The Fate of Russian Officialdom: Fundamental Reform or Technical Improvements?
Written by persons who participated directly in the development of official drafts and documents designed to advance reform, this chapter represents an attempt to assess the reasons that the transformation of Russian officialdom proved so difficult after the collapse of the USSR. From 1991 to 2005, change—or the appearance of change—touched almost everything in Russia, except the machinery of state. It wasn’t that attempts at reform weren’t made in this area. Along with superficial and even retrograde measures, there were also serious proposals by well-qualified specialists who based their work on a careful study of world practice, Russian bureaucratic traditions, and the needs of the contemporary state. Russia’s first two post-communist presidents repeatedly recognized the need for bureaucratic reform, and their names were associated with various reform projects, which advanced both a theoretical framework for change as well as specific plans to introduce it. Russia even adopted laws on the reform of officialdom, including one in 2004 that marked a kind of breakthrough, in spite of its compromises. Yet the efforts devoted to the reform of the state bureaucracy always seemed far greater than the practical results achieved.
KeywordsCivil Society State Service Public Administration Professional Ethic Federal Program
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- 1.For a more detailed assessment of this federal program, see Aleksei Barabashev et al., Reforma gosudarstvennoi sluzhby Rossiiskoi Federatsii (Moscow: Higher School of Economics, 2006), 73–101.Google Scholar