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  • Author or Editor: Nikolai Grishin x
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This paper views the regional political opposition in Post-Soviet Russia as a specific phenomenon that contradicts the practices of the existing political regime and differs from the opposition at the national level. The Russian regional opposition is considered in the context of the heterogeneity of the political process at the federal and sub-national levels: it is a phenomenon that is more relevant to a democratic regime than a hybrid authoritarian polity. The article analyzes the methods used by the authorities to limit the abilities of the regional opposition. Due to institutional factors, the opportunities of the provincial opposition are restricted at all levels. Federal political parties are used as a means of suppressing the regional opposition. Nevertheless, the Russian regional opposition remains intact and it has the potential to disrupt the power vertical and the orderly system of the hybrid regime.

In: Russian Politics
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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant transformations of electoral institutions, and provoked changes in the politics of electoral reforms in some polities. The paper claims that Russia has used a special model of electoral reform during the pandemic that differs from both its previous experience and recommendations of international organizations. The comparative historical method is applied to bridge internal and external explanations that may offer an understanding of the current reform of electoral rule in the Russian political context. The pandemic has become a reason for changing traditional electoral procedures and for implementing this reform. Empirical evidence suggests that the reform has been implemented by a depoliticized technocratic procedure ignoring the principles of political consensus. The reform process implies a shift of the government’s main efforts from decision-making to increasing dependence on propaganda, and informational confrontation with opponents in the subsequent reform cycle. The approach to the implementation of the electoral reform casts doubt on the level of public support for the new procedures and exacerbates political risks.

In: Russian Politics