Regionalism, Federalism and the Russian Elections

Working Papers

Published By


February 1996

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Political stability in Russia requires greater coordination between national and regional interests. Both national elites and regional elites depend on one another to get into and remain in power. To date, their relationship has been a competitive zero-sum one. The President has tried every kind of force to bring the regions under his control. In turn, governors persistently exploit the President when he is least able to control them.

Neither parties nor legislative institutions exist to communicate regional interests at the national level. This encourages regional leaders to press their concerns directly on the federal administration, and also deprives parties of regional support. If regional leaders' demands could be channeled through the party system, fewer demands would be placed directly on the federal administration, and relations between regions and center would become less zero-sum.

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