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Šóńńźą˙ āåšńč˙

 
 

Political Jokes

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When Putin Retires...

 

Tension between Reconstitution and Reconcentration

 
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The Development of the Party System (the July 2001 Party Law)

 
Stated aim Practical outcome
  • the development of a viable multi-party system
  • establishing a smaller number of more effective parties

 

  • the restrictions on the type of parties allowed
  • the extremely high entry costs
  • the excessive bureaucracy in registration procedures
  • the close management of the election process
  • the sphere of party politics became manageable
 

The Development of Civil Society

 
Stated aim Practical outcome
  • Civic Chamber, comprised of 126 representatives of civil society, was set up in 2005 to provide a new superstructure for community organizations

  • the organization was given direct access to federal policymakers

  • its brief was to provide expert advice on key state decisions and new legislation of national importance

  • civil society organizations were often treated with suspicion by the authorities

  • in 2005, stricter regulations of NGOs were introduced

  • NGOs had to re-register with the Ministry of Justice and to provide regular financial reports

  • human rights groups were accused of having links with organized crime and working for "the West's money"

  • the "spy rock" diplomatic scandal (January 2006) between Britain and Russia was used as a justification for tougher regulation of NGOs

  • community activism was faced with a choice: either operating within the framework of the new Civic Chamber, or ceasing their activities

 

Challenges Facing President Medvedev

 
  • by the time Putin left the presidency in 2008 democracy in Russia was far from consolidated
  • the diagnosis of its health ranges from “democratic evolution” (optimists) to “failed transition” and “derailed democracy” (pessimists)
  • Putin’s personality-led system of governance is unsustainable in the long run
  • Medvedev will either have to allow greater political pluralism, or make a radical turn towards overt authoritarianism
  • Medvedev’s early rhetoric suggests that he prefers the former path

Sources:

  • Afanasiev, Yury (2009) ‘The End of Russia?’ http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/russia-theme/the-end-of-russia (accessed 6 February 2009).

  • Hedlund, Stefan (2006) ‘Vladimir the Great, Grand Prince of Muscovy: Resurrecting the Russian Service State’, Europe-Asia Studies, 58:5, 775 – 801.

  • Malia, M. (1999) Russia under Western Eyes: From the Bronze Horseman to the Lenin Mausoleum (Cambridge, MA, Belknap).

  • Pipes, R. (1974) Russia under the Old Regime (New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons).

  • Sakwa, Richard (2008) 'Putin's Leadership: Character and Consequences', Europe-Asia Studies, 60:6, 879 — 897.

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