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A quarter of a century has passed since the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in 1993, yet the issue of the results and the prospects for constitutional transformation has not disappeared from the political agenda. For some, the Constitution signifies an ultimate break up with the communist past and a legal foundation for the advancement of the Russian society toward democracy and the rule of law; for the others, it is exactly the Constitution that is the culprit for the authoritarian trend that has prevailed, and for the sustained stagnation in Russia’s economic, social and political development.
The author of this paper is in the middle of these extreme viewpoints. He believes that the Constitution has truly played a pivotal role in Russia’s move toward democracy by establishing the basic principles of civil society and the rule of law, and in this respect, it remains of everlasting and paramount importance. Nevertheless, that does not mean that it should be utterly inaccessible for changes, especially given the elapsed time and the negative experience of the authoritarian transformation of the political regime, the amendments that were introduced between 2008 and 2014, and the current objectives of the democratic movement. The rationale for changes is to return to the constitutional principles, reaffirm their initial democratic meaning by rejecting the excessive concentration of the Presidential power, the results of counter-reforms and the adulteration through legislative and regulatory compliance practices.
Control over the security services is a key ingredient of political survival in authoritarian regimes. This is particularly true during periods of leadership succession and high political uncertainty. In this paper, we compare the strategy used by Vladimir Putin towards the siloviki – the Russian security services – with that employed by Xi Jinping towards the Chinese security services. We find that in both countries, the security services have been significantly strengthened in recent years, while at the same time extensive anti-corruption campaigns have been used to eliminate key officials within the security structures. We argue that both developments can be seen as elements of a strategy to increase control over the public, while eliminating potential competition from regime insiders, in view of a deteriorating economic situation, and the constitutional (or quasi-constitutional) term limits faced by Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping in 2024 and 2022, respectively.
Der Zusammenhang zwischen den Begriffen Recht und Gerechtigkeit ist ein zentraler Bestandteil politischer Debatten in Zeiten radikaler sozialer Veränderungen. Das Recht wird in der modernen Wissenschaft als spezifische Form sozialer Organisation definiert und tritt als Wert, Norm und Fakt in Erscheinung. Eine komplexe Betrachtung des Rechts als mehrdimensionales Phänomen ist nur unter Berücksichtigung aller dieser drei konkurrierenden Parameter möglich.Im folgenden Beitrag werden aus der Position der Kognitionstheorie die grundlegenden Parameter von Recht und Gerechtigkeit bei der Lösung von Schlüsselproblemen des gesellschaftlichen Umbaus in der Übergangsperiode
Russia’s political system must be understood as inherently dynamic, with constant regime change being essential to how the regime operates and survives. This regime change does not proceed monotonically toward ever tighter authoritarianism, but can move in both liberal and repressive directions at different times. While on aggregate the trend has been to greater authoritarianism under Putin, certain liberalizing moves have also been important that are meaningful for how ordinary Russians and elites experience their own regime, and greater repressiveness is not foreordained. We document two forms of endemic regime dynamism in Russia, each involving contingent, improvisational efforts at short-term recalibration in response to crises that are both endogenous and exogenous to the regime: structural improvisation and ideational improvisation.
In the Post‐Soviet period, domestic policies of Central and Eastern European countries have been marked by a ‘problem of minorities’. ‘Nationalizing’ state policies in regard to large Russian minority in Estonia and Latvia have been the issue of concern for both the kin‐state and European institutions ever since. Could pressure from Russia be effective in terms of change of minority policies in the Baltic states? What are the effects of EU accession on minority policies? These are the principle questions addressed by Jennie L. Schulze in Strategic Frames: Europe, Russia, and Minority Inclusion in Estonia and Latvia. The book focuses on the indirect influence of the EU institutions and Russia, adopting a framing approach. It consists of comparative cases covering the areas of language, citizenship and electoral policies.