A new term in Comparative Politics: illiberal democracy was created by Russia's system of managed elections.
Liberal democracies hold elections and the votes are counted accurately, with the winning candidates taking office and exercising their power.
Everything leading up to election day makes them illiberal.
There are significant restrictions on whether candidates can compete for office.
There are restrictions on the media that prevent opposition candidates from being able to communicate their message.
The fundamental feature of democracy, the power of voters to hold a government accountable and remove it by ballot, doesn't seem to exist since those in power are able to use the state to protect their place in power.
Russia's Constitution allows for three types of elections at the national level.
Russia's constitution allows voters to choose officials through national elections, however, there are many limitations on the ability of potential candidates to compete for election victory against the incumbent government.
The chief executive is directly elected by Russians in a two-ballot majority system.
If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round, a second round will be held.
Since 1996, there has been no need for a second round of voting.
International observers and domestic dissidents found the elections in Russia in 2004 to be lacking in basic civil liberties protection needed to guarantee the will of the people.
450 people are members of the State Duma.
The year before the presidential election is when elections are supposed to occur.
If the party received at least 5 percent of the vote, half of the seats would be awarded to the winning candidates of the SMD constituencies and the other half to the candidates on the party list.
In 2005, the system was changed to a fully PR system with a 7 percent threshold to win representation.
The composition of the State Duma was affected by the reforms.
Russia's legislative election system has changed from a SMD-PR mix to a fully PR mix because each of the reforms would benefit the president's party at the time of the change.
The United Russia Party still held a majority of the Duma, despite the fact that many voters turned away from them due to the recession and the decline in oil prices.
It appeared increasingly likely that the next elections would not produce a United Russia majority, and Putin requested yet another reform to the election system, returning to the SMD and PR mix of the past, in order to appease protests after the elections of 2011.
The election system reform was supposed to have an effect.
The United Russia Party easily won a supermajority of 343 seats in the 2016 Duma elections because of an aggressively nationalistic campaign strategy, significant restrictions on opposition parties to allow them to qualify for the ballot and campaign, and low voter turnout.
There are eighty-five "federal subjects" governing on a regional level in Russia.
Governors and regional legislature were elected under the Constitution of 1993.
In 2004, after the Chechen terrorists took a school hostage in Beslan, North Ossetia, Putin signed a law that gave the president the power to dismiss regional governors.
The federal nature of Russia was greatly reduced by the consolidation of power in the executive.
The power to appoint governors ended in 2012.
The wave of protests that followed Putin's announcement that he was running for president in 2012 demanded free and fair elections.
The law that restored regional elections for governor in 2012 was the only reform that has been done to make elections more fair.
Under the new law, it is very difficult for a candidate to get enough signatures to get on the ballot without state support.
The system is referred to as the municipal filter by opposition figures because it prevents real opposition from running for office.
The president has the power to dismiss governors and appoint acting governors until the next election.
An acting governor is eligible for the ballot.
Three weeks before regional elections, Putin replaced eleven governors.
After the election, all of Putin's appointees were re-elected.
Since Putin's rise to power, Russia's federal system has become more centralized.
Russian voters are sometimes called upon to approve or reject a policy.
The 1993 Constitution, a constitutional referendum in Chechnya, and a referendum to join Russia after the Russian military are all examples of rare occurrences.
Russia's political party structure is not the same as Britain's.
Russia's dominant party, United Russia, has only stood for election since 2003 and the most stable opposition parties are not going to challenge for power.
Most of Russia's liberal democratic forces have a hard time organizing and communicating their message against Putin and the forces of the state.
United Russia was formed in 2001 to bring stability to the Russian political system and avoid the "communism vs capitalism" dichotomy.
The purpose of forming the party was to support President Putin in the legislature.
If the presidential administration is supported by the party, the candidates will be supported regardless of their ideological beliefs.
Russia is an example of a dominant-party system in which United Russia acts as a party of power, existing not to implement a particular ideological agenda, but rather to secure and maintain power for its members.
Evidence of corruption in public administration can be found in parties of power that are based on a large patron-client network.
The case for United Russia is similar.
51 percent of Russians agreed with the characterization that "United Russia is the party of crooks and thieves," according to a survey done in 2013).
Navalny has been arrested numerous times for a variety of suspected white-collar crimes, usually within days of leading rallies against Putin and United Russia, and he has served time in prison and under house arrest.
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was banned by Boris Yeltsin.
Yeltsin's primary opposition won the most seats in the first legislative elections in 1995.
Most of the party's voters are elderly Russians who nostalgically remember the good old days of Soviet Communism.
Deng Xiaoping's market-based reforms in China are seen as the model for development by those who support traditional Marxist-Leninist worker-centered values.
The party has not had much trouble with placing candidates on the ballot for election or engaging in other opposition political activities, but this may be because the party stands little chance of actually challenging Putin for power.
In every presidential election since 1996, its candidate has come in second place, but with vote totals nowhere near the United Russia candidates, it received just over 17 percent in 2008 and 2012 for its leader, Gennady Zyuganov.
The Liberal Democratic Party is neither liberal nor democratic.
The party is described as fiercely nationalist and far right, following the radical ideology of its controversial leader.
It wants to create a new Russian Empire through the unification of former Soviet republics.
Similar to theCPRF, it is easy to qualify candidates for the ballot and express opposition viewpoints, but it does not do well in elections, with only 10 percent of the vote going to the president.
The lack of a charismatic political figure who can bring the opposition together is one of the reasons why Russia's liberal opposition parties are poorly organized and disunified.
Since 2000, an array of parties demanding fair elections and an end to political corruption have contended for office, including Yabloko, The Union of Right Forces, Democratic Choice of Russia, and Solidarnost, to name a few of the more noteworthy and successful.
Candidates from these parties have found it difficult to get interviews and organize rallies.
When one of Russia's most famous chess players tried to run for president in 2008, the only media outlet that would ever give him an interview was a radio station with a reputation among the opposition as the only independent media voice.
Police were positioned around the perimeter of the march area when he organized it.
After the fall of the USSR, a symbol banned after the march began, one of the participants produced a Bolshevik flag.
Police immediately descended upon the marchers and arrested many of them, including Kasparov, who maintains that the person who produced the flag was planted by the police.
The requirement to hold a rally of at least 500 attendees to announce a candidacy and have them sign a petition was not met by Kasparov.
Two days before Kasparov's announcement, the venue canceled his contract.
Liberal parties that have the potential to win elections and challenge Putin for power often have a hard time getting their candidates on the ballot.
Almost every Russian liberal opposition figure has the same story of being intimidated or obstruction in their attempts to get elected.
The development of Russian civil society has been hampered by the state's corporatism under the Soviet Union.
While there is over 300,000 registered non-governmental interest groups in Russia, groups likely to express opposition views, such as those aimed at protecting human rights, are frequently barred from official registration.
A 2006 law gave the Federal Public Chamber the authority to review the registration of foreign NGOs and determine if they could not operate in Russia if it was in the national interest to ban them.
The reporting requirements were difficult to comply with, and the rules were not clear, leaving Public Chamber officials a lot of latitude in interpreting whether an organization met the regulatory requirements to register or not.
Business, trade, and labor groups are usually allowed to form and act politically, but the most influential groups are usually those with ties to the state, as opposed to those representing the interests of the public.
Many of the most influential business interests are companies in which siloviki occupy executive positions or serve on the board of directors.
The Russian term for people who worked in the security services such as the KGB or the Federal Security Service is called Siloviki.
Russia's system is very corporatist, managing the formation and activity of interest groups and civil society from the state level through institutions like the Federal Public Chamber.
The most valuable formerly state-owned industries of the former Soviet Union were wrested from the state by the super-wealthy oligarchs of Russia in the early 1990s.
When Yeltsin and Putin were supported by the oligarchs, many thought they would continue to pull the strings of the Russian state.
Putin made it clear to the oligarchs that they could keep their wealth if they stayed out of Russian politics.
Oligarchs who ignored the ultimatum have been hit with severe consequences.
Yeltsin was aided in the 1990s by Boris Berezovsky, who owned the most watched TV networks in Russia.
He fled to Britain for political asylum after becoming a critic of Putin.
Putin's inner circle are on the board of directors of the TV network that the government took over.
The richest man in Russia used his money to fund opposition parties in the 2003 elections and criticized the "managed elections" and corruption under Putin.
Khordorkovsky was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2003 for fraud and tax evasion.
His sentence was extended after new charges for other crimes were brought against him.
The man who was pardoned by Putin is now living in exile.
The assets of Yukos were auctioned off in a suspicious manner.
The chairman of the board is a former deputy prime minister.
Despite the seeming political motivation of these and other prosecutions of oligarchs, Russians often respond positively to the arrests, as the wealthy who made their wealth in the turmoil of the 1990s are disdained by Russians.
The Communist Party's propaganda tools, such as Pravda, the state print medium, were the only media allowed to exist in the country.
A private media market emerged after the fall of the USSR.
Russia's media is mostly privately owned, but it may be considered state-controlled.
There are many rules and incentives that motivate the media to cover the government favorably.
The government of Russia exerts tremendous influence over what appears on broadcasts and what gets printed in subtle ways.
Once they became critical of Putin, major media moguls faced arrest and exile.
The control of wealth and networks is dependent on compliance with the administration.
Journalists who publish critical stories about the government are often killed.
Anna Politkovskaya, an outspoken critic of government policy in Chechnya, was poisoned.
Five employees of Novaya Gazeta, a critical newspaper, have died suspiciously since 2000.
Large stakes of media companies are often bought by companies with deep ties to the state.
The current prime minister of Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, was previously the chair of Gazprom, which was chaired by a former prime minister.
At a meeting with the employees of the company, managers of the Russian News Service demanded that at least 50 percent of the broadcasts be positive.
The president of Russia is elected by voters.
He serves a six-year term and is limited to two consecutive terms.
After stepping down from the presidency in 2008, Vladimir Putin ran for president for a second time.
The president is the head of state and not the head of government.
The president is more than just a ceremonial head of state.
The president of Russia holds the most wide-reaching powers under the constitution, but sometimes Russian politics is more about who is in a particular position of authority, rather than the defined powers of the position.
The president has tremendous power over the Russian state.
If the Duma rejects the president's nominee three times, the president may call for new elections.
In 1993, Yeltsin's choices for prime minister were twice rejected by the Duma, then they approved his third nominee under threat of being dissolved.
The president has no control over cabinet ministers or other heads of agencies.
Yeltsin knew that it would be difficult to get cooperation from the Duma, made up of many Communists and others opposed to reform.
The Duma can't do much to check against this power.
The Federation Council approves the nominations of judges to serve on the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Arbitration Court.
He doesn't have power over crimes at the regional level.
He decides Russia's position in international affairs, negotiates and ratifies treaties, and appoints and recalls Russia's diplomatic representatives.
The prime minister is appointed by the president.
Yeltsin frequently dismissed a prime minister during his presidency.
When Yeltsin resigned in 2000, the prime minister became the president because there was no vice president.
He is the head of government according to the Russian Constitution.
He chairs meetings of Russia's most senior officials, including the cabinet, but his powers are mostly advisory.
When Putin was the prime minister from 2008 to 2012 there was little doubt that he was still in control of the state.
Russia's Federal Assembly is a bicameral legislature with a lower house and an upper house.
After reforms in 2015, 450 deputies are chosen through a half single-member-district and half proportional representation election.
They have the power to approve the budget, confirm or reject the appointment of the prime minister, and pass bills with the president's signature.
The president's wide-reaching power to govern by decree through the cabinet limits their real power.
The president can be impeached with a two-thirds vote in both the Federation Council and the State Duma, as well as a guilty conviction in Russia's Supreme Court.
The Duma tried to use these powers against Yeltsin many times, but could not get the two-thirds threshold.
Each of Russia's eighty-five regional administrative units sends two members to the Federation Council.
One member is chosen by the governor and the other by the legislature.
Governors would often appoint themselves to sit on the Federation Council at the same time, but Putin ended this practice in 2000.
The president has control over the composition of the Federation Council thanks to a change in 2004, which allowed the president to nominate regional governors himself, and a change in 2014, which added seventeen new seats to the Federation Council.
Members of the Federation Council are not allowed to be members of any political party.
The Federation Council is the other lawmaking body that passes bills, but the Duma can pass a bill without its approval with a two-thirds vote.
The Federation Council has the power to approve changes to the borders of Russia's regional units as well as approve the president's decision to use armed forces outside of Russia.
Russia has an extensive geographic, ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity.
The 1993 Constitution established Russia as a federal system in order to allow regional autonomy for local governments, which could best address the diverse needs and policy preferences of their local populations.
Not all of Russia's federal subjects are equal.
The asymmetric federalism system was established in the constitution.
Ordinary regional governments made up of ethnic Russians have the ability to choose their own legislature and governor.
A republic is usually the regional homeland of an ethnic minority group.
There are two noteworthy republics of Russia, both of which are in the southwestern part of the country.
Russia has fought two wars against Chechnya since 1991, and the central government of Russia exerts extensive control over the activities of each regional government.
The rule of law was not respected by the courts under the Soviet system.
The goal of establishing an independent judiciary in Russia is currently eluding it.
The cases of political prosecutions were never challenged by the Russian judiciary.
The Russian security services have 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 800-313-5780 It is assumed in Russia that judges may be bought off with favors in order to get favorable rulings from the court.
The president appoints nineteen members of the Constitutional Court and they are confirmed by the Federation Council.
The Constitutional Court has the power to interpret the Constitution and can exercise judicial review against laws that it finds unconstitutional.
In practice, this power never comes to fruition.
The Russian Supreme Court is the last place a legal dispute can be settled after taking appeals from lower-level courts.
115 judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Federation Council.
The exclusive province of the Constitutional Court is where they don't have the power to review law for constitutionality.
In 2012 the Supreme Court was ordered to relocate from Moscow.
The military was used to enforce Soviet control over troubled areas and was a crucial source of power for the regime.
The military received the bulk of the government's finances to the disadvantage of nearly all other functions of the state.
The military remained firmly under the control of the Communist Party until the late 1980s and 1990s, when the military attempted a coup against Gorbachev.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, a presidential decree made the Russian president the commander in chief.
Senior officials in Russia are almost all from civilian background, as the military seems to still be under the control of the political leadership.
Russia's military has been used by Putin to project Russia's strength abroad in a way not seen since the Soviet era.
Russia has the fifth largest active-duty force in the world, and spent $69.3 billion on the military in 2013, third behind the United States and China.
Russia has been involved in military campaigns recently.
Georgian forces moved into South Ossetia to restore order after it broke away from Georgia.
Russia invaded South Ossetia and Abkhazia under the guise of "peace-enforcement", and the territories remain under Russian military occupation to this day.
After a pro-Russian president was overthrown by domestic protests in Ukraine, Russia sent soldiers into the peninsula without a national flag and took over government buildings.
Russia sent in the military to protect ethnic Russians in the region who might be targeted by Ukrainian nationalist extremists.
Russia annexed the peninsula after a referendum was held.
The turmoil of the late years of communism and the early years of the new regime gave Russians a different set of policy concerns than those of developed liberal democracies.
The struggle between those who want democratic reform and those who are grateful for the end of the turmoil has not been helped by recent political stability and economic growth.
Russia's experience with shock therapy, as poverty soared to rates ten times above their pre-Soviet-collapse levels, and inflation and unemployment affected Russians more than the Great Depression had, remains deeply scarred into the minds of most Russians.
The state's collapse, the lack of full implementation of shock therapy, government corruption, and general instability are still debated today.
Thanks to rising energy prices, the Russian economy recovered through 2008.
The government has faced serious budget problems since the recession of 2008.
Russia has less inequality than most of our countries of study, and Russia has no extreme poverty, which is a standard of living of less than two dollars per day.
Russia's economy is still state-owned and reliant on the energy sector.
Diversification of Russia's economy is a goal of both Putin and Medvedev.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia remained the dominant power in eastern Europe.
The case of Georgia is an example of Russia's dominance.
Russian natural gas is used to heat homes in Ukraine.
Natural gas is heavily subsidized by the Ukrainian government.
Russia has often used natural gas as a tool of control in diplomacy with Ukraine, cutting off access at crucial moments of Ukrainian negotiations over trade or other matters with Western Europe.
Putin personally supported pro-Russian candidates with money, advisors, and even campaign appearances, as Ukrainian politics has been divided between pro-Russian and anti-Russian parties in recent decades.
When protests in Ukraine forced pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich to resign, Russia granted asylum to him and invaded eastern Ukraine.
The Soviet Union was seen as the opposing polar power against the United States before it collapsed.
Russia has had to deal with a world in which the United States is a clear hegemon.
While Yeltsin's presidency seemed to signal an end to the Cold War tensions, relations between the United States and Russia have deteriorated.
Natural gas exports are one of the tools of control used by former Soviet satellites and republics as they seek membership in NATO or the European Union.
Georgia and Ukraine were in the early stages of NATO membership when the Russian military took over.
Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2012 ended any chance of further integration in the near future, despite the fact that Russia pursued integration into the new globalized economy in the early 2000s.
Economic sanctions were imposed on Russia by all of the economic powers of the West after the G-8 was reduced back to the G-7.