Elena Lukyanova1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

«Golden Mean» of Russian Centralism, Or Once Againon Federal Nature of Russia

2015. No. 1. P. 4–21 [issue contents]
The article is devoted to the analysis of the Russian center and its regions relations development dynamics.This development tends to be cyclic: from general decentralization (up to “parade of sovereignties”)to the absolute centralization. Russia saw this cycle for the period from 1989 to 2014, and now itfaces the threat of the next wave of decentralization.The author states that there is a neutral position of the system, the golden mean, under which therelationships between the center and the regions are stable and not subject to either centrifugal orcentripetal forces. To define this golden mean, the author proposes to use the historical experience ofdealing with the state structure issue in the Russian Empire, the RSFSR and the USSR.The analysis shows that despite a rather complex state system structure in the Russian Empire itremained a unitary state. The status of various areas, including those with the elements of politicalautonomy, was not been unified, and the power of the center was based on the national and localtraditions. The analysis of the RSFSR Constitution of 1918, which proclaimed Russia as a federation,and the practice of its application also indicates a unitary model of state. The emergence of the termfederation was not associated with the concept of national-territorial structure, but with the need to preservethe state integrity: to find a compromise between unitarianism and separation. This same tacticwas used to preserve the state integrity between 1990 and 1993. However, by the end of the 2000s theindependence of regions within the federation was actually nullified.The current status of Russian regions can be defined as a public (political) national-territorial autonomyin a unitary state. Thus, the federation in Russia is nominal or symbolic. In fact, Russia is the unitaryregionaliststate in which the federal rhetoric is used as a tool for tactical political maneuvering. Thismeans that the center’s policy toward the regions must be flexible and not based on absolute dictatorship.The “strength” of the center must be based on its ability to maintain peace and prosperity throughoutthe country by non-violent means as well as by building relationships with the regions on the basisof respect and consideration for their interests, including budget formation.
Citation: Lukyanova E. (2015)

«Zolotaya seredina» rossiyskogo tsentralizma, ili eshche raz ob istokakh federativnoy prirody Rossii

[«Golden Mean» of Russian Centralism, Or Once Againon Federal Nature of Russia]. Pravo. Zhurnal Vysshey shkoly ekonomiki, no 1, pp. 4-21 (in Russian)
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