Coordination, Subordination and Control in Russian Territorial Governance

In: Russian Politics
Andrey Starodubtsev Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki; National Research University Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg

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The article analyzes the current model of intergovernmental relations in Russia and explains how it was formed in the 2000s, as well as demonstrating its effects in one sphere of public administration, namely education. Based on theoretical perspectives on the expected and unexpected effects of decentralization, authoritarian politicians’ motives and central governments’ strategies aimed at overcoming the principal-agency problem, the author hypothesizes that decentralization realized under the conditions of an authoritarian government in geographically, ethnically and economically complex societies produces a kind of trap. Concentration on administrative decentralization intensifies the principal-agent problem while the authoritarian rulers’ interests limit the potential for employing effective means to overcome it.

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