25 March 2014
Ex Boccherini - Piazza S. Ponziano 6 (Conference Room )
In the period from 2005 to 2012, Russian regional governors were directly appointed by the Russian president. The paper provides empirical evidence showing that during this period, regional election results for the Kremlin party United Russia played a strong and significant role in explaining the likelihood of regional governors to stay in office, while the economic performance of a governor had actually a negative effect. In contrast to China, where regional officials are rewarded for their growth performance, the paper thus shows how the ruling elites in Moscow tried to use appointments of regional officials to consolidate their political control over the country, while performance-related criteria played only a secondary role. The paper then also describes why this strategy failed, and why Russia returned to gubernatorial elections in 2013.