KONONENKO P.B. Transparency of Russian Parliaments: Experimental Research

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2015.1.10 

Kononenko Pavel Borisovich

Master of Political Sciences, Assistant Professor, Department of Problems of Interdisciplinary Synthesis in the Field of Social Sciences and Humanities,

Saint Petersburg State University

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Universitetskaya Emb., 7-9, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

Abstract. An experimental method is becoming more and more popular in contemporary political sciences. In this paper the experimental research of the Russian regional legislatures’ informational openness and availability is presented. The parliaments were addressed with a standard appeal claiming for a set of formal data describing the organizational and political structure of the legislative body during the last two convocations - total number of deputies in a regional parliament, number of deputies working on a permanent basis, total number of fractions and their size. The experiment was performed both via phone calls and e-mail letters. The results obtained show a medium level of availability of regional representative bodies and a low level of transparency. Only the half of the regional legislatures showed a certain level of ability to work with a private citizen’s appeal and only 9 of them completely met the standards of formal procedure, established by federal and regional laws, and provided the requested information. In 19 cases the regional parliaments turned out to be unavailable for a citizen’s appeal – either an official representative of the body rejected the claim or officially specified telephone numbers were irregular. The experiment and the results of more conventional ways of investigating the problems of transparency via official websites’ monitoring. During the experiment it was found that Russian regional authorities are rarely open and cooperative with citizens.

Key words: experimental method in political sciences, Russian Federation, regional legislatures, transparency, meeting citizen’s appeals.

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