Advertisement

The Ambivalence of Federalism and Democracy: The Challenging Case of Authoritarianism—With Evidence from the Russian Case

  • Sabine KroppEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Comparative Territorial Politics book series (COMPTPOL)

Abstract

Although federalism is often conceptualized as a subcomponent of democracy, a considerable number of hybrid and authoritarian regimes feature federal structures as well. To explore this puzzle, the chapter discusses basic tensions with which ‘authoritarian federalism’ is faced: one arising from the defective rule of law, another one from restrictions of plurality, and, finally, from loyalty conflicts to which sub-federal incumbents are exposed. It is argued that similar tensions resulting from federal organization also occur in democracies, but authoritarian and democratic federations respond differently to these challenges. Moreover, the chapter reveals that even though federalism triggers uncertainty in authoritarian regimes, rulers at the central level profit from federal organization. Evidence is taken from the Russian case which can be understood as a ‘typical case’ in this respect.

Keywords

Authoritarianism Federalism Rule of law Russia Sub-federal elites 

References

  1. Bednar, J. (2009). The Robust Federation: Principles of Design. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Benz, A. (2013). Balancing Rigidity and Flexibility: Constitutional Change in Federal Systems. West European Politics, 36(4), 726–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benz, A. (2015). Making Democracy Work in a Federal System. German Politics, 24(1), 8–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benz, A., & Kropp, S. (2014). Föderalismus in Demokratien und Autokratien – Vereinbarkeiten, Spannungsfelder und Dynamiken. Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft. Comparative Governance and Politics, 8, 1–27.Google Scholar
  5. Benz, A., & Sonnicksen, J. (2017). Patterns of Federal Democracy: Tensions, Friction, or Balance Between Two Government Dimensions. European Political Science Review, 9(1), 3–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bouwen, P. (2004). Exchange Access Good for Access: A Comparative Study of Business Lobbying in the EU Institutions. European Journal of Political Research, 43(3), 337–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Buckley, N., & Reuter, O. J. (2018). Performance Incentives Under Autocracy: Evidence from Russia’s Regions. Comparative Politics.Google Scholar
  8. Burgess, M. (2006). Comparative Federalism: Theory and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Dahl, R. A. (1973). Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Filippov, M., & Shvetsova, O. (2013). Federalism, Democracy, and Democratization. In A. Benz & J. Broschek (Eds.), Federal Dynamics (pp. 167–184). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fraenkel, E. (2001). Der Doppelstaat. Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt.Google Scholar
  12. Gel’man, V. (2010). The Dynamics of Sub-National Authoritarianism: Russia in Comparative Perspective. In V. Gel’man & C. Ross (Eds.), The Politics of Sub-National Authoritarianism in Russia (pp. 1–18). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  13. Gel’man, V., & Ryzhenkov, S. (2011). Local Regimes, Sub-National Governance and the ‘Power Vertical’ in Contemporary Russia. Europe-Asia Studies, 63, 449–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gibson, E. L. (2013). Boundary Control: Subnational Authoritarianism in Federal Democracies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Golosov, G. V. (2011). The Regional Roots of Electoral Authoritarianism in Russia. Europe-Asia Studies, 63, 623–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goode, P. J. (2013). The Revival of Russia’s Gubernatorial Elections: Liberalization or Potemkin Reform? Russian Analytical Digest, 2013(139), 9–11.Google Scholar
  17. Hale, H. E. (2011a). Hybrid Regimes—When Autocracy and Democracy Mix. In N. J. Brown (Ed.), Dynamics of Democratization: Dictatorship, Development, and Diffusion (pp. 23–45). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University.Google Scholar
  18. Hale, H. E. (2011b). Formal Constitutions in Informal Politics: Institutions and Democratization in Post-Soviet Eurasia. World Politics, 63(4), 581–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hale, H. E. (2015). Patronal Politics: Eurasian Regime Dynamics in Comparative Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hamilton, A., Madison, J., & Jay, J. (1989). The Federalist Papers. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
  21. Helmke, G., & Levitsky, S. (2004). Informal Institutions and Comparative Politics: A Research Agenda. Perspectives on Politics, 2, 725–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Holmes, L. (2012). Corruption in Post-Soviet Russia. Global Change, Peace & Security, 24(2), 235–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kailitz, S. (2013). Classifying Political Regimes Revisited: Legitimation and Durability. Democratization, 20(1), 39–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kropp, S. (2015). Federalism, People’s Legislation, and Associative Democracy. In C. Fraenkel-Haeberle, S. Kropp, F. Palermo, & K.-P. Sommermann (Eds.), Citizen Participation in Multilevel Democracies (pp. 48–66). Leiden and Boston: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kropp, S., & Aasland, A. (2018). Patterns of Governance in Russia—Feedback of Empirical Findings into Governance Theory. In S. Kropp, A. Aasland, M. Berg-Nordlie, J. Holm-Hansen, & J. Schuhmann (Eds.), Governance in Russian Regions: A Policy Comparison (pp. 219–245). Houndmills and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  26. Lane, J.-E., & Ersson, S. (2005). The Riddle of Federalism: Does Federalism Impact on Democracy? Democratization, 12, 163–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lauth, H.-J. (2000). Informal Institutions and Democracy. Democratization, 7(4), 21–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Levitsky, S., & Way, L. A. (2010). Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lorenz, A. (2010). Verfassungsänderungen in föderalen und unitarischen Demokratien im Vergleich. Befunde einer empirischen Analyse für den Zeitraum von 1945 bis 2004. In J. von Blumenthal & J. Bröchler (Eds.), Föderalismusreform in Deutschland. Bilanz und Perspektiven im internationalen Vergleich (pp. 13–36). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Melville, A., Stukal, D., & Mironiuk, M. (2014). ‘King of the Mountain’ or Why Postcommunist Autocracies Have Bad Institutions. Russian Politics & Law, 52, 7–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Obydenkova, A., & Swenden, W. (2013). Autocracy-Sustaining Versus Democratic Federalism: Explaining the Divergent Trajectories of Territorial Politics in Russia and Western Europe. Territory, Politics, Governance, 1(1), 86–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. O’Donnell, G., & Schmitter, P. (1986). Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Panov, P., & Ross, C. (2016). Levels of Centralisation and Autonomy in Russia’s ‘Party of Power’: Cross-Regional Variations. Europe-Asia Studies, 68, 232–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Reuter, O. J. (2010). The Politics of Dominant Party Formation: United Russia and Russia’s Governors. Europe-Asia Studies, 62, 293–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reuter, O. J., & Remington, T. F. (2009). Dominant Party Regimes and the Commitment Problem: The Case of United Russia. Comparative Political Studies, 42, 501–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Riker, W. (1964). Federalism: Origin, Operation, Significance. Boston: Little Brown.Google Scholar
  37. Ross, C. (2009). Local Politics and Democratization in Russia. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Sakwa, R. (2010). The Dual State in Russia. Post-Soviet Affairs, 26(3), 185–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schedler, A., & Hoffmann, B. (2016). Communicating Authoritarian Elite Cohesion. Democratization, 23(1), 93–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sharafutdinova, G. (2009). Subnational Governance in Russia: How Putin Changed the Contract with His Agents and the Problems It Created for Medvedev. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 40, 672–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Smyth, R., Lowry, A., & Wilkening, B. (2007). Engineering Victory: Institutional Reform, Informal Institutions, and the Formation of a Hegemonic Party Regime in the Russian Federation. Post-Soviet Affairs, 23, 118–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Solnick, S. L. (1996). The Political Economy of Russian Federalism: A Framework for Analysis. Problems of Post-Communism, 29, 13–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Starodubtsev, A. (2018). Federalism and Regional Policy in Contemporary Russia. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stepan, A. (1999). Federalism and Democracy: Beyond the U.S. Model. Journal of Democracy, 10(4), 19–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stoliarov, M. (2003). Federalism and the Dictatorship in Russia. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Svolik, M. W. (2012). The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Toubeau, S., & Massetti, E. (2013). The Party Politics of Territorial Reforms in Europe. West European Politics, 36(2), 297–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Treisman, D. (2007). The Architecture of Government: Rethinking Political Decentralization. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wintrobe, R. (2009). Dictatorship: Analytical Approaches. In C. Boix & S. C. Stokes (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics (pp. 363–394). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Wurster, S., Kropp, S., & Dukalskis, A. (2017, September). Regional Competition in Hybrid and Authoritarian Regimes. Paper Presented at the ECPR General Conference, Oslo.Google Scholar
  51. Zubarevich, N. (2014). Monitoring krizisa i postkrizisnogo razvitiya regionov Rossii. http://www.socpol.ru/atlas/overviews/social_sphere/kris.shtml.
  52. Zubarevich, N. (2016). Bad But Stable. Russian Politics & Law, 54, 365–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Free University of BerlinBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations