democracy

9 Russian Federation Present The Constitution of 1993 created a 3-branch Gov’t, with a President, Prime Minister, lower legislature called the Duma, and a Constitutional Court. The Constitution of 1993 created a 3-branch Gov’t, with a President, Prime Minister, lower legislature called the Duma, and a Constitutional Court. Yeltsin, the first President of Russia, brought about reforms, but was somewhat ineffective due to conflicts with the Duma, alcoholism, and persistent illness. He resigned before the 2000 election, making then-Prime Minister Vladmir Putin the new President. Yeltsin, the first President of Russia, brought about reforms, but was somewhat ineffective due to conflicts with the Duma, alcoholism, and persistent illness. He resigned before the 2000 election, making then-Prime Minister Vladmir Putin the new President. Putin Continued…

10 VLADMIR PUTIN Many believe he has retreated significantly from the commitments that Yeltsin made for a democratic system. Many believe he has retreated significantly from the commitments that Yeltsin made for a democratic system. Resigned as President at the end of 2 nd term, but by remaining as Prime Minister, there is little doubt he still controls considerable influence in Russia. Resigned as President at the end of 2 nd term, but by remaining as Prime Minister, there is little doubt he still controls considerable influence in Russia.

11 Dmitri Medvedev- President Present United Russia Party United Russia Party Won with more than 70% of the vote in 2008, as did Putin in Won with more than 70% of the vote in 2008, as did Putin in 2004.

12 Cleavages Consequently, Russia has “autonomous regions” whose borders are based on ethnicity. Consequently, Russia has “autonomous regions” whose borders are based on ethnicity. The region of Chechnya, primarily Muslim, has fought for years for freedom. The region of Chechnya, primarily Muslim, has fought for years for freedom. Nationality: 80% are Russians- Also Tatars, Ukrainians, Armenians, Chuvashes, Bashkis, Byelorussians, Moldavians.

13 Cleavages Cont. Religion Tsarist Russia all ‘Russian Orthodox’ Tsarist Russia all ‘Russian Orthodox’ U.S.S.R. prohibited religious practices U.S.S.R. prohibited religious practices Yeltsin encouraged reestablishment of Russian Orthodox Church Yeltsin encouraged reestablishment of Russian Orthodox Church Today, very few citizens attend Russian Orthodox services—a legacy of Soviet Rule. Today, very few citizens attend Russian Orthodox services—a legacy of Soviet Rule. No clear conflict between religious v. nonreligious today No clear conflict between religious v. nonreligious today Also Catholics, Jews, Protestants Also Catholics, Jews, Protestants Rapid rise in Islam! Rapid rise in Islam!

14 Cleavages Cont. Social Class Classes Substantially destroyed during Soviet Era Classes Substantially destroyed during Soviet Era There was formerly a cleavage between communist party members and non- members. There was formerly a cleavage between communist party members and non- members. Russia is still today more egalitarian Russia is still today more egalitarian Today, a new socio-economic class of entrepreneurs is developing: newly wealthy Russians. Today, a new socio-economic class of entrepreneurs is developing: newly wealthy Russians.

15 Cleavages Cont. Rural / Urban conflict About 73% of all Russians live in cities About 73% of all Russians live in cities City dwellers more likely to be educated and in touch with western culture, and generally are better off financially City dwellers more likely to be educated and in touch with western culture, and generally are better off financially

16 BELIEFS AND ATTITUDES Mistrust of Government- Low levels of participation in interest groups, unions, etc.! Although there is a high level of approval for Putin, most Russian officials have considerably low popularity. Mistrust of Government- Low levels of participation in interest groups, unions, etc.! Although there is a high level of approval for Putin, most Russian officials have considerably low popularity. Statism- Russian citizens still expect the state to take an active role in their lives. Statism- Russian citizens still expect the state to take an active role in their lives. Economic beliefs- Most Russians support economic reform. However, the divide between rapid / significant privatization and reform is wide. Economic beliefs- Most Russians support economic reform. However, the divide between rapid / significant privatization and reform is wide. Westernization- Divided concept. Some favor nationalism and a conservative state, while others favor reform and “Westernization” (integration into int’l world & trade). Westernization- Divided concept. Some favor nationalism and a conservative state, while others favor reform and “Westernization” (integration into int’l world & trade).

17 Political Participation During Soviet Era: voting near 100% because it was forced. During Soviet Era: voting near 100% because it was forced. With 2008 economic crisis: there is much dissatisfaction with current gov’t (as in the U.S.) With 2008 economic crisis: there is much dissatisfaction with current gov’t (as in the U.S.) Since 1991 voter turnout rates in Russia have been higher than the United States! Since 1991 voter turnout rates in Russia have been higher than the United States! Turnout in presidential election of 2008 was almost 70%. Turnout in presidential election of 2008 was almost 70%.

18 Civil Society Other than voting, political participation is low. Other than voting, political participation is low. Relatively undeveloped civil society Relatively undeveloped civil society Only about 1% report belonging to a party. Few attend church, clubs, charitable org’s, etc. Only about 1% report belonging to a party. Few attend church, clubs, charitable org’s, etc. Since Gorbachev’s glasnost, civil society has been allowed to emerge, albeit slowly. Since Gorbachev’s glasnost, civil society has been allowed to emerge, albeit slowly. Soviets used state corporatist approach. Soviets used state corporatist approach.

19 Political Institutions Current parties, elections, and institutions of gov’t are all new, fluid, and likely to change. (Russia only since 1990’s!) Though gov’t and politics are beginning to settle in. Current parties, elections, and institutions of gov’t are all new, fluid, and likely to change. (Russia only since 1990’s!) Though gov’t and politics are beginning to settle in. Russia is a Federation with strong central power Russia is a Federation with strong central power 89 Regions, 21 are ethnically non-Russian by majority 89 Regions, 21 are ethnically non-Russian by majority Some regions are much stronger than others, so power is devolved unequally across the country, a condition called asymmetric federalism. Some regions are much stronger than others, so power is devolved unequally across the country, a condition called asymmetric federalism.

20 Parties United Russia (pro-Putin) United Russia (pro-Putin) The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) Liberal Democrats Liberal Democrats Fair Russia Fair Russia Yabloko (reformist) Yabloko (reformist) Union of Right Forces (reformist) Union of Right Forces (reformist) Duma Elections of 2007…

21 Duma Legislature Elections of 2007 United Russia- 315 Seats, 70% of seats. United Russia- 315 Seats, 70% of seats. Communist Party- 57 Seats, 12.7% of seats. Communist Party- 57 Seats, 12.7% of seats. Liberal Dems- 40 Seats, 8.9% Liberal Dems- 40 Seats, 8.9% Fair Russia- 38 Seats, 8.4% Fair Russia- 38 Seats, 8.4% All other parties- 0 Seats All other parties- 0 Seats

22 Elections Referendum Referendum Duma Elections Duma Elections Presidential Elections Presidential Elections

23 Interest Groups & State Corporatism Much of Russia’s megawealthy control the country, they are the Oligarchy. Through various means they control/own media outlets, newspapers, politicians, etc. They have considerable influence in Russian policymaking. Much of Russia’s megawealthy control the country, they are the Oligarchy. Through various means they control/own media outlets, newspapers, politicians, etc. They have considerable influence in Russian policymaking. Putin has resisted the Oligarchy somewhat: in 2003 Mikhail Khodorvsky, the richest man in Russia, CEO of Yukos Oil Company, was arrested. Putin has resisted the Oligarchy somewhat: in 2003 Mikhail Khodorvsky, the richest man in Russia, CEO of Yukos Oil Company, was arrested. Continued on next slide…

24 Interest Groups & State Corporatism Medvedev was Chairman of Gazprom (natural gas) before President of Russia. Gazprom is mostly controlled by Russian Gov’t. Medvedev was Chairman of Gazprom (natural gas) before President of Russia. Gazprom is mostly controlled by Russian Gov’t. Under Putin’s leadership state corporatism has become well established. Under Putin’s leadership state corporatism has become well established. State-owned automobile, aircraft, shipbuilding, nuclear power, diamonds, and other industries State-owned automobile, aircraft, shipbuilding, nuclear power, diamonds, and other industries Either gov’t controlled companies or Putin-loyal companies are the beneficiaries- This is an arrangement known as insider privatization. Either gov’t controlled companies or Putin-loyal companies are the beneficiaries- This is an arrangement known as insider privatization. Russian Mafia = large and in charge! Russian Mafia = large and in charge!

25 The President and Prime Minister Head of State (Prez) Head of Gov’t (PM) Head of State (Prez) Head of Gov’t (PM) While Putin President, the position became substantially more dominant. While Putin President, the position became substantially more dominant. Now that Putin is PM, the relationship is changing again. Now that Putin is PM, the relationship is changing again.Continued…

26 President has the Power to: Appoint the Prime Minister and cabinet Appoint the Prime Minister and cabinet Issue decrees that have the force of law Issue decrees that have the force of law Dissolve the Duma Dissolve the Duma VERY STRONG EXECUTIVE

27 Legislature Weak check on Executive Power Weak check on Executive Power Lower house, Duma – 450 by proportional representation. Very weak body. Lower house, Duma – 450 by proportional representation. Very weak body. Upper house, Federation Council – 2 members of each of 89 federal units (like our Senate) mainly has the power to delay legislation. Upper house, Federation Council – 2 members of each of 89 federal units (like our Senate) mainly has the power to delay legislation.

28 Judiciary Constitutional Court Constitutional Court 19 Members, appointed by President 19 Members, appointed by President Didn’t cross Putin Didn’t cross Putin Many attorneys were trained under Soviet rule, meaning a lack of expertise makes carrying out the responsibilities of Constitution difficult Many attorneys were trained under Soviet rule, meaning a lack of expertise makes carrying out the responsibilities of Constitution difficult

29 Economy Issue: how much of the centralized planning economy should be eliminated, and how should the market economy be handled? Issue: how much of the centralized planning economy should be eliminated, and how should the market economy be handled? Between 1997 and 2007 Russian economy steadily improved, but suffered when oil prices plummeted in Between 1997 and 2007 Russian economy steadily improved, but suffered when oil prices plummeted in Today Russia’s economy fueled by its huge oil and gas reserves, by mostly state run/owned corporations. Today Russia’s economy fueled by its huge oil and gas reserves, by mostly state run/owned corporations. Medvedev is aiming to diversify economy and improve infrastructure, innovation, investment, etc. Medvedev is aiming to diversify economy and improve infrastructure, innovation, investment, etc.

30 THE END


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