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Impact of Non-democratic Political Regimes on the Information Openness Policy: the case of NCOs in the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Belorussia in the post-Soviet period

Student: Irina Shchiptcova

Supervisor: Elena Vandysheva

Faculty: Saint-Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Area Studies

Educational Programme: Political Science (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 9

Year of Graduation: 2016

This paper is devoted to a study of the impact of non-democratic political regimes on the information openness policy. The regime impact is considered in cases of NGOs in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Belarus. The link between the information openness of NGOs and a political regime is investigated by the presence or absence of laws that require opening certain information but in practice, these requirements may be waived. Also This link is studied through the law enforcement process. In this study there are four hypotheses about the impact of a non-democratic regime. The hypotheses are based on assumptions about the impact of factors such as the stability of political regime, the participation of NGOs in the decision-making process, the presence of the facade institutions, and the opportunities for NCOs to receive foreign funding. The methods of research are expert interviews, the monitoring of legislation and information openness of NGO sites, and the method of process tracing. The theoretical framework of this study consists of J. Kingdon’s theory of multiple streams and A. Wilson’s concept of “virtual politics”. In the first part of this paper there is an analysis of different theoretical approaches to the study of the political regime, transparency, and the characteristics of non-democratic political regimes. The second part contains a comparative analysis of the policy formation process. J. Kingdon’s multiple streams framework is used for the analysis of this process in the field of information openness. Also in this part, there is a comparative analysis of the legislation governing the general principles of NGOs activities and the principles of NGOs information transparency. The main outcome of NGO monitoring is the formation of NGOs information openness rating in studied cases. The general result of the study is an identifying of characteristics of a non-democratic political regime that can affect the development of NGOs information openness.

Full text (added May 25, 2016)

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