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The Kremlin’s regional policy – a year of dismissing governors. OSW Commentary NUMBER 257 | 15.12.2017

Domańska, Maria (2017) The Kremlin’s regional policy – a year of dismissing governors. OSW Commentary NUMBER 257 | 15.12.2017. [Policy Paper]

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    2017 has seen a wave of dismissals of the heads of Russia’s regions – the largest in the past five years. This is linked primarily to the Kremlin’s preparations for the presidential election. Personnel changes are among the few instruments the government has at its disposal to improve public support, given the dysfunctional governance model, growing dissatisfaction among the Russian public and the government team’s unwillingness to launch reforms. Even though it would appear that there is no single consistent algorithm for reshuffles on the level of governors (each decision to dismiss and nominate a governor has been considered separately), still the criteria that were taken into account in the first place included the socio-economic situation in the region, the degree of tension inside the regional elite, and public support for the incumbent governor. The Kremlin’s inability to formulate an appealing and credible election manifesto has been masked by a partial rejuvenation of the regional government staff and a temporary neutralisation of tension in some of the regions. Thus the staff ‘face-lift’ ahead of the election is aimed predominantly at building a positive image; the main goal is to give hope to the public, at least temporarily, of positive changes. The position of governors in the Russian government system has been gradually diminishing. Their competences and status have been consistently reduced as part of the process of increasing the centralisation of power in Russia. The logic of the personnel changes carried out in 2017 proves that the status of the governor’s office has been finally downgraded and depoliticised: the newly appointed governors are in fact middle managers and representatives of the nomenklatura delegated from the centre and at the full disposal of the central government.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2018 10:38
    Number of Pages: 6
    Last Modified: 03 Jan 2018 10:38

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