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DOMINATION, POWER AND AUTHORITY IN RUSSIA: THE BASIC CHARACTERISTICS AND FORMS. Valeri G. LEDYAEV. Regime in Russia. Authoritarian Semi-authoritarian Democracy with adjectives Deformed democracy Illiberal democracy Delegative democracy Manipulative democracy. idea:.

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domination power and authority in russia the basic characteristics and forms

DOMINATION, POWER AND AUTHORITY IN RUSSIA: THE BASIC CHARACTERISTICS AND FORMS

Valeri G. LEDYAEV

regime in russia
Regime in Russia
  • Authoritarian
  • Semi-authoritarian
  • Democracy with adjectives
  • Deformed democracy
  • Illiberal democracy
  • Delegative democracy
  • Manipulative democracy
slide3
idea:
  • Explanation of power in Russia based on a set of terms and distinctions developed by the scholars in their analytical and conceptual studies of power and its forms
basic power concepts
BASIC POWER CONCEPTS
  • POWER
  • DEFINING PROPERTIES OF POWER (power holder, power subject, ability, intention, conflict, outcome of power, responsibility, etc.)
  • FORMS OF POWER (force, coercion, persuasion, manipulation, authority)
  • RESOURCES OF POWER
  • EFFECTIVENESS OF POWER
  • DOMINATION
three sections
THREE SECTIONS:
  • DOMINATION (who has power, who dominates?)
  • FORMS OF POWER (how power is exercised?)
  • EFFECTIVENESS OF POWER (what are the effects of power?)
slide6
Domination exists where power is structured into the stable and enduring social relations that regularly benefit dominating groups.:

Two basic defining properties of domination:

(1) ongoing (recurrent) character of power relations,

(2) benefits of dominating agents and losses of the dominated.

different types of domination in western democracies and the ussr
Different types of domination in western democracies and the USSR
  • In western democracies domination is usually attributed to business (capitalist) class -owners and top-level managers in large income-producing properties
  • Domination of the party-state officials (bureaucracy) in Communist Russia and Soviet-type systems
who dominated in modern russia
Who dominated in modern Russia?
  • Administrative class or capitalist class?
  • Yeltsin’s regime: “oligarchy”
  • Modern regime: “bureaucratic authoritarianism”
domination of the administrative class in russia arguments
DOMINATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CLASS in Russia: arguments
  • Russia has traditionally been ‘political’ society in contrast to ‘economic’ societies in Europe;
  • The expansion of state (administrative, bureaucratic) control of society;
domination of the administrative class bases and arguments
DOMINATION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CLASS (bases and arguments):
  • Weakness of the Russian legal system supports officeholders’ opportunism, inspires frequent changes in the (formal and informal) rules of the game and limits the possibilities of society to influence and control the process of government;
  • Corruption = redistribution of public goods in favor of administrative class;
  • Business opportunities of bureaucracy.
ideological bases of domination
Ideological bases of domination
  • In 1990-s administrative class supported the ideology of economic liberalism with its emphasis on “minimal state” to justify privatization and accumulation of capital; in 2000-s it turned to a conservative ideology to defend the existing social order;
  • In 2000-s a particular set of values (ideas) have been intensively instilled into peoples minds by the Russian power elite and become widely accepted by the population (‘Great Power’, ‘strong state’, ‘order’, ‘stability’, ‘governmentability’, ‘traditional way of life’ etc.).
the decline of political influence by corporate business
The decline of political influence by corporate business
  • a new pattern of relationships of corporate business with federal authorities (‘equal distance’, ‘ravnoudaleniye’);
  • formalization and institutionalization of relationships between the power elite and the business community: business organizations become more dependent on Kremlin;
  • Controlling agencies are used to enforce business compliance;
  • the Russian business class is not popular within the society and cannot successfully appeal to public opinion
the effect of systemic business power seems lower in russia than in developed capitalist countries
The effect of systemic business power seems lower in Russia than in developed capitalist) countries
  • investment risks are still very high;
  • growth of the state property undermines the role of private capital;
  • the ruling elite has its own resources (“administrative resource”) becomes the most effective instrument in the electoral campaigns in Russia);
  • voting behavior does not necessarily reflect economic performance of the government.
merging of administrative and business elites
“merging” of administrative and business elites
  • Membership in the administrative class is usually the key factor of business success of “bureaucratic capitalists” but not (necessarily) vice versa.
  • The existing order can benefit business and/or other social groups but they have no power to change it
ii forms of power
II. FORMS OF POWER
  • Basic forms of power: force, coercion, inducement, persuasion, manipulation authority.
  • normative ideal of liberal democracy: (1) legal authority (in cases when power is ascribed to particular state structures and state officeholders) and (2) persuasion (in relations between equal agents or agencies not formally subjected to each other).
  • Russia: legal authority plays a limited role in the power structure of Russian society.
authority
Authority
  • Personal authority has always played a major role in Russian politics:
  • increases the effectiveness of state power;
  • this does not increase the authority of the state itself;
  • decreases the legal authority of state institutions;
  • strong personal authority allows its bearers to change the rules of the game.
force and coercion
Force and coercion
  • Ineffective legal authority is usually compensated by force and coercion, both legal and illegal.
  • application of force and (especially) coercion usually does not require a large amount of material resources;
  • ‘simple’ (plain) solution;
  • the shortage of legal norms (laws).
force and coercion1
Force and coercion
  • Arbitrary use of physical force and/or threat of force by the ‘rule-protecting’ agencies (public prosecution office, police, FSB, courts, etc.) and ‘controlling’ agencies (tax police, ecological and fire departments, and so on)
  • Strengthening the political regime decreases the necessity of direct applications of force in politics.
inducement
Inducement
  • In Russian political practice inducement (like coercion) is actively used to ‘compensate’ for ineffective legal authority, especially in cases where power holders are not able (or inclined) to employ instruments of force.
  • People often prefer not to fight for their legal rights and opportunities but to bargain (‘make deals’) with authorities.
  • In comparing the roles of coercion and inducement in Russian political practice, one may argue that coercive mechanisms prevail.
manipulation and persuasion
Manipulation and persuasion
  • Since 2000, the role of manipulation in the ‘manipulation/persuasion’ continuum is increasing with the monopolization of the most important resources of ideological power;
  • no objective (critical) analysis of governmental policies in TV programs;
  • authorities deliberately conceal information about the decision-making process and key political nominations;
  • positive economic trends are evidently exaggerated
iii effectiveness of power two dimensions
III. EFFECTIVENESS OF POWER: two dimensions
  • 1. An actor’s ability to achieve the submission (compliance) of another actor (effectiveness of the very power relation).
  • 2. An actor’s ability to achieve a desired result (effectiveness of management).
effectiveness of power
Effectiveness of power
  • In relationships with a political opposition, business elite, regional elites the power of the governing elite seems effective.
  • It can successfully initiate strategic political decisions in the Duma, block any policy alternatives, use instruments of coercion for threatening an opposition and control flows of information.
effectiveness of state institutions
Effectiveness of state institutions
  • Since 2000 the Russian state has become much more effective and functional than it was in the 1990s.
  • However, in many cases the state does not properly fulfill its functions (e.g. securing civil rights and liberties, collecting taxes, law enforcement, eradicating organized crime, etc.); the state often fails to carry out its own decisions and enforce laws.
ineffectiveness of government
ineffectiveness of government
  • As an instrument of bureaucratic domination over other social groups, the modern Russian state is quite effective: it is able to reproduce the monopoly power of the administrative class.
  • But the state is ineffective in achieving public goals; attempts by the regime to strengthen the ‘power vertical’ do not actually make the state (substantially) better from this particular point of view.
  • So there is an inherent contradiction (incongruence) between strengthening the state as an instrument of domination and the state as the instrument of effective government for the benefit of the people.
conclusion
Conclusion
  • The administrative class is the dominant actor in contemporary Russian society
  • The configuration of power forms corresponds to the bureaucratic nature of domination.
  • the modern system of power in Russia is simultaneously effective and ineffective.
  • It successfully reproduces power over which has not yet become power to.