Russia Can you name the Russian/Soviet leaders of the 20th century?
Introduction to Russia • The Superpowers • Economic, Political, Social and Cultural patterns • Collapse in 1991 • Russian Federation
New Constitution • Yeltsin – 1st President of Russian Federation • “Shock Therapy” • Competitive elections • Putin – elected 2000; election 2007 • Russia = unpredictable
The Sources of Public Authority and political power • 20th century public authority and political power emanated from one place: the Politburo of the Communist Party. • Today’s new government structure has questionable legitimacy
Legitimacy • Marxism-Leninism provided the legitimacy base for the party, with its ideology of democratic centralism, or rule by a few for the benefit of the many. • Stalinism changed the regime to totalitarianism, a more complete, invasive form of strong-man rule than the tsars ever were able to implement. • The reformers: Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev • Constitution of 1993 • 2000 presidential transition from Yeltsin to Putin
Historical legacies • Several legacies from Russian history shape the modern political system: • Absolute, centralized rule • Extensive cultural heterogeneity • Slavophile v. westernizer • Revolutions of the 20th century
Political Culture • Russia's political culture has been shaped by its geographic setting, cultural orientation, and conflicting attitudes toward the state. • Geographical Setting • Eastern Orthodoxy • Equality of result, not equality of • Hostility toward the Government • The importance of nationality
Political Change • History categorized by three distinct periods: • A long period of autocratic rule by tsars • 20th century rule by the Communist Party • Abrupt regime change to democracy and a free market in 1991
Tsarist Rule • Western Influence • 19th century tsars
Revolution of 1917 – Lenin and Stalin • Lenin and the Bolsheviks • Stalinism • Collectivism and Industrialization • Stalin’s foreign policy • The purges
Reforms under Khruschev and Gorbachev • De-Stalinization • “peaceful co-existence” • Brezhnev • Gorbachev
Glasnost • This term translates from the Russian as "openness," and it allowed more open discussion of political, social and economic issues as well as open criticism of the government. Although this reform was applauded by western nations, it caused many problems for Gorbachev. After so many years of repression, people vented hostility toward the government that encouraged open revolt, particularly among some of the republics that wanted independence from Soviet control.
Democratization • Gorbachev believed that he could keep the old Soviet structure, including Communist Party control, but at the same time insert a little democracy into the system. • Two such moves included the creation of • 1) a new Congress of People's Deputies with directly elected representatives and • 2) a new position of "President" that was selected by the Congress. • The reforms did bring a bit of democracy. However, many of the new deputies were critical of Gorbachev, increasing the level of discord within the government.
Perestroika • This economic reform was Gorbachev's most radical, and also his least successful. Again, he tried to keep the old Soviet structure, and modernize from within. • Transferred many economic powers held by the central government to private hands and the market economy. • Specific reforms included authorization of some privately owned companies, penalties for underperforming state factories, leasing of farm land outside the collective farms, price reforms, and encouragement of joint ventures with foreign companies.
Failed Coup and the Revolution of 1991 • Popular protests • Yeltsin • Independence of Republics
Russian Federation 1991-present • Constitution of 1993 • Duma • Constitutional Council • Putin
Society and Politics • Nationality • Federation v. autonomous regions • Chechnya • Religion • Social Class • Rural v. Urban
Citizen and State • Beliefs and attitudes • Mistrust of the government • Statism • Economic beliefs • westernization
Political Participation • Voting close to 100% during Soviet Rule • Until Gorbachev elections were not competitive • Duma Elections lower turnout
Political Framework • Federal government structure • Eighty-nine regions • “republics” • Centralized federation
Parties • Parties often revolve around leaders • Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) • Unity • Yabloko • Union of Right Forces • Fatherland – All Russia • Liberal Democrats
Elections • The Russian political system supports three types of national votes: • Referendum • Duma Elections • Presidential elections
Interest Groups • Interest groups were not formally allowed in the Soviet Union. • Market capitalism suddenly replaced centralized economic control in 1991. • Those that bought the state-owned industries were generally insiders (members of the nomenclatura) who have since become quite wealthy. • This collection of oligarchs may be defined loosely as an interest group because they have been a major influence on the policy-making process during the formative years of the Russian Federation.
The Oligarchy • Boris Berezovsky • Putin has shown some resistance to oligarchic control. • Gusinsky • Both Berezovsky and Gusinsky are now in exile, but they still have close political and economic connections in Russia.
The Russian Mafia • Interest group controls much more than underworld crime. • Like the oligarchs, they gained control during the chaotic time after the Revolution of 1991, and they control local businesses, natural resources, and banks. • In Russia's past, lawlessness has been dealt with by repressive, authoritarian rule, and these groups represent a major threat to the survival of the new democracy.
Government Institutions • President and Prime Minister • Bicameral Legislature • Duma • Federation Council • The Judiciary • The Military
Public Policy and Current Issues • The Economy • Foreign Affairs • Civil Society
Terms to know Nomenklatura Oligarchy Politburo Putin “shock therapy” Slavophile Stalinism Totalitarianism Tsars Yabloko Yeltisin • Bosheviks • Chechnya • Collectivization • Democratic centralism • Duma • Federation Council • Five Year Plans • General secretary • Kulaks • Marxism • Mensheviks *Information in the above presentation adapted from “Comparative Government and Politics” by Ethel Wood.