Israel Marques II: 'Intergovernmental Transfers in Hybrid Regimes: Elites, Elections, and Connections' (Contemporary Issues in Political Science Research Seminar)

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The next meeting of the Contemporary Issues in Political Science Research Seminar at the Faculty of Social Sciences will be held on March 12.

Speaker: Israel Marques II, Assistant Professor at the School of Politics and Governance, HSE.

Subject: Intergovernmental Transfers in Hybrid Regimes: Elites, Elections, and Connections

Given limited resources, how do politicians dole out money to retain office in competitive authoritarian regimes? Previous work on intergovernmental transfers in these regimes emphasizes their importance for maintaining power. One body of work argues that transfers are a means of shoring up popular support by providing elites resources to convince ”swing” voters to support the regime. Another body of work suggests, however, that the primary threats to the regime stems from elites. Although transfers may be an important tool for maintaining the support of elites, less work has gone into studying which types of elites are the target of transfers and why. On the one hand, regimes may target elites who possess the autonomous resources needed to threaten the regime. On the other hand, they may favor elites who are deeply connected to central authorities, whom they know more about, can communicate more easily, and can trust to not turn the center’s resource grants against it. This paper provides one of the first tests of all of these theories against each other. The paper draws on data on federal transfers to the regions in the Russian Federal from 2000-2008, along with elite network data constructed from the biographies of all high-ranking Russian federal officials (ministers, vice-ministers, and equivalent) and governors. The findings have important implications both for the wider literature on authoritarian regime maintenance and for work on the incentives of leaders and sub-national officials in competitive authoritarian regimes.

Work language: English.
Where: Moscow, 20 Myasnitskaya ulitsa, Room 216.
When: March 12, 3:10 – 4:30 p.m.

If you need a pass please contact Olga Lebedeva ( and Elena Sleptsova ( before 5:00 p.m. on March 11.