Crafting Electoral Authoritarianism: the Russian Case

Investigator: Prof. Stephen White
Funded by: ESRC
Dates: 1 February 2009 - 31 January 2012

The focus of this project is on the changes in Russian electoral legislation that took place between 2005 and 2007, particularly the elimination of single-member districts; the raising of the minimum threshold from 5 to 7 per cent; the elimination of the ‘against all’ ballot option; and the elimination of the minimum turnout requirement. The project will draw heavily on a programme of interviews with deputies, party leaders, officials within the presidential administration and the Central Electoral Commission, and the expert community (particularly the several institutes that study the electoral process), conducted in association with the director of the department of elite studies at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Glasgow visiting professor, Olga Kryshtanovskaya. There will also be a quantitative (survey) dimension, in which the project will also draw on the expertise of Professor Ian McAllister of the Australian National University. The project falls within the wider remit of Professor White’s Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on ‘managed democracy’ and is part of an ongoing programme of work on regime-society relations in postcommunist Europe, including Belarus and Ukraine as well as Russia. The award is for three years from October 2008.

Amount of award: £260,000