3 Country Bio: Russia Population: Territory: Year of Independence: 142.4 millionTerritory:6.593 sq. milesYear of Independence:1991Year of Current Constitution:1993Head of State:President Vladimir Vladimirovich PutinHead of Government:Premier Mikhail Efimovich FradkovLanguage:Russian, other languages of ethnic nationalitiesReligion:Russian Orthodox 70-80%; Other Christian 1-2%; Muslim 8-9%; Buddhist 0.6%; Jewish 0.3%
4 Background: Rebuilding the Russian State Sustainability of Russia’s great power status is tenuous.Putin’s policiesDiminishing the realm of free association outside the state“resource curse”High levels of corruption, low accountability, and low investment in human capitalSevere demographic crisisMortality rates, particularly among adult malesLow birthratesNet loss of close to a million people per yearGrave threat to Russia’s national security and economic viability
5 Current Policy Challenges Putin elected March 2000Undertook a steady effort to rebuild state powerAttacked the power of the so-called oligarchsWeakened the independence of the chief executives of the country’s regions (the governors) establishing new federal districts overseen by presidentially appointed representativesSecured power to dismiss governors for violations of the lawRemoving them as ex-officio members of the upper chamber of the parliamentHigh levels of support early for his “managed democracy”
6 Current Policy Challenges But now referenced by some as “sovereign democracy”Chain of commandAccountabilityMay conflict with state sovereignty
7 Current Policy Challenges Only partially successful in achieving his goalsRole of oil has helpedSome of his actions (suppression of the independent media and the state’s takeover of the assets of the oil company Yukos) have discouraged business investment and fueled capital flight.Reliance on intimidation/removal of rivalsEnd result: has undercut democratic checks and balances on central power; over-centralization
8 Historical Legacies The Tsarist Regime The Communist Revolution and the Soviet OrderLeninStalinMikhail GorbachevGlasnostPolitical institutions of the transition period: Demise of the USSRPolitical institutions of the transition period: Russia
10 The Contemporary Constitutional Order 1993 constitution combined elements of presidentialism and parliamentarismSeparation of executive, legislative, and judicial branchesFederal division of power between the central and regional levels of governmentGave the president wide power
12 The Contemporary Constitutional Order: The Presidency President appoints the prime minister and the rest of governmentHas the right to issue presidential decrees, which have the force of lawPrime minister primarily responsible for economic and social policyPresident directly oversees the ministries and other bodies concerned with coercion, law enforcement, and state security
13 The Contemporary Constitutional Order: The Presidency President can dissolve parliament or dismiss the governmentHead of state and commander of chiefSecurity Council – chaired by the presidentFormulates policy in foreign & defense areas and moreState Council – heads of regional governmentsPublic Chamber- created by Putin in 2005Made up of 126 members from selected civic, sports, artistic, and other NGOSPurpose to deliberate on matters of public policyMay, along with other “councils” diminish the role of Parliament
14 The Contemporary Constitutional Order: The Government Refers to the senior echelon of leadership in the executive branchCharged with formulating the main lines of national policyEspecially economic and socialCorresponds to the Cabinet in Western parliamentary systemsNot a party governmentPresident Putin appoint Fradko, a relatively obscure figure as prime minister
15 The Contemporary Constitutional Order: The Parliament Federal Assembly is bicameralLower house: State DumaUpper house: Federation CouncilLegislation originates in the DumaFederal Council can then only pass it, reject it, or reject it and call for the formation of an agreement commission to iron out differences.If the Duma rejects the upper house’s changes, it can override the Federation Council by a two-thirds vote and send the bill directly to the president.
17 The Contemporary Constitutional Order: The Parliament When the bill has cleared parliament, it goes to the president for signature.If the president refuses to sign the bill, it returns to the Duma.The Duma may pass it with his amendments or it may override the president’s veto with a two-thirds vote.The Federation Council must then also approve the bill, by a simple majority if it approves the president’s amendments or by a two-thirds vote if it chooses to override the president.Legislative electionsPro-Putin party: United Russia
18 The Contemporary Constitutional Order: The Parliament CommitteesFederal Council: designed as an instrument of federalismExecutive-legislative relationsYeltsin yearsPutin: power shifted away from parliament
19 The Contemporary Constitutional Order: The Constitutional Court 1993 Constitution provides for judicial review by the Constitutional CourtUnder Putin, the court has taken care to avoid crossing the president.Putin wishes to move the seat of the Court to St. Petersburg.Goal to marginalize it politicallyCentral Government and regionsEthnic republic guard their special statusChechnia-independenceBeslan20 other ethnic republics; accord with RussiaMunicipalities
20 Russian Political Culture in the Post-Soviet Period Produce of centuries of autocratic ruleRapid, but uneven improvement in education and living standardsExposure to Western standards of political lifeResult: contradictory bundle of values in contemporary political cultureSturdy core of democratic valuesFirm belief in the need for a strong stateDisillusionment with democratization and market reform in RussiaSupport individual rights, but less so for unpopular minoritiesNostalgia for the old order and aspirations for a better futureSurveys suggest the citizens have little faith in the current political systemPutin
23 Russian Political Culture in the Post-Soviet Period Political socializationEducationIdeological content has changedChurchMass mediaOverall, much less subject to direct state control than it was in the Soviet era
24 Political Participation The importance of social capitalScare in RussiaParticipation in civic activity has been extremely limited.Weakness of intermediate associationsSince the late 1980s, political participation, apart from voting, has seen a brief, intense surge followed by a protracted ebb.Not psychologically disengaged or socially isolatedHalf the Russian population reports reading national newspapers regularly or sometimes and discussing problems of the country with friends.Vote in high proportionsPrize the right not to participateShattering of expectations for change
27 Political Participation Elite recruitmentRefers to the institutional processes in a society by which people gain access to positions of influence and responsibilitySoviet regime: Communist Party, nomenklaturaToday, mixture of career types
28 Interest Articulation: Between Statism and Pluralism NGOsElements of corporatismThree examples of associational groupsThe Russian Union of Industrialists and EntrepreneursThe League of Committees of Soldiers’ MothersThe Federation of Independent Trade Unions of RussiaNew Sectors of InterestMany new associationsMore collective action by business and other sectorsMore open bargaining over the details of policy
29 Parties and the Aggregation of Interests Elections and party developmentThe 1989 and 1990 electionsThe 1993 and 1995 electionsThe 1996 presidential electionThe 1999 electionPutin and the 2000 presidential raceThe 2003 and 2004 electionsParty strategies and the social bases of party supportEvolution of the party systemHampered by institutional factors such as the powerful presidencySponsoring shadow leftist or nationalist parties to divide the opposition
36 The Politics of Economic Reform: The Dual Transition StabilizationShock therapyFrom communism to capitalismHeavy commitment of resources to military production in the Soviet Union complicated the task of reform; so does the size of the country
37 The Politics of Economic Reform: The Dual Transition Privatization“Loans for shares”Consequences of privatizationUnsustainable debt trapNo strong institutional framework to support it; no real market economy in placeSocial conditionsSmall minority became wealthy in the 1990sMost people suffered a net declineUnemployment
40 Rule Adjudication: Toward the Rule of Law Gorbachev’s goal: make the Soviet Union a law-governed stateThe ProcuracyComparable to the system of federal and state prosecuting attorneys in the United StatesHas more wide-ranging responsibilities and is organized as a centralized hierarchy headed by the procurator-general
41 Rule Adjudication: Toward the Rule of Law The JudiciaryBench has been relatively weekLip service to judicial independenceUnitary hierarchy: all courts of general jurisdiction are federal courtsCommercial courtsSupreme Commercial Court is both the highest appellate court for its system of courts as well as the source of instruction and direction to lower commercial courts.Judges nominated by the president and confirmed by the Federation CouncilMinistry of Justice oversees the court system; lacks any direct authority over the procuracy
42 Rule Adjudication: Toward the Rule of Law The Bar“Advocates”Comparable to defense attorneys in the U.S.Role has expanded considerably with the spread of the market economyConstitutional AdjudicationCourt established for constitutional review of the official acts of governmentAgain, challenge of presidential authorityUnder Putin, the court has not issued any rulings restricting the president’s power.
43 Rule Adjudication: Toward the Rule of Law Obstacles to the Rule of LawAbuse of legal institutions by political authoritiesCorruptionBribery
44 Russia and the International Community Russia has not fully embraced integration into the international community.Expanded military presence in several former Soviet republicsChechniaPost-communist transition has been difficult and incomplete.
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