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Russia poses a major puzzle for theorists of party development. Virtually every classic work takes parties to be inevitable and essential to electoral competition, but Russia remains highly nonpartisan more than fifteen years after Gorbachev first launched his democratizing reforms. The problem is that theories of party development lack a "control case," almost always focusing on cases where parties have already developed and almost never examining countries where independent politicians are the norm. This book focuses on Russia as just such a control case. It mobilizes fresh public opinion surveys, interviews with leading Russian politicians, careful tracking of multiple campaigns, and analysis of national and regional voting patterns to show why Russia stands out. Russia's historically influenced combination of federalism and "superpresidentialism," coupled with a postcommunist redistribution of resources to regional political machines and "oligarchic" financial-industrial groups, produced and sustained powerful "party substitutes" that have largely squeezed Russia's real parties out of the "electoral market,” damaging Russia’s democratic development.Read more
- First comprehensive account of party development in Russia 1991–2005, looking at a national and local, mass and elite representation
- The first book that extensively covers the 2003-4 elections and the apogee of the Putin era
- Highly innovative theoretical framework, including a theory of 'electoral markets' and the importance of 'party substitutes'
- Winner of the 2007 Leon Epstein Award - Political Organizations and Parties Section
Reviews & endorsements
“…Hale’s theoretical framework and his insightful application of [his] model help to make sense of what previously has been presented as contradictory evidence about party system development in Russia.”
-Comparative Political StudiesSee more reviews
“This well-researched and skillfully executed study is a highly valuable contribution to the fields of political science and postcommunist studies and necessary for specialists interested in the question of Russian party and political system development.”
“…This book is a useful tool for studying modern Russian politics. Summing Up: Recommended.”
“Why Not Parties? presents an original and comprehensive analysis of the development of Russian political parties from 1991 to the present day. Hale utilizes the metaphor of a ‘political market’ to show how would-be political party ‘suppliers’ interact with social forces that generate a ‘demand’ for party organizations. Utilizing extensive field research, Hale demonstrates descriptively and statistically that Russian party building has been short-circuited by the emergence of various ‘party substitutes’—such as regional governors’ political machines and parties sponsored by central or regional ‘oligarchs.’ Hale's book is a crucial contribution to debates about the fate of Russia's democratic experiment--and about the nature of party building in general.”
-Stephen Hanson, University of Washington
“Henry Hale argues that the development of a strong competitive party system in Russia has stalled because other types of electoral organizations, particularly governors’ machines, large business corporations, and the Kremlin’s machinations, have crowded parties out of the electoral marketplace. This study helps resolve many of the conflicting and puzzling observations that have run through the literature on Russia’s parties, and it offers a theoretical perspective that will find application far beyond Russia.”
-Thomas Remington, Emory University
"In this excellent study Hale shows that party substitutes have consistently won out over parties, particularly at the regional level...this is an excellent contribution to the field of party politics in Russia and also to wider study of comparative politics in general."
- Cameron Ross, University of Dundee, Scotland, Russian Review
"Why Not Parties in Russia? is an important book. Examining party competition in a system whose transition is stalled, if not terminated, Hale provides tools which enable us to understand why some party systems are more institutionalized than others."
-Steven B. Wolinetz, "International Political Science Review
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- Date Published: December 2005
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521844093
- length: 288 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 160 x 24 mm
- weight: 0.59kg
- contains: 28 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Electoral markets and Russia's political smorgasboard
2. Party entrepreneurship in Russia's electoral market, 1989–2004
3. How much party is in the party system?
4. Electoral markets and party substitutes in Russia: origins and impact
5. Parties and party substitutes: determining the balance
6. Conclusion: the market model and theories of parties, national integration, and transitions from authoritarian rule.
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