Contributing to the literature on authoritarian elite management, this study explores a puzzle concerned with the elite evolution in Russia’s two ethnic republics, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. The variation of political legacies left by these two republics’ first presidents cannot be addressed using mainstream explanations that are usually considered principal for the Kremlin’s decisionmaking on gubernatorial cadres in Russia. Both Rakhimov and Shaimiev were very successful as political bosses who could effectively deliver electoral votes to the Kremlin and maintain relative social and economic stability within their republics. Yet, toward the end of their political careers, they faced different degrees of freedom in their negotiations with federal elites and had varying degrees of success in ensuring political and economic continuity within their republics. The study instead focuses on the legacies of republican privatization and the institutional dynamics of patronal presidentialism as two alternative explanations for their divergent political outcomes.
This study focuses on the regional effects of new domestic and foreign policies initiated by Russia’s president and the challenging policy dilemmas faced by regional governors since 2012. It analyzes gubernatorial elections held during 2012–2015 to show the increased control over the electoral process and the regional cadre exercised by the Kremlin. It explores the implications of new identity politics and foreign policies advanced from Moscow on regional elites’ place in Russia’s system of power, their governance strategies and political economies. It reviews regional adjustment strategies undertaken in response to Russia’s rising economic problems.
This study uses the 2011 BEEPS survey for the Russian Federation to study factors influencing corruption perceptions in Russian regions. Specifically, the analysis relies on Henry Hale’s theory of patronal presidentialism to explore the effects of the institutional environment and, particularly, of regional political uncertainty, on the perceptions of economic actors embedded in it. The analysis reveals that political instability – when measured by the recent political turnover in the region and the presence of regional inter-elite conflicts – works to increase corruption perceptions among economic actors. These findings support earlier literature on the importance of informal rules and ‘insider entrepreneurship’ in Russia.