Russia, political system, democratization
In the 1990s, Russia seemed to be a good example of the disadvantages of federalism in times of transition. Several republics that were ethnic-based challenged the central government which appeared not to be able to counter their sovereignty claims. Since the elections carried out in 2000, regional prerogatives have been significantly curtailed (Neilson, 2006).
Over the past ten years, democratization research has increasingly shown the challenges that come with the territorial organization of the state. From this point of view, questions about inter-regional and minority rights, and federalism creates more uncertainty to already complex negotiations over the look of the new political order. The transition involves major economic and political reforms in Russia. In addition, the federal systems add to the stakeholders bargaining over the distribution and disposition of state assets. Federal systems structured along ethnic and territorial lines may have problems with regime transition since it may put the future of the state in jeopardy.
[...] The second was emphasis on the need for a strong nation. The third is readiness to ignore and circumscribe to the democratic wishes of the masses when they seem to be in conflicting with the state interests. The disintergration of the Soviet Union did not lead to a civil war. It resulted to the economic collapse and many soviet masses depended on food parcels from abroad during the 1990 winter (Stephen & Jeffrey, 1997). Democracy was enjoyed for about two years between 1991 and 1993. [...]
[...] He was convinced that any form of political and social structure, whatever name it bore- a republic or despotism, boiled down to the same thing. In the final analysis they come down to one and the same form, an oligarchy. Political parties emerged in the national arena after autocracy reluctantly allowed a consultative assembly, the Duma, to represent to the peoples voices in 1906. Fedor Rybakov believed that political parties can create a herd mentality amongst the electorate that would serve to channel unstable and undiscriminating emotions of crowds and individuals towards certain strategic goals and certain forms of action. [...]
[...] He relies on the Great Russian nationalism as a glue to implement his ideas is evidence enough that the Russian political system is indeed oligarchy and not democracy. Putin has inculcated into the masses the notion that Russia's authoritarian tradition is morally similar to democratic western traditions. His ardent supporters argue that Russians treasure a strong state, security and economic growth more than democracy or human rights which are not part of the Russian history (Neilson, 2006). To understand why Putin's managed democracy has an appeal, it is important to consider the legacy of communism as much as the destabilizing capability of democracy. [...]
[...] Their earlier belief that humans were fundamentally rational and capable of discharging civic and political responsibilities increasingly gave way to pessimistic view. Human beings in the grip of destructive and dark impulses the could not recognize or control themselves. The level of disorder convinced many liberal Russians that what democracy promised was violence and chaos, complete civil collapse and destruction of the fruits of Russian civilization. Reformers who might have previously respected classical liberalism envision of individual rights and political liberty, found these touchstones to be very problematic in the context of early 20th-century Russian community. [...]
[...] The nature of regional sovereignty is also an important element. In fact, regional sovereignty was regulated (regions were not able to formulate and implement policies in key areas without any dependence on the central government). From this dimension, region in the Russian federation faced a lot of central challenges (Thurston, 1996). The privileges these regions had won were limited in scope and was influenced by political battles at the central government. With the battles subsiding, the regional prerogatives subsided too, and the federal government imposed additional less obvious challenges. [...]
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