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Political Parties in the Regions of Russia: Democracy Unclaimed

Grigorii V. Golosov
Political Parties in the Regions of Russia: Democracy Unclaimed
ISBN: 978-1-58826-217-2
2004/307 pages/LC: 2003047047

"For those interested in the politics of Russia beyond Kremlin halls and presidential prognostication, this is perhaps the best book in many years."—Daniel J. Epstein, The Russian Review

"This excellent and important study is to be highly recommended both to specialists in Russian politics and to scholars of party politics more generally."—Cameron Ross, Slavic Review

"A valuable and richly empirical volume.... [Golosov] produces a fascinating study, blending statistical data with a breathtaking array of evidence from Russia's regions.... Highly recommended."—Choice

"A richly nuanced interpretation of the complexity that makes Russian politics at once so forbidding and so fascinating, unprecedented in its thorough coverage of party development.... Golosov's contribution is a pioneering one."—Henry E. Hale, Indiana University

Golosov offers a thoughtful, comprehensive analysis of the development and underdevelopment of political parties in the regions of Russia.... the first of its kind."—Michael Bressler, Furman University


Political parties typically are assumed to be essential for contemporary democratic government and governance. Why, then, has the regime change in Russia failed to produce viable political parties? Grigorii Golosov addresses this question, exploring issues central to an understanding of Russian political development.

Golosov combines statistical and qualitative analysis, including case studies, to explain why political parties have not yet taken hold in Russia's regions. His argument is bolstered by a uniquely comprehensive database of regional elections held in the period 1993-April 2003. Moving from the late Soviet era to current efforts by the federal government to promote a viable party system at the regional level, his work is a pathbreaking contribution to both Russian studies and comparative politics.


Grigorii V. Golosov is professor of political science at the European University at St. Petersburg (Russia). His many publications include Elections in Russia: Analyses, Documents and Data and Partiinye Sistemy Rossii i Stran Vostochnoi Evropy [Party Systems of Russia and East European Countries].


  • Introduction.
  • National Political Parties in Russia.
  • Political Parties in the Regions of Russia: An Empirical Overview.
  • The Supply Side: Party Labels and Party Resources.
  • The Demand Side: Candidates Seeking Office.
  • The Demand Side: Executive Control and Legislative Autonomy.
  • The Effects of Electoral Systems.
  • Political Engineering vs. Party Underdevelopment.