Elusive Russia

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

Katlijn Malfliet
Ria Laenen
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 90
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qdzz1
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  • Book Info
    Elusive Russia
    Book Description:

    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'.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-020-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. 7-12)
    Katlijn Malfliet and Ria Laenen
  4. AUTHORITY AND IDENTITY IN RUSSIA
    (pp. 13-32)
    Marie Mendras

    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 that would impede reforms if given too much weight. Since he became President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has claimed to restore the power and centralizing function of the state. In fact, he is strengthening his office and his own presidential administration at...

  5. RUSSIAN NATIONALISM UNDER PUTIN: A MAJORITY FAITH?
    (pp. 33-52)
    Luke March

    Judging by much coverage, Russian nationalism isthestory 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 Latterly Putin’s regime has demonstrated ostensibly “nationalistic” features both domestically and internationally, with its ham-fisted involvement in the Ukrainian “Orange Revolution” one of the most obvious examples.

    Yet despite assertive nationalistic rhetoric at times appearing thelingua francaof Russian domestic and foreign policy, it is...

  6. FEDERALISM IN RUSSIA: OUTCOMES OF THE DECADE 1993 - 2003 AND THE NEWEST DEVELOPMENTS
    (pp. 53-72)
    Irina Busygina

    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. However, some urgent problems were not addressed. Moreover, the federal order developed with severe distortions during the 1990s. The era of President Putin started with reforms of the relations between the centre and periphery. New institutions were created, while other institutions’ roles in Russia’s political system changed. The “new”...

  7. The Russian Parliament and the Presidency of Vladimir Putin
    (pp. 73-84)
    Andrei Zakharov

    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. In structural terms, Putin’s mono-centrism is much less complicated than was Yeltsin’s. There are currently no political forces in the country that are capable of talking with the President as an equal, and, hence, the political landscape is extremely primitive.

    At the same time, making this analysis is difficult because the...

  8. CONCLUSION: ELUSIVE RUSSIA ? HOW TO UNDERSTAND TODAY’S RUSSIA ?
    (pp. 85-88)
    Katlijn Malfliet and Ria Laenen

    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”, trying to retain the dialogue and to seek progress through positive incentives rather than negative sanctions and punitive measures. And even if the European Union strongly believes in its peaceful image as a civilian power, Russia remains difficult to understand as a partner.

    How can we come to a...

  9. ABOUT THE AUTHORS
    (pp. 89-90)