Russia is a
Divided into 7 federal
districts Name of district
Area Population Federal Administrative
(km²) (2002 est.) subjects center
652,800 38,000,651 18 Moscow
And suffers from
418,500 13,973,252 6 Rostov-on-Don
1,677,900 13,974,466 11 Saint Petersburg
a condition called
Far Eastern Federal
6,215,900 6,692,865 9 Khabarovsk
5,114,800 20,062,938 12 Novosibirsk
Urals Federal District 1,788,900 12,373,926 6 Yekaterinburg
federalism Volga Federal District
President ( Dmitry Medvedev)
Prime Minister ( Vladamir Putin)
Federal Council (upper house of parliament)
Chairman: Sergey Mironov
4 year terms
Separation of Powers…or the lack
of Separation of Powers
The executive branch is
NOT really checked
by the legislative
- After Putin’s decision
to make the Duma
appointed solely by
- The Federal Council also
doesn’t check the executive
because their chairman
owns almost the whole
happens to be Putin’s best
house ( 315/450)
friend… how convenient
But in THEORY
If there was a need to override a presidential
veto… 2/3rd of the Council and 3/4th of the
Duma would need to vote
Federal Council and the Duma
Have the power to
override the council with
Has more powers than a 2/3rds vote
For laws to pass, a vote
of more than half of the
member (176) is required
Party System (in Duma...today)
#4: A Just Russia
#1: United Russia
#2: Communist #3: Liberal Democratic
Party of the Russian Party of Russia
Federation (Gennady - 40/450
- 57/450 Zhirinovsky)
Russian United Democratic Party Yabloko
Led by Sergey Mitrokhin
The Union of Right Forces
Led by Nikita Belykh
How it works: winning candidate requires an
absolute majority of the total vote. If no
candidate secures this majority in the first-round
ballot, then a second-round run off election
must be held three weeks later in which the only
contestants are the two front-running candidates
in the first round
- 6 year terms (starting in 2008)
- Limit is 2 terms
Competitive or non competitive?
Depends on the way you
look at it
Technically election is
competitive but in
the end you always
now who the
winner will be
Constitution of 1993 allows the PRESIDENT
to call for a referendum on important issues
- has happened
- first time occurred before the constitution
- second was held in order to decide who
was for/ against the new constitution
- third (most recent) held in Chechnya
dealing with the development of a regional
“The stifling of
freedoms and the
rolling back of
democratic rights will
mean, among other
things, that the
terrorists will have
As many as ~70% of Russians regret the fall of the
Many see democratic values as remote and unattainable
Fears of authoritarianism strong with Putin’s reign
Most still support Putin due to rise oil prices and as a
result a rise in living standards
Critics of Putin beaten and suppressed; little support
St Petersburg liberals, led by Kudrin and Gref,
emphasize a more free market liberalization
Putin’s main objective is to limit these groups’
influence, and to stand above them
Appointments of Premiers and other high-level
officials tend to not belong to either
Akin to Chinese model - mass line propaganda
and mass movements
Education stress class struggle & international
solidarity to ultra-nationalism
Promotes nationalism & monitors public
Voting, though some are skeptical
about its power
A study of Russian political culture has
produced three conclusions:
People want democracy so long as it
benefits them personally
People are much more concerned with
majority rule than minority rights
Young & educated much more likely to
support democratic values
Political Party affiliation; which party you
support often acts as political cleavage
Age; the young have a higher tendency to
support democratic values, the elderly tend to
support the govt. of old, the USSR
Ideals for the future; one major division is
between those who believe Russia should adopt
a more western approach and those who believe
Russia needs its own culture/tradition
Economic desires; some want a strong govt.
controlling much of the economy, others wish
for a market based economy
Respectable # of people vote; 64.4% voted in
Average Russian is paying less and less attention
Many are willing to accept one party system as
values have turned towards individual well being
Though few claim to be members of a party (as
little as .05%), most maintain a level of political
Several political “clans” act as independent
political forces in Russia
The “siloviki” are the most prominent; believe
in a strong state and have a distaste for the
wealth and influence acquired by Russia’s
Led to revision of history and education to
show Soviet system in a more positive light
In a 2007 poll, nearly two-thirds of voting age
Russians don’t believe elections will be honestly
Nearly half say if they do vote, it’ll be out of
Kremlin controlled legislature, media, and
agencies maintain that the country has a reliable
Largely controlled by the government
Predominantly promotes United Russia party
while minimizing appeal for opposition
United Russia platform called Putin’ Plan does
not discuss any real issues, simply conveys that
“Putin’s Plan is Russia’s Victory”
Media machine in Russia consistently report Putin to
have popularity rating of ~65%
Say that parties matter, when in fact most have little real
influence thanks to United Russia party and Putin
Some parties are Kremlin controlled pseudo-
opposition groups designed to siphon votes away
from independent organizations
Citizenship / Social Rep.
~140 million people 79.8% Russian, 3.8%
Tatar, 2% Ukranian, 1.2%
Growth rate: -.465%
Bashkir, 1.1% Chuvash &
(about 650,000 12.1% unspecified
people per year)
Male to Female
Ratio: .85M / 1 Fm
Citizenship / Social Rep.
Most governmental structures are dominated by
Constitution of 1993 attempts to minimize distinction
between federal and non-federal
The republics, territories, oblasts, and cities of federal
designation are held to be "equal in their relations with
the federal agencies of state power”
Represents an attempt to end the complaints of the
non-republic jurisdictions about their inferior status
Processes of Democratization
• Russia has a dual executive, (president and Prime Minister)
• There is a direct election of the president. The prime minister is
elected by the president but must be approved by the lower
house of the parliament (State Duma)
• The is a bicameral legislation. Upper house (Federation Council)
appointed by heads of regional executive and representative
• The Lower house (State Duma) chosen by direct election until
• Democratic centralism- mandated a hierarchical
party structure in which leaders were elected
from below, with freedom of discussion until a
decision was taken, but strict discipline was
required in implementing party policy.
• The concept of vanguard party governed the
Bolsheviks relations with broader social forces:
party leaders claimed that they understood the
interests of the working people better than the
people did themselves.
During Stalin Revolution
collectivization- campaign that was justified as a
means of preventing the emergence of a new
capitalist class in the country side but it actually
targeted the peasantry as a whole, leading to
widespread famine and the death of millions.
Collapse of USSR
• On August 19, 1991, a coalition of conservatives
tried an attempt of a coup d'état. The failed
coup proved to be the death knell of the Soviet
system. Boris Yeltsin declared himself the true
champion of democratic values and Russian
• USSR fell and leaders of Ukraine and Belorussia
declared freedom. In December of 1991, the
Russian Federation stepped as independent.
Rise of Democracy
• Yeltsin quickly proclaimed his commitment to
Western-stlye democracy and market economic
reform, marking a radical turn from the Soviet
• The new Russian constitution failed to reach
consensus of exectuvie and legislative branch.
• New elections in 1993 after a bloody turnover
occurred and a consituitional referendum in
December 1993. It was adopted by a narrow
margin of voters.
• In 1999, Yeltsin nominated a surprise candidate
to the post of prime minister of Russia. Vladimir
Putin, a former KGB.
• Later Yeltsin was unable to carry out power in
December of 1999 and resigned as president of
• Russia is apart of NATO. Democracy in Russia
is under concern.
• Many reforms have been introduced and a lot of
controversy recently is being stirred up.
Russia continues to seek new forms of collective
identity. They are no longer a superpower.
Dominance of Western economic and political
models and the absence of a widely accepted
ideology have contributed to Russia’s growth
and fit in this world as a whole.
Political and Economic
• Under the USSR command economy, land,
factories and all other important economic
assets belonged to the state.
• Short and long term economic plans defined
• Environmental quality and ecologival goals
deteriorated under Soviet rule. Energy intensity
surged after the fall of USSR
• Firms and individuals are now allowed to
develop links to foreign partners.
• Now businesses are allowed to have foreign relationships
and the economy has boomed.
• The downside was that Russian consumer goods were
low by international standards which denied access to
many advances available in Western industrial society.
• Despite all these disadvantages, they had rapid
industrialization, provision of social welfare, and mass
education, relatively low levels of inequality.
• Only after the fall of USSR did fundamental economic
change take place.
State and Economy in the
• In 1992, Yeltsin endorsed radical market reform,
sometimes referred to as shock therapy because of the
radical rupture it implied for the economy.
• Four main pillars of reform were:
1. The lifting of price controls
2. Encouragement of small private businesses
3. The privatization of most state-owned enterprises
4. Opening the economy to international influences.
State & Economy
• Many obstacles were faced by this new economy with high
unemployment and high prices.
• In 1994 joint-stock companies were transformed. The most
widely adopted method for privatizing state enterprises gave
managers and workers of the enterprise the right to acquire a
controlling packet of shares.
• Each citizen of Russia was issued a privatization voucher with a
nominal value of 10,000 rubles (10 US dollars).
• This allowed Russians to acquire shares.
Insider Privatization placed substantial obstacles
to reform of business operations because it
made managers reluctant to increase efficiency
by firing excess labor, which kept work
The Russian mafia came around as wealthy and
powerful people became targets for them.
Russia’s economy became known as a pyramid
debt. This is when a situation when a
government or organization takes on debt
obligations at progressively higher rates of
interest in order to pay off existing debt.
Economic Reform and Russian
Woman still endure many of the same hardships form which
they suffered in USSR.
They continue to have household responsibilities etc. Many
woman take advantage of three year maternity leave.
Social impacts of economic stress led to higher crime rates,
suicide, and alcoholism.
Birth rate has declined in Russia and the population is
decreasing. Immigration into Russia has declined as well.
The decline in Russians population has been tempered by
Russia in the Global Economy
Russia has become a more global figure since
the end of USSR.
Russia has problems attracting foreign
Russia’s position in the international political
economy remains undetermined.
Governance and Policy making
Russia’s leadership endorsed liberal democratic
principles as the basis of its new political
Disagreement over the status of Russian
democracy and its future form the backdrop for
our examination of Russian state structures and
The New Russian State
• There is competitive elections in Russia. But the power is in the
prime minister and presidents hands.
• The constitutuion establishes a semipresidential system, formally
resembling the French system, but with stronger exectuve power.
President holds primary power.
• President is elected directly every four years. Mikhail Fradkov
was elected prime minister after Putin became president in 2004.
• The new Russian state inherited a large bureaucratic apparatus.
• The downsize of executive bureaucratic apparatus was
• Patron-client networks, which were important in the Soviet
period, continue to play a key role in both the presidential
administration and other state organs. These linkages are similar
to old-boy networks in the West.
• Siloviki- Russian politicians and gov. officials drawn from
security and intelligence agencies and put under Putin in the
Asymmetrical federalism is giving different
regions varying privileges.
Power vertical is a concept that involves the
strengthening of an integrated structure of
executive power from the top level down
through to the local level.
UN/UN security Council
IMF (International Monetary Fund)
World Bank meetings with Russia
APEC ( Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)
Public Policy and Current Issues
Population and Migration
Merger with British Petroleum
Recent Economic Performance
Unemployment rate decreases
13.1% below the poverty line
Inflation rate decreases
National Debt increases
Debt is mostly to the US
GDP -1.477 trillion
Alcohol abuse in Russia
Infant Mortality Rate
Medvedev’s push for sobriety
Poverty 13.1% below poverty line
Suffrage at 18
Equal Rights for everyone
Freedom of speech
Freedom of religion
Due process and fair trial
Freedom to vote
Putin impedes certain liberties
Population and Migration
Russia’s declining population
Birth rate/death rate
British Petroleum and Russian Oil ( Rosneft)
merged two weeks ago
This gave BP the right to drill for oil in Russia’s
Gives Rosneft 5% of BP shares and the use of BP’s
technology and skill.
Suicide Bombers in Moscow
Terrorist groups that
attack Moscow are
from this general