ACHKASOV V.A., ABALIAN A.I. Russian Ethnofederalism: Evolution and Development Prospects

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.3.18

Valery A. Achkasov

Doctor of Sciences (Politics), Professor, Head of the Department of Ethnic Politics,

Saint Petersburg State University,

Universitetskaya emb., 7/9, 196034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9404-6100

Anna I. Abalian

Candidate of Sciences (Politics), Associate Professor,

Department of Ethnic Politics, Saint Petersburg State University,

Universitetskaya emb., 7/9, 196034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5171-2361


Abstract. Introduction. The authors analyze the peculiarities of the formation, evolution and prospects of Russian ethnofederalism, based on the achievements of Russian and Western researchers.

Methods and materials. Along with classical approaches to the nature of ethnofederalism, the authors proceed from the concept that relations between the elites of the center and the regions in the Russian Federation are based on the so-called “incomplete contract”, which is characterized by the absence of guarantees for its implementation.

Analysis. This political practice comes as a source of the elites desire to change the distribution of power and resources in their favor while the Constitution remains unchanged, the “pendulum” nature of relations along the “federal center – regions” line. In modern Russia federalism does not have a value dimension, both for the elites of the center and the elites of most regions, and it remains a purely instrumental concept. The authors build their analysis of interethnic relations and the prospects of ethnic federalism in Russia, proceeding not from any ideal model, but starting from the existing ethnic political reality with its already existing imperfect institutions of ethnic federalism. At the same time, a differentiated approach is used to assess the correlation between federalism and ethnicity.

Results. The authors come to the conclusion that, despite the numerous shortcomings of the ethnic model of federalism (organizational complexity, special requirements for political elites, asymmetry with its inherent “injustice”, etc.), there is no real alternative to it in Russia.

Key words: Russian ethnofederalism, institutions, center – regions, structural asymmetry, political elites, concept of “incomplete contract”.

Citation. Achkasov V.A., Abalian A.I. Russian Ethnofederalism: Evolution and Development Prospects. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 203-216. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2021.3.18.

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Russian Ethnofederalism: Evolution and Development Prospects by Achkasov V.A., Abalian A.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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