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Federal Bargaining in Russia: Regional Politics in the Urals

Bondarenko, Oleksiy (2022) Federal Bargaining in Russia: Regional Politics in the Urals. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.96882) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:96882)

Language: English

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This thesis examines how informal institutions operate in federal relations and how they affect the dynamics of federal bargaining in contemporary Russia. In addressing these issues, the research considers how elite groups and networks operating in centre-region relations were bonded together by a complex network of vertical and horizontal ties and interactions. On the one hand informal rules of the game played a complementary role and have been instrumental to the construction and consolidation of a centralized and vertical system of governance, integrating the sub-national level into a bureaucratic hierarchy. On the other hand, however, the overreliance on informal rules and personalistic interaction between central and local elite networks and within the regional polity, played a substitutive role, deeply affecting the capacity of the centre to effectively exercise control over the regions.

The research is rooted in the re-conceptualization of the notion of the federal process and relies on two case studies and the analysis of a specific, network-based, elite management model that emerged over the last twenty years and affected formal and informal resources available to regional leaders (governors). The paradox of the Russian centralized federal system identified in this work is associated with the inherent weaknesses of regional governors that makes them unable to function as an effective transmission belt between regional and federal interests. This leaves space for the operation of a plethora of different interest groups and networks within the regional polity, tempering vertical integration and control. The thesis argues that beneath the seemingly consolidated centralized system of subordination, the role of horizontal forces and the specific constellation of actors and interests creates a complex framework of asymmetric interaction that shapes the contours of regional politics and centre-region bargaining. Control is mainly exercised through manual interventionism and short-term risk aversion tactics that renders the system of federal relations more susceptible to the pressure of endogenous and exogenous shocks.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Sakwa, Richard
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.96882
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2022 14:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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