AbstractA detailed examination of theoretical approaches to contemporary Russian elites at the national and regional levels leads to an initial hypothesis according to which Russian regional elites embody a combination of continuity in terms of membership and change as regards the structures through which they implement policy ("the regime"). The historical background of Russian centre-region relations is surveyed with reference to the dominant tradition of centralism and to the centrifugal developments of the late Soviet period. The contemporary devolution of power is periodised into an initial phase of spontaneous decentralisation and a succeeding one in which issues of decentralisation remain unresolved. This leads to a development of the hypothesis in which regime change, while not dislodging the traditional elites, has nevertheless disrupted relations between them. Hence elite fragmentation goes beyond the general division between the centre and the regions, important thought this is, and occurs within the regions themselves. The case studies of Tiumen and Omsk regions confirm this view. Continuity is clearly marked in the composition of the elites. At the same time, significant changes have taken place. In Tiumen, the elites of the northern territories have supplanted the traditionally dominant elite based in the south of the region. In Omsk, the regional elite has had a constant struggle to establish its control over its own capital city. In both cases, central political elites have played a rather ineffectual role, especially when compared with corporate elites. The key issue at stake in elite conflict has been control over revenue from profitable assets. The thesis concludes with an evaluation of these results, and raises the question of their wider applicability in the Russian Federation.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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