Candidate Strategies and Electoral Competition in the Russian Federation: Democracy Without Foundation

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April 2006



In the early 1990s, competitive elections in the Russian Federation signaled the end to the authoritarian political system dominated by a single political party. More than ten years and many elections later, a single party led by Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens to end Russia's democratic experiment. Russia's experience with new elections is not unique but it does challenge existing theories of democratic consolidation by showing that competitive elections cannot guarantee successful democratic consolidation. This book explores the conditions under which electoral competition contributes to democratic development.


1. Elections and the development of democratic capacity; 2. One step forward, two steps back: Russia's failed consolidation in comparative context; 3. The micro-foundations of democratic responsiveness: candidate strategies and electoral infrastructure; 4. Many candidates, few choices; 5. To join or not to join: candidate affiliation in transitional Russia; 6. Finding fit: candidates and their districts; 7. Campaigning for the Duma: mixed markets, mixed messages; 8. Democrats, democratic transitions, and Russian democracy.


Regina Smyth teaches political science at Penn State University. She has written extensively on the role of political parties and elections in Russia's democratic transition. Her work appears in Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, and Politics and Society.


"Regina Smyth offers a persuasive argument explaining why Russia's post-communist transition has failed to result in a consolidated democracy. Emphasizing the crucial role of the choices made by politicians over how to run for parliament under Russia's mixed electoral system, Smyth shows that the aggregate effect of candidates individually-rational decisions is to deprive voters of meaningful choices over parties and policies and to subvert the accountability of government to citizens. The book is based on a substantial body of original data, including surveys of candidates in multiple elections and regions. An insightful account of Russia's political development, the study also has significant implications for other transitional regimes." -Thomas Remington, Emory University "The book is a must for graduate students and researchers studying Russia or democratic consolidation." - Choice "Regina Smyth has produced an important contribution to the study of both Russian politics and transitions from authoritarian rule." - Henry E. Hale, George Washington University "Smyth has given a valuable new perspective on Russia's stalled transition...The question of why is it so difficult to build stable parties and party systems is, after all, one of the key problems facing scholars of new democracies, especially post-communist ones. In this engaging and well-engaging and well-researched book, Smyth provides a powerful framework for answering this question, one that promises new insights beyond Russia." -Conor O'Dwyer, Canadian Slavonic Papers "Regina Smyth in her book, Candidate Strategies and Electoral Competition in the Russian Federation, provides a sophisticated explanation of why elections failed democracy in Russia. In a closely argued and empirically convincing account, she shows how candidate behavior undermined, rather than promoted, the growth of a competitive party system and democratic infrastructure. Smyth's book makes a significant contribution to the theoretical literature on how political parties develop and their role in the process of political transition as well as to our understanding of the specific Russian case." -Cynthia S. Kaplan, Review of Politics
EAN: 9780521846905
ISBN: 0521846900
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Studies in Comparati'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: April 2006
Seitenanzahl: 247 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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