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ECPR Futures Lab 2020

The Right-Wing in the System of Political Elite as a Result of Electoral Competition


The paper investigates the reasons of forming of the right wing in the system of the political elite in the transformation period of ruling regime The study analyzes the formation of the right wing of the political elite of the Tomsk region. Analyzing the élites from the viewpoint of the systems theory made it possible to consider the object under study as a complex system existing in the conditions of transformation. The choice of the territorial and chronological frameworks is stipulated by the following factors.
Firstly, post-Soviet Russia was an instance of transitive society; that period was characterized by forming the federative state structure, the transition to a market system of relations, the developing of institutes of local self-government, radical reorganization of the hierarchy of power relations. Secondly, “the Tomsk case” of formation of the right wing of the political elite makes it possible to throw light on some new aspects of the formation of the right wing of the political elite in general. It demonstrates political rather than socio-economic nature of the formation of the right wing of the political elite; the right wing of the political elite was formed from representatives of democratic movements.
Analysis of the functioning specificity of that wing shows that contemporary "right" very often is just instrument of more powerful political actors. The studied case also illustrate that system groups of regional political elite quite often use the right ideology to get additional preferences. The regime transformation leads to the formation of fairly vague rules of existence of the political structure, and in the extreme forms it leads to the lack of any effective regulatory mechanisms for political processes.

The instability of the political operational field causes the structure of the ruling élite to change; and in the cases of radical transformation patterns the political élite is ousted from their previously occupied privileged positions. In these conditions, a group of political élite, the so called right wing, becomes a generator of radical ideas. These radical ideas, the ideas of sovereignty, in particular, are employed to quickly win popularity, and ultimately win support on the part of the population. The phenomena of social consciousness, that seize the masses, may, in the future influence the electoral behavior of the population substantially. The deterioration of social and economic situation in transitive systems may act as a catalyst, but is not the initial cause of radicalization of the political field.
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