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  • Evolution and Regionalization of Party Systems and Legislative Politics: Cross-national Comparative Analysis and the Spatial Diversity of Russia­­­

Evolution and Regionalization of Party Systems and Legislative Politics: Cross-national Comparative Analysis and the Spatial Diversity of Russia­­­

Priority areas of development: humanitarian
2019
Department: Laboratory for Regional Political Studies
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research

A comparative study of modern processes of transformation and nationalization (regionalization) of party systems in the world, taking into account Russian features and Russian regional diversity.

Methodology

Comparative analysis of party systems (including calculation of electoral competition indices), factor analysis of territorial differentiation of voting (social, cultural, economic and other factors), principal component analysis, regression analysis, complex statistical analysis of regional electoral diversity (including calculation of nationalization and regionalization indices), opinion polls and sociological experiments.

Empirical base of research

Social and economic statistics (Russian Federal State Statistics Service); electoral statistics (Central and subnational electoral committees in Russia and abroad); expert evaluations on current political decisions in Russian regions; laws and regulations; mass media and Internet sources.

Results of research

The development of theories of political institutions, party systems, as well as the nationalization of party system. There are several improvements in methodology concerning the application of quantitative methods and techniques to data analysis. A study of the dynamics of the level of nationalization in the countries of the world revealed that the party systems in the Western democracies are resistant to the emergence of new political actors and fragmentation of the political field and maintain a fairly high level of nationalization; at the same time, new political actors in the party systems of old democracies are able to quickly achieve the same high level of spatial uniformity of voting as the old parties, preserving the overall stability of the electoral space. A contribution was made to the theory of nationalization and regionalization of party systems by including the local level of voting in its context, and empirical knowledge was obtained on the level of turnout and support for Russian parties at the municipal level. A study of nationalization in Russia with application of a new approach, using the municipal level for calculations, showed a significantly lower level of spatial uniformity of voting in Russia than previous studies using a regional level; the results of the study of nationalization within individual constituent entities of the federation showed that voting in the presidential election is more uniform in all regions, unlike voting for parties, and trends and the level of intra-regional nationalization, on the contrary, differ significantly from region to region, and in comparison with nationwide. A comparative analysis of modern processes of regionalization and nationalization of party systems in the world in various political regimes and with various electoral and party systems using examples from 2018-2019 showed an increase in the volatility of voting and a decrease in the level of nationalization of party systems. A study in the field of electoral behavior revealed the main factors affecting the turnout of Russian voters in elections, including expressive voting and civic duty; it was also revealed that supporters of the government are more often guided by civic duty when deciding on a vote, which gives an advantage to pro-government candidates. As a result of the study, empirical knowledge was obtained about the nature and possibilities of using various mobilization technologies in Russian subnational elections. Also, electoral studies have shown the negative impact of disclosing information on electoral manipulation on the desire of voters to vote for regime, and this effect is most pronounced among supporters of the government, who often consider the elections fair. The work used secondary sociological data and their combination with electoral statistics in order to identify factors of electoral behavior in the regions. A study of the sub-national level of elections demonstrated the presence of a new trend in enhancing the effectiveness of mobilizing the oppositional electorate in regional elections in comparison with pro-government mobilization. This study contributes to the determination of the correlation and dynamics of various models of electoral behavior in subnational elections in Russia, as well as to the refinement of methods and techniques for analyzing subnational elections in Russia. Testing a comparative political-historical analysis of the influence of the process of elite consolidation in different countries of the world on the dynamics of parliamentary politics revealed the factors that influence the choice of strategies in authoritarian regimes regarding the creation and elimination of legislatures. As a result of the study, empirical knowledge was obtained on the connection between the consolidation of elites and parliamentary politics in hybrid and democratizing political regimes. Studies have also shown that legislatures in authoritarian regimes affect politics in the case of the presence in parliament of representatives of various interest groups and the struggle between them. Studies of bureaucratic appointments in the regions of Russia revealed the center’s strategies regarding the appointment of governors to the regions - it was found that the most loyal governors directly associated with the center are most often appointed to politically important regions, but the center prefers to rely on insiders from the regions, if they demonstrate electoral mobilization abilities. As a result of the study, empirical knowledge was obtained about the factors of appointing governors of different social, territorial and political origin in various Russian regions.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results

Theresults concerning analysis of electoral behavior and selection of mobilization strategies can be used by The Presidential Administration of Russia in order to predict the level of stability and support of the authorities and political parties in the regions. The results of the study of subnational appointments, its logic and efficiency are encouraged to be used by the Presidential Administration, the Federal Government, the Ministry for the Development of the Far East, the Ministry for the Affairs of Northern Caucasus and regional executive bodies.

Publications:


Turovsky R. F., Русанова К. А., Коротеева П. П. Nationalization of Russia’s Party System: Local Dimension and Regional Patterns / NRU Higher School of Economics. Series PS "Political Science". 2020.