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Books by Grigory Yavlinsky
Economics and Politics in Russia
The Center for Economic and Political Research (EPIcenter)
Nizhni Novgorod-Moscow, 1992
CHAPTER 2. The New Policies of the Administration.

2.3. Regional approach


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Russia is a state unique in its expansiveness. Its huge territory, the social, economic and ethnic differentiation makes the country a great mosaic. The country's existence and identity depend on the character and success of its regional policies.

The regional policies of any central power always are directed toward defined integrity and management of all territories on the basis of either a coordination of interests of the region to the interests of the center or an agreement of those interests.

Historical experience of periodic recessions and upturns of Russia (the last time, during the post-revolutionary period) gives witness to the fact that the unity of our state has traditionally been guaranteed by the establishment of a strong ideology (the great-Russian theocracy-monarchy, communism), real or hypothetical external threats, strong government coercion, and the limitation of political freedoms.

Accordingly the methods of executing regional politics were, as a rule, in violent contradiction to the interests of the regions. Central powers of such a system had the legal authority to go into any region's area of competence and usurp the power to execute those policies itself.

Now there is occurring an intense destruction of systems that have for a very long time been controlled by the center and upon which the regions were highly dependent. These were based upon government correspondence in a vertical system of management and control in all spheres of social life of the regions. They were in fact stolen from the regions in the interests of the center. With the following centralized distribution of financial and material resources between regions, the situation is changing by its very roots.

Together with the Federation Agreement, the New Constitution Project and a similar array of exclusive legislative acts and half-secret agreements on the interrelation between the center and separate regions of Russia (the number of which has exceeded 50) testifies to the absence of a current reforming center sufficiently involved in the situation of a regional policy which is tied to the inability and hopelessness of making regional interests into general state interests. That the traditional expected passive role of the regions was destroyed in the administrative programs gives evidence to the limited inability of the reform ideology "from above" to create a regional policy with the appreciation of local interests.


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