Bureaucratic reform and Russian transition: the puzzles of policy-making process

Palgrave Communications. 2019;5(1):1-15 DOI 10.1057/s41599-019-0238-5


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Palgrave Communications

ISSN: 2055-1045 (Online)

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Svetlana Inkina (Public Policy Department, Higher School of Economics)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 19 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract During the two decades of post-Soviet transition, Russia has created a complex system of civil service and public administration. This system was first reformed in the early 1990s and then again in the early 2000s. The analysis presented here fills a gap in the existing literature concerning the dynamic of change associated with Russian civil service reform (CSR). It is argued that the process of bureaucratic modernization in Russia is undermined by the ambivalent nature of policy leadership with its financial, administrative, and technical support, and the ongoing bargain among policy advocates and policy implementers. In order to account for the outcomes reached by policy-makers, the paper presents a detailed analysis of expert interviews collected by the author among research community specialists, federal legislators, and other participants in the reform. The discussion highlights the importance of power dynamics, which resolves conflicting views of CSR among policy formulators and policy implementers. The findings, which consist of identifying necessary and sufficient conditions of the change process, have implications for studies of modern Russian politics, states in regime transition, and world-wide modernization.