Russia poses a major puzzle for theorists of party development. Virtually every classic work takes parties to be inevitable and essential to electoral competition, but Russia remains highly nonpartisan more than fifteen years after Gorbachev first launched his democratizing reforms. The problem is that theories of party development lack a "control case," almost always focusing on cases where parties have already developed and almost never examining countries where independent politicians are the norm. This book focuses on Russia as just such a control case. It mobilizes fresh public opinion surveys, interviews with leading Russian politicians, careful tracking of multiple campaigns, and analysis of national and regional voting patterns to show why Russia stands out. Russia's historically influenced combination of federalism and "superpresidentialism," coupled with a postcommunist redistribution of resources to regional political machines and "oligarchic" financial-industrial groups, produced and sustained powerful "party substitutes" that have largely squeezed Russia's real parties out of the "electoral market," damaging Russia's democratic development.
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This book brings the case of Russia to bear on theories of party development. Whereas virtually every classic work takes political parties to be inevitable and essential to democracy, Russia has been dominated by nonpartisan politicians ever since communism collapsed. This book demonstrates why Russia stands out as a preserve of nonpartisanship.About the Author:
Henry E. Hale (PhD Harvard University, Massachusetts, 1998, AB Duke University, North Carolina, 1988) is an Assistant Professor of political science at George Washington University, Washington DC, where he researches and writes on political parties, elections, federalism, and ethnic politics with a focus on the cases of the former Soviet region, especially Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Many of the leading journals in comparative politics and post-communist studies have published his work, including the British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, Perspectives on Politics, Post-Soviet Affairs and World Politics. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. Before moving to George Washington University, he taught at Indiana University.
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