Is Russia Ruled by an Oligarchy?

Is Russia Ruled by an Oligarchy?

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2002.05.08

For citation:

Fortescue S. Is Russia Ruled by an Oligarchy? – Polis. Political Studies. 2002. No. 5. P. 64-73. (In Russ.).


Turning to the once prevailing view that Russia was ruled by a business-based oligarchy during the Yeltsin presidency, as well as to another prevailing view that the first view appeared to be dealt its death blow with the accession to power of V.Putin, the author adduces and analyzes considerable material appearing to testify to the weakened positions of the oligarchs, to their greatly weakened political weight. Nevertheless, his article argues the case for the existence of a business-based oligarchy in Russia. He makes an attempt, a propos, to explain the nature of the oligarchy's relationship with Putin, as well as the nature of the economic base of the oligarchy, which is a resource-based oligarchy, whose existence, however, appears doubtful under the "virtual economy" model that corresponds to some key economic policy positions. But, the author insists, narrower policy positions become less important, provided a resorce-based elite can be confident of having two basic demands met, their own property rights and freedom from regulation. Finally, the question entitling the article receives the author's positive answer. 


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Content No. 5, 2002

See also:

Melville A.Yu.,
On Trajectories of Post-Communist Transformations. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No2

Kazantzev A.A.,
Intelligentsia and Structural Innovations in Political Expanse (An Essay of Comparative Analysis). – Polis. Political Studies. 2007. No1

Sergeev V.M.,
How Are Social Changes Possible? (Prolegomena to a Statistical Theory of Social Networks). – Polis. Political Studies. 2001. No6

Rabotyazhev N.V.,
Phenomenon of “Right-Left” Coalition in Russia: National Salvation Front. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No4

Bube M.,
The Role of Parties in the Formation of Political System of Post-War Germany. – Polis. Political Studies. 2004. No6



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