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Elusive Russia

Current Developments in Russian State Identity and Institutional Reform under President Putin

Ria Laenen, Katlijn Malfliet (eds)

Publication Year: 2007

Since President Putin came to power, Russia's domestic political process underwent continuous changes. Up till now it remains unclear whether Russia is on the road towards becoming a fullfledged democracy or if it is diverting from this path. Elusive Russia brings together the views of four leading Russia experts on Russian state identity and institutional reform. Marie Mendras, Luke March, Irina Busygina and Andrei Zakharov share their original approaches on some key components of today's russian politics and bring their own perspective to the complex and ongoing process of Russia's nation and state building. They address urgent questions that relate to Russia's post-Soviet democratization process. In which way has the relationship between the legislative and executive branches of power been developing? How has Russia conceptualized itself as a federal state? How strong is the nationalist component in today's Russian politics? Which concept of the Rule of Law finds its resonance in Russia's state structures? Although Russia seems to remain an elusive entity according to the concepts of Western political sciences, this volume aims to shed some light on the ongoing political developments by offering a 'status questionis'.

Published by: Leuven University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4

Table of Contents

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p. 5-5

List of Abbreviations

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p. 6-6

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pp. 7-12

Today we find ourselves in the middle of a vigorous debate on the ontology of the Russian state. Is Russia gradually developing towards a democratic state organization and can we conclude, as Andrei Shleifer does in his latest book, that Russia is a “normal” half-developed democracy?1 ...

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Authority and Identity in Russia

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pp. 13-32

The question of the state is central in Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, ruling elites gave more attention to economic restructuring and to power-building than to a profound reform of the state organization. With privatizations and the new market conditions, the state and its organs appeared to be an outmoded system of rule ...

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Russian Nationalism under Putin: A Majority Faith?

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pp. 33-52

Judging by much coverage, Russian nationalism is the story of contemporary Russian politics. Indeed, a “humiliated” former superpower beset by rampaging crime and appalling socio-economic problems has seemed at times a prime candidate for succumbing either to Yugoslav-style ethnic conflict or a “Weimar” scenario with revanchist forces threatening to win via the ballot box.1 ...

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The Outcomes of a Decade of Federal Reforms in Russia and the Newest Developments

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pp. 53-72

In Russia as well as in other countries in transition, where federalism has been chosen as the organising principle of political relations between the centre and the regions, federalism in itself represents a special and extremely important dimension of transition. The basics of the federal order were created under President Yeltsin. ...

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The Russian Parliament and the Presidency of Vladimir Putin

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pp. 73-84

Analysing the Russian political system is at the same time easy and difficult. The problem is easy to solve insofar as the core feature of the Russian political system at present is its mono-subject-ness and, hence, simplicity; the Russian political arena is a one-man stage for a solo performance. ...

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pp. 85-88

Why is it so difficult to find a common language with Russia? Through the sequence of EU-Russia summits in the framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement the disillusion of the European Union became difficult to hide. Even if the European Union sees its relationship with Russia as a “pragmatic partnership”, ...

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About the Authors

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pp. 89-90

Irina Busygina is Professor and Director of the Center for Regional Political Studies at MGIMO at the School of Political Science of MGIMO (Moscow). Professor Busygina’s research focuses on Russian and German federalism, centerperiphery relations from the Russian and European perspective, regional identity and regional policy. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9789461660206
Print-ISBN-13: 9789058676085

Page Count: 90
Publication Year: 2007