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ECPR Standing Group on the European Union 10th Biennial Conference LUISS, Rome

How to Regulate Governance Networks in a Hybrid Regime? Evidence from the Russian Case

Environmental Policy
Ethnic Conflict
Sabine Kropp
Freie Universität Berlin
Sabine Kropp
Freie Universität Berlin

Due to weak state and administrative capacity, the Russian government has begun to involve resource-rich non-state actors into policymaking since the early 2000s and established numerous institutionalized platforms, networks, and forums. These bodies which have emerged in various policies on regional and local level are designed to give policy advice, implement decisions, and manage conflicts between different social groups. The paper sheds light on how and why state authorities interact with non-state actors and unravels various types, functions and flavours of networks in Russia. In fact, governance networks are a ubiquitous phenomenon emerging in different regime types. The crucial question, however, is how the authorities regulate these bodies under the terms of a hybrid regime, which has become increasingly authoritarian over the past years. By precisely tracing how state authorities regulate and ‘govern’ networks, special emphasis is placed on the analysis of ‘meta-governance’ tools. Drawing on the empirical results of 15 case studies, the paper provides a comparison of three policies (drug prevention, environmental policy, ethnic policy) each investigated across two Russian regions. It also allows for theorising on the regulation of networks in an increasingly authoritarian regime.
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