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Author: Cameron Ross

Building on earlier work, this text combines theoretical perspectives with empirical work, to provide a comparative analysis of the electoral systems, party systems and governmental systems in the ethnic republics and regions of Russia. It also assesses the impact of these different institutional arrangements on democratization and federalism, moving the focus of research from the national level to the vitally important processes of institution building and democratization at the local level and to the study of federalism in Russia.

Cameron Ross

’s Deputies adopted a series of amendments to the RSFSR Constitution, which raised the status of its sixteen ASSRs to constituent republics of the Russian Federation. In addition, in July 1991, the Russian Supreme Soviet adopted a number of decrees, which, ‘elevated the status of four of Russia’s autonomous oblasts, Adygeya, Gornii Altai, Karachaevo-Cherkessiya and Khakasiya (with the exception of the Jewish autonomous oblast in Siberia), to constituent republics of the federation’.20 This brought the total number of ethnic republics within Russia to twenty. Table 2

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Crafting authoritarian regimes in Russia’s regions and republics
Cameron Ross

shield in their quest to consolidate their various brands of authoritarianism. Moreover, the greater the degree of autonomy given to a federal subject in Russia the greater the degree of authoritarianism we find. Below we discuss the various ways in which presidents and governors have been able to gain a dominant control over their political systems. In particular, we examine the way in which leaders of the ethnic republics have been able to maintain power by manipulating the electoral system. Sartori has described the electoral system as the most specific manipulative

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Open Access (free)
Cameron Ross

, forty-two subjects out of eighty-nine failed to ratify the Constitution. And many of those ethnic republics which had rejected the Constitution soon went a step further, and declared that their own constitutions were to take precedence over the Russian one. Chechnya demanded outright secession and Tatarstan declared that it was only an ‘associate member’ of the federation. Others republics, such as Bashkortostan, Kalmykiya, Sakha and Tyva were able to forge confederal relations with the centre. Since December 1993, federal relations in Russia have largely been

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Cameron Ross

ethnic republics was bought FAD4 10/17/2002 5:43 PM Page 55 From ethnic to legal and economic separatism 55 at a cost – at the cost of undermining the Federal Constitution and the sanctioning of authoritarianism.10 As Furman notes: ‘The federal centre agreed to grant the republics more rights than the Russian provinces, allowing them to develop into ‘vassal kingdoms’ in whose internal affairs Moscow did not interfere as long as they regularly paid Yeltsin their ‘tribute’ in the form of votes – which they did in every important federal election’.11 We discuss

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Open Access (free)
Cameron Ross

federations that are constitutionally symmetrical are mononational.47 The Russian Federation is the largest multinational country in the world incorporating 128 officially recognised ethnic groups and nationalities. As box 1.1 shows there are 89 federal subjects, 57 of which are territorially defined entities, and 32 of which are ethnically defined, including 21 ethnic republics and 11 national autonomies. Thus, it is hardly surprising that Russia is also constitutionally asymmetrical. However, as Smith notes, it is not asymmetry per se, but rather, the extent of Russia

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Open Access (free)
Cameron Ross

families of the envoys. As Hyde notes, by the mid-1990s, ‘Some representatives came to fulfill a function better described as representative of the regions to the centre’.3 Indeed, in 1997 the situation was so bad that the Kremlin was forced to replace 60 per cent of its representatives because of fears that ‘their loyalty had been co-opted by the regional power elites’.4 We should also note that the legislation setting up the presidential representatives was aimed at the regions and not the ethnic republics, many of which were able to escape the imposition of Yeltsin

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Cameron Ross

resolutions gave special federal dispensations and exemptions to fourteen republics in the form of export quotas, licences and special resource rights’.40 And it was the ethnic republics which gained the most privileges from the bilateral treaties which they signed with Moscow. In 1992 one trillion roubles was allocated to the regions from the federal budget. However, an examination of those fifteen regions that received more from the federal budget than they contributed to it, showed that almost all of them (except Kamchatka) were republics or autonomous entities. As

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia
Open Access (free)
Reflections in a distorting mirror
Christoph Zürcher

chain reaction all over the Caucasus and probably reaching the ethnic republics in Siberia and the Volga regions. The international community and, certainly, states which themselves have fought a war against ‘falling dominoes’ tend to meet this argument with understanding. However, this line of reasoning fails any empirical test. The first Chechen war, although won by the Chechens, has not produced a

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
Cameron Ross

subject the greater the level of authoritarianism. As we discuss in chapter 9, it is in the ethnic republics, granted most autonomy by the Constitution, that we find most violations, and also the highest levels of authoritarianism. Rights of sovereignty, self-determination and secession In this section I analyse the constitutions as first promulgated in the early 1990s before the substantial revisions which have taken place since the FAD3 10/17/2002 36 5:42 PM Page 36 Federalism and democratisation in Russia inauguration of President Putin in 2000. Putin’s reform

in Federalism and democratisation in Russia