Conference e-mail

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Policy Reforms Implementation in Contemporary Russia

Chair: Vladimir Gel'man (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland)
Discussant: Andrey Starodubtsev (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, Finland)
Elena Vandysheva (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia): The Implementation of Anti-Corruption Policies: a Comparative Analysis
Yury Kabanov (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia): Electronic Pockets of Effectiveness: E-Governance as Authoritarian Modernization Strategy
Daniil Tinyakov and Alexandr Sungurov (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia): Russian Reforms in Regions: Is Authoritarian Modernization Everywhere Authoritarian?

2000s-2010s saw Russia adopt and implement a comprehensive package of social and economic reforms. The package covered almost all spheres of government and social development, and included administrative, judicial, electoral and party system reforms, as well as a thorough overhaul of the pension system, labour legislation and taxation, and competition law. The reformers also reorganized major sectors of the Russian economy, including power engineering, extractive industries, telecommunications, natural monopolies, etc. We believe that reforms only materialize already after their general and often loose contours have been adopted at the supreme political level. It is at this stage that some elements of a new policy can happen to be implemented differently at the regional or local level due to the differences in resources available to the street-level bureaucracy, or to particular regional or local societal demands, or because the reforms are unpacked differently in different regional and local political systems that are the ultimate receivers of the federal reforms. Sometimes reforms are so distorted at the stage of their implementation at the regional level that it is more reasonable to talk of a few regional rather than a single federal reform, substance-wise. Reforms are not only implemented differently in different regions, but the timing of implementation can also differ substantially. During quite a long period following the reform adoption both state and society have to react to expected and unintended consequences of radical transformation the reform brought about, adapting to the new circumstances and the new strategies that become preferable to key societal and state agents under those new circumstances. Centralization and uniformity of the reform process can be distorted by diverse challenges the bureaucracies would face in different jurisdictions. Taken this into account, we propose to organize a panel devoted to particularities and results of policy reforms implementation in Russia. The panel will cover three different policy areas – anti-corruption policy, administrative reforms and governmental measures aimed at development of electronic governance. We will discuss the institutional factors that determine reaction of public authorities to the problems that occur at the reform implementation stage as well as factors of success or failure of the reforms.