Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines governance in Russia using policy ideas as an analytical lens and the case of family policy. Following the definition of the ideational process as a "discourse," Russian governance is viewed as three discursive layers: the president, ministerial bureaucracy, and regional and local levels. This system—represented in our original "nested model of discoursive governance"—involves: intensive communicative discourse from the president as he seeks to legitimize policy in the eyes of the public and provide signals to officials; a vigorous coordinative discourse at the middle level, where officials and experts negotiate their ideas; and a local discourse in which political communication and technical coordination coexist and involve (besides officials and experts) members of the public through the "collaborative" and "protest-induced" routes. The study reveals the mechanism of flexible governance, which is associated with the partial accommodation of different ideational positions.

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