Incorporation of Russian Federation Regions: Institutional and Social Consequences

Incorporation of Russian Federation Regions:
Institutional and Social Consequences

Okunev I.Yu.,

Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Politics, MGIMO-University,

elibrary_id: 565228 | ORCID: 0000-0003-3292-9829 | RESEARCHER_ID: E-4038-2012

Oskolkov P.V.,

postgraduate student, Department of Integration Studies, MGIMO-University; Lecturer, Department of Regional Aspects of World Politics, Lomonosov Moscow State University; junior researcher, Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 823063 |

Tislenko M.I.,

president of Geopolitics Research Club “Terra Cognita”, MGIMO University,

elibrary_id: 828554 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.02.02

For citation:

Okunev I.Yu., Oskolkov P.V., Tislenko M.I. Incorporation of Russian Federation Regions: Institutional and Social Consequences. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 2. P. 8-28. (In Russ.).


The aim of the research is to analyze the row of administrative reforms in Russia in 2003-2008 looking at their results and how these results are reflected in institutional structure and discursive practices. The researchers were to conduct an institutional analysis of the reform nearly ten years after its fulfillment, as well as a discourse analysis of the texts about the reform that were collected specially for this research. The authors’ hypothesis is that the RF subjects that have lost their autonomy have not lost a specific territorial/spatial identity because the inhabitants preserved specific attitudes about the importance of these territories and their unique spatial positioning. Structurally, the article consists of two parts. In the first part, the results of the institutional analysis of the reform in each reformed entity are presented and summarized in a table; in each administrative entity, the design and functioning of the executive and legislative branches of power and the head of an entity were analyzed. The second part is structurally divided into five case studies; here, the results of discourse analysis of the texts are presented and summarized as graphs. 55 texts were taken from federal and regional media and from blogs, containing evaluative statements of politicians and governmental officials, NGO representatives and public characters, and also common people. The texts were sorted according to such criteria as the period of publication, (non-)belonging of the speaker to the governmental bodies, positive/negative attitude towards the reform. The authors come to the following conclusions: the “special status” of the newly-formed territorial entities remains undefined; the norm of representation of these entities is highly uneven. The competences of the governing bodies of the entities are predominantly in national and cultural sphere. Common discursive element in all cases of the incorporation is the discourse of “disappointed expectations” and unfulfilled promises in economic, social and, which is rarer, national and cultural spheres. We should also note that reform has affected the conscience of the inhabitants of the vanished autonomies only, and not of the surrounding federal subjects. 

administrative reform; administrative territorial division; spatial identity; Komi-Permyak Okrug; Agin-Buryat Okrug; Ust-Orda Buryat Okrug; Koryak Okrug; Evenkiysky District; Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District.


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Content No. 2, 2018

See also:

Lebedeva Ye.B., Busygina I.M.,
Administrative-territorial division in Russian Federation: reforms and the factor of political regime. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No3

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Municipal Public Policy: The Viability of its Institutions and Subjects (The Cases of Kostroma and Yaroslavl). – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No3

Grishin N.V.,
The Phenomenon of Constituency Boundaries Commissions: Development and Prospects. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No4

Kovalev V.A.,
Post-Authoritarian Syndrome in a Region (Experience of Komi Republic in the Context of the “Putin Federalism”). – Polis. Political Studies. 2002. No6

Litvinova T.N.,
The Effectiveness of Regional Power: from Theory to Measurement (Case Study of the North Caucasus Federal District Republics). – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No2



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