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Title: Russian regional political regimes 1991-2005, structural and political resources
Author: Saikkonen, Inga Anna-Liisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 1241
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines the variation in sub-national political regimes in the Russian Federation between 1991 and 2005. The thesis uses a mixed research design, combining a statistical analysis of data from all the Russian regions with two contextual case studies on Kemerovo and Pskov oblasts. Part I of this thesis examines the great variation in electoral regime types that emerged after the institution of gubernatorial elections to the Russian regions in the 1990s. The thesis first outlines the theory behind electoral authoritarian regimes, and the conceptual and empirical differences which separate these regime types from both (electoral) democratic regimes and 'traditional' autocracies. The thesis then operationalises electoral democratic and electoral authoritarian regimes empirically, using indicators drawn from comparative cross-national studies adapted to Russian regional data. The regime categorisation shows that electoral authoritarian regimes formed by far the largest group of political regimes in the Russian regions, but that these regimes also differed in the levels of uncertainty and stability that the elections generated. Part II of the thesis explains the variation in electoral contestation and regime stability within electoral authoritarian regimes in the Russian regions between 1991 and 2005. Electoral authoritarian regimes differ from 'traditional' authoritarian regimes in that they are constrained by formal democratic institutions. Therefore the variation in electoral contestation in Russian sub-national elections cannot be explained by the use of 'traditional' autocratic methods, such as the banning of certain opposition parties or jailing of opposition candidates. This thesis argues that the divergence in electoral authoritarian regime outcomes in the Russian regions reflected strategic elite dynamics. Incumbent advantage is seen based on information control and the incumbent's strategic ability to maintain patronage structures in the regions. This thesis contributes to the growing comparative literature which studies the variation in sub-national regime transitions within large, federal states.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available