ARTICLE TITLE: The Vicious Circle of Post-Soviet Neopatrimonialism
AUTHORS: Gel’man V.
ABSTRACT: Since the collapse of Communism, Russia and some other post-Soviet states attempted to pursue socio-economic reforms relying upon political institutions of neopatrimonialism. This politico-economic order was established to serve interests of ruling groups and set up major features of states, political regimes, and market economies. It provided numerous negative incentives for governing the economy and the state due to unconstrained rent-seeking behavior of major actors. Programs of policy reforms encountered with incompatibility of these institutions with priorities of modernization, and some efforts to resolve these contradictions through a number of partial and compromise solutions often worsened the situation vis-à-vis preservation of the status quo. The ruling groups lack incentives to institutional changes, which can undermine their political and economic dominance. This is a vicious circle: reforms are often minor or caus unintended and undesired consequences. What are the possible domestic and international incentives for the rejection of political institutions of neopatrimonialism in post-Soviet states and their further replacement by inclusive economic and political institutions?
KEYWORDS: neopatrimonialism , political institutions , governance , authoritarianism , post-Communism