Autocracy and democracy in post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine

Kim Andersen January 8, 2012

1 Introduction 2 Theoretical introduction 2.1 2.2 2.3 Democracy and autocracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Consolidation of democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Checks and balances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9 12 13 13 14 14 15 15 16 16 17 23 23 25

3 Introducing the explanans 3.1 3.2 3.3 Natural resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Party system and party of power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4 Methodological approach 4.1 4.2 Most similar systems design and process tracing . . . . . . . . . . Operationalisation and causal links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2.1 4.2.2 4.2.3 4.2.4 4.3 Natural resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Party system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Party of power (PoP) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Author of the constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Theoretical model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5 Comparison of Russia and Ukraine 6 Case study 6.1 6.2 Russia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ukraine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


7 Considering an alternative explanation 8 Discussion and conclusion 8.1 8.2 Diffusion versus the rest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

27 28 29 30 32 33 34 35 36

A Appendix I: Duma elections in 1993 and 1995 B Appendix II: Duma elections in 1999 and 2003 C Appendix III: Duma elections in 2007 D Appendix IV: Rada elections in 1994 and 1998 E Appendix V: Rada elections in 2002 and 2007




Both Russia and Ukraine became independent of the Soviet Union in 1991, and as “young” countries, their democratic history have been turbulent. Executive and legaslative arm-wrestling over power-sharing has been the norm rather than the exception. Despite these scuffles, Ukraine managed to embark on a consolidation course, whereas Russia slided into autocracy as depicted in figure 1. Thus, the research question sounds, Why did Russia slide into autocracy, whereas Ukraine remained somewhat stable in the same period. Figure 1: Democratic development in Russia and Ukraine according to Freedom House

Notes: Scores are an addition of political rights and civil liberties, and as such, most only be seen as a rough estimate. Source: Freedom-House (2011)

The understanding of the research question entails three pivotal components of democracy. First of all, a clear definition of democracy is needed. Secondly, yet equally important, the utilisation of Linz and Stepan as well as Schedler’s theoretical conceptualisation of consolidation is needed. Thirdly, to consolidate 3

democracy, a functional political system is needed, and this depends on the checks and balances especially between the presidency and parliament. Hence, this paper deals with the question of democratic consolidation and encroachment through a battery of structural and actor explanans derived from these theoretical understandings. Thus, it is the structure-actor dichotomy that acts as the central structure of the paper. The demise and collapse of democracy has often been related to a presence of natural resources such as oil and minerals (Ross, 2001: 356f). Yet these modernisation theorists, who forward these theoretical understandings, have only developed a conceptual understanding of the effects of natural resources on the state apparatus and its relationship with its population. They have not delved upon how natural resources enters the system. Often it has been assumed that states autocratise and then use the resources to bolster the regime. This paper attempts to develop an understanding of how natural resources enter the political system. The argument is developed in section 3.1. For now it must suffice to say that the interplay between natural resources, party system, constitution, and party of power determine the effectiveness of the checks and balances. This is answered by utilising a “Most Similar Systems Design” bolstered by “Process tracing”. Finally, the scope conditions of this paper needs to be stated. First of all, the focus is new democracies. Functioning democracies such as Norway, have access to natural resources, yet because of the consolidated nature of these democracies, they do not get impeded. Thus, the countries of interest are those that can be considered newly constituted democracies embarking on a consolidation course. Finally, these countries must have realised their natural resources and privatised these former state assets. Hence, this paper is limited to post-communist countries and in particular the former Soviet Union. The next section deals with the theoretical introduction, whereas the third section elaborates on the explanans. The fourth and the fifth section depict the theoretical model and the methodological approach, whereas section six and seven compares and elaborates on the comparison through process tracing. The eighth section delves briefly upon the question of diffusion as an alternative explanation. The last section discuss and concludes.


Theoretical introduction

This section sets out to develop an understanding of democracy and autocracy. Hereafter it continues with the question of consolidation and finally addresses


1 Democracy and autocracy Democracy is a contested concept. forthcomming). yet have significant democratic as well as autocratic traits. two definitions suitable of these cases are needed. and thus mobilisation is not prevalent. This type of autocracy is defined as civilian (ibid. yet he denounces this as a possibility. One defining democracy as involving competitive elections and a balanced polity. and hence the system is arbitrary1 . Hence. The polity is biased in favour of the leadership. The second definition is that of autocracy.3). 2. section 2. Thus. It is important to stress the competitive element of elections. Linz and Stepan (1996: 38f) define autocracy as a political system with limited pluralism. The understanding of the leadership is further developed by Cheibub et al. The Ogden-Richards triangle shows the relationship between the intension of the definition and the number of cases or extensions. 1 This proposition is supported by the lack of rule of law. 2010: 271). the number of cases is reduced to western democracies. 5 .checks and balances as are needed for the functioning of democracy. To sum up. The leadership-type that is relevant in this paper is the one where there are no hereditary succession nor usage of titles as well as no military involvment. Such elections stress the importance of a balanced polity. using a definition with many intensions such as liberal democracy. to capture these countries. he leaves the electorate with the task of electing the deliberating leadership (Moller and Skaaning. Definitions are as numerous as there are regimes claiming the name of democracy. because an imbalanced polity would be able to make encroachments on the meaningfulness of competitive elections (cf. who define three types of autocracy by stressing three types of leadership. which is exercising power within illdefined formal limits but with predictable norms. This position is echoed by Moller and Skaaning. who subscribes to a minimalist definition. This paper deals with cases that are far from being liberal democracies. Thus. There is no guiding ideology. The first definition that needs to be elucidated is that of democracy understood as minimalist democracy. According to Schumpeter. It is also important to note that there are no checks and balances.). (2010: 87). democracy is an arena where deliberation takes place. and the other involving autocracy defined as a polity without elections and a guiding ideology. The right definition of democracy depends on the cases. who argue that minimalist democracy includes competitive elections (Moller and Skaaning. this paper involves two distinct definitions. The government is leaded by a small group.

Their behavioural dimension entails that no actor. and reversibility.. young consolidating democracies faces. Schedler argues that if a regime is facing a breakdown. vulnerability. the constitutional dimension requires that actors within the state solve issues through laws. which is needed for it to avoid breakdown. It is followed by one about checks and balances. as Linz and Stepan (1996: 5) write. it is important to dwell on the negative side of the consolidation process. seen as essential to even minimalist democracies in order to maintain meaningful democratic elections. who have to accept democracy institutionally and procedurally as the most appropriate way to govern the state.] democracy has become ’the only game in town’. and institutions (ibid. The gradual democratic erosion is a problem.. That is. many new democratic regimes faces.] the intermittent or gradual weakening of democracy by those elected to lead it. Democratic breakdown necessitates instability. 1998: 94ff). uncertainty. whether social. The regime has not been able to create the mass legitimacy. Schedler (1998: 93) argues that there are principally two dangers. the attempts to weaken democracy..2 Consolidation of democracy Linz and Stepan (1996: 6) argue that consolidation of democracy requires behavioural. 2.] political situation in which [. and thus failed to shape pro-democratic attitudes in the population. is a regime that has not been able to eliminate disloyal players. which develops an understanding of the direction of regime.).. Using Linz and Stepan’s arguments. 1998: 6 . a consolidated democracy is the ”[. the necessary behavioural changes among the (potential) ruling elites have not been thorough enough..” (Schedler. can spend resources on developing alternatives to the democratic regime or attempt to secede. whereas the second is the democratic erosion. however. The attitudinal dimension focuses primarily on the ordinary people.” Because the focus of this paper is the attempt to consolidate democracy. attitudinal. it is not only the elimination of disloyal players that lacks. political etc. Finally. It might also be the creation of hegemonic parties in order to strangle electoral competition as well as the abuse of state resources by the incumbents in order to maintain power (Schedler. Thus. The first is the democratic breakdown. Put bluntly. Schedler (1998: 96) argues that a regime facing such threats. procedures. 1998: 97). The confidence in the regime.The next section deals with consolidation.. is absent (Schedler. Such gradual weakening is exemplified by attacks on institutions of democracy such as elections or attempts to subvert the rule of law. and constitutional changes. erosion requires ”[.

If the presidency is only subject to the people.3 Checks and balances Until now. These concerns follow Linz’ critique of the presidency. Each branch has certain rights that can keep other branches in check.2. it is in a favourable position to weaken other institutions such as the parliament. the concept of gradual weakening. because of the possibility of solving these issues through a careful institutional design. Solutions to democracyrelated issues depends on the personality and style of the president (Linz.97ff). 2008: 721). the question of Diamond and Morlino’s (2005: xxi) horizontal accountability. To sum up. convict. accountability rarely works horizontal. Following Schedler’s ”gradual weakening”-logic as depicted above. the concept of checks and balances must be probed. Mainwaring and Shugart (1997: 469) are not as pessimistic as Linz. Whereas the erosion of rule of law is an attack on the constitutional solution of problems as indicated by Linz and Stepan. as depicted in section 2. and remove a president as an example. as they too have popular backing. this paper has considered democracy and consolidation. This is what Linz defines as the problem of dual legitimacy. which has an elaborate seperation of powers between the Congress and the presidency among other. 2007: 277). 1990: 60). 2. However. the parliament are not necessary ready to give in. democratic consolidation is changes in elite behaviour. democratic erosion is very much a question of behaviour. The president. and at best vertical. implying that the president is not accountable to any institutions and only to the people (Hague and Harrop. the two chambers of Congress can impeach. must be scrutinised. is able to veto Congress legislation (ibid. The popular mandate given to the president through the direct election. Thus. They are also able to deny the president legislation as well as taxes (Kousser and Ranney.). might make the president more prone to get head-to-head with the parliament rather than settling the disputes (Linz. Diamond and Morlino argue that horizontal accountability is related to the ability of one institution to keep a check on another institution. and the acceptance of the law as the ultimate arbiter of solutions to problems. on the other hand. In illiberal systems. popular attitudes. but to fully grasp their relationship. Breakdown and erosion entail a negative development of Linz and Stepan’s three dimensions. Schedler brought forth. the state of the checks and balances is important if democracy 7 . 1990: 52f). To sum up. The perhaps most prominent example is the American system.

HA: A balanced polity can consolidate. 3 Introducing the explanans As briefly mentioned in the Introduction. the constitution must be seen as a shallow explanan dominated by actors because of Preuss’ arguments regarding the role of constitutions in newly established regimes. According to Kitschelt (2003: 74). the institutional design needs to balance the presidency and the parliament as well as create the necessary mechanisms that can provide solutions. party system. presidential biased polities have greater maneuverability when it comes to encroaching the parliamentarian powers. Kitschelt’s understanding of structure and actor based explanans needs elucidation. the solution lies in the institutional design. yet he stresses that their role is to complement the deep explanan. and constitution as structural explanations. and thus have more maneuverability in manipulating the democratic institutions. It is tempting to define natural resources. Table 1: Overview of explanans Name Natural resources Party system Constitution Party of power Structure X X X X Actor Before delving on the explanans. This lends credence to two hypotheses: H1: Imbalanced polities turn autocratic because the presidency is capable of encroaching parliamentarian power. As Mainwaring and Shugart correctly points out. He does not deny the usefulness of the actor explanan. Such complementary explanans diverge from situations where the deep course brings about the proximate explanan 2 Throughout the paper deep and structural are used intertwined for the same type of explanan like proximate. Hence. the main structure of this paper is the structure-actor2 dichotomy. and thus. deep or structural explanations trump its proximate or actor-based counterparts. and its effect on checks and balances. whereas a party of power as an actor explanation. shallow and actor-based are used for the same type of explanan. as is evidenced in section 3.3. However. 8 . The explanan overview is depicted in table 1.has to have a chance to consolidate.

forthcomming). 2001: 336). Firstly. the beneficiary or the incumbent gains an unfair advantage over other parties. must be elucidated. to sum up. Hence. the beneficiary needs to gain access to the owner or (re)take the ownership. This is what Ross (2001: 335) defines as the rentier effect. the question of how the incumbent gets access to these resources. The repression effect is the creation of a large state apparatus to repress demands for democracy often violently (Ross. natural resources have two points of entry. and these entry points are dependent on other explanans and most importantly.and the outcome. before Ross’ two effects set in. depending on the ownership. Secondly. The party system is a structural explanan because it rests 9 . to nationalise the natural resources the beneficiary needs control over the parliament in order to justify the action. 3.2 Party system and party of power This section is built around the party system and the party of power. in this paper it is dependent on the measurement of party system and party of power. he does not delve upon how the natural resources enter the polity in newly established and fledging democracies. to dampen demands for democracy by reducing group activities or making pro-state groups that dominate the polity. the existence of a party of power. Thus. The negative effect sets in. Thus. However.1 Natural resources Ross (2001: 356f) argues that the role of natural resources vis-` a-vis democracy is that of the impeder. but where the outcome is not connected to the proximate explanan. While natural resources have been considered a very deep and structural explanan. when the beneficiary can and does use the natural resources to his own gain. whereas Ross finds support for two different effects that emanates from natural resources (the rentier and represion effect). Whereas taxes involve the population (Moller and Skaaning. That is. thus leaving the political system biased and unbalanced and not in a position to consolidate qua the behaviour of the elite. assuming that the natural resources are owned by private people. The latter scenario is not relevant in this paper. as well as one relating the two. in both cases. 3. as the deep explananw work through other explanans as depicted in figure 2 on page 17. natural resources alienate the population from the political process. Two qualifications are needed in order to fully grasp how natural resources enter.

and its periphery. To sumarise. The volatility of parties are. According to Aardal (1994: 220). Pedersen (1979: 3) quotes Ascher and Tarrow. it is assumed that those cleavages structuring the Russian and Ukrainian party system fulfill these demands. old. however. Madrid also argues that polarised party systems are less volatile. few and less fragmented counterparts (ibid.”.). personalistic in the sense that they are built around a small number of actors and thus void of any ideology. the urban-rural conflict. but also on the absolute number. 10 . Examples of more stable cleavages. many.. This echoes the traits 3 Aardal delves into the demands of what constitutes a real cleavage. The second argument is related to that of a party of power. whereas the structural are related to the different parties and their relationship. it is expected that the voter moves when the economy moves. Whereas it is easier to change one’s economic position. cleavages originate in different conflicts such as the dichotomy between the centre of a country. religious. which is. The explanation why this is so might be straight forward and follows the concept of deep and proximate explanans. Thus. a very stable party system is one dominated by few. Hence. young. not only dependent on the type of parties. Thus. and not very fragmented parties fluctuating around such cleavages as class or ethnicity. These cleavages structure the outlook of parties (Whitefield. the most volatile parties are those dependent on economic cleavages. volatility is dominated by substantial and structural factors. The subtantial factors are related to the type of cleavage. They find that parties dependent on ethnolinguistic. or the classic worker-capitalist conflict3 .] net change within the electoral party system resulting from individual vote transfers. If choice of party is dependent on economy rather than ethnolinguistics.. to change one’s ethnolinguistic position is impossible. the question of the strength of the stability or the level of volatility is of greatest importance. and fragmented parties are more volatile than their old. as well as class-based cleavages are less subject to volatility (Madrid. according to Almond et al. (2008: 82). According to Madrid (2005: 2). The stability of cleavags are thus essential to the stability of the party system. The essential question is to investigate what leads to these movements of votes. who define volatility as the ”[. 2005: 3). Fluctuations in the economy are likely to be translated into changes in voter preferences. and territorial. In this paper. 2002: 181) and hence the parliament.on the cleavages created in society. can be found in Lipset and Rokkan’s analysis of the party system dominating western Europe. fragmentation as well as their age.

in the British House of Commons. Hence. Hence. 2008: 171). They are not inclined to change party.] is significantly stronger than all the others. Yet. to become damaging. 2007: 245). As is depicted in section 2. where there are deep rooted cleavages. 11 . According to Strom (1990: 566) it is a party that seeks to maximise electoral support. They argue that such parties are typical in new democracies such as Russia (cf. The United Kingdom might prove to be a very different case. in 90 percent of all cases. and finally dominates to such an extent that it is possible for the party to prevent the parliament from acting as a balancing institution. it is not enough that it is built around an actor and is cohesive. to sum up.of the vote-seeking party often known as a catch-all party.. it is only possible if the party system is volatile and thus susceptible to catch-all parties.] party that outdistances all others [. This is because both parties in the United States are not very cohesive and at times have a weak discipline (Kousser and Ranney. party discipline and cohesion are very high among members of the British House of Commons. Sartori argues that a ”[. it must also be dominating. voting follows party-lines (Rose.“ (Hague and Harrop.3.. However. section 6. with strong discipline and is cohesive.. because of the alignments of the electorate. Thus. Depending on the internal dynamics of the party. and thus maximise control with the government. Depending on whether the party of power are cohesive and disciplined as in the British case or the opposite as in the American case. it is important to relate such parties to that of the party system. Catch-all parties fares poorly in heavily structured party systems. it is possible to say that a party of power with damaging capabilities is one that fluctuates around leading actors. 2008: 738f). and especially in order for it to act as a check on the presidency. Hence.. The American political system is an example of a system with a presidential party that acts as a check on even its own president. a parliament is often in opposition to the presidency. Rose writes that parliaments are able to hold the government accountable for abuses of power. it might pose a serious challenge for the functioning of the parliament. Before embarking on an elucidation of the structure of such parties and their damaging effect.1. a successful version of this type of party is not expected in countries. the damaging effect on the parliament as a check and balancing institution can be either small or large. However. the president cannot expect the party to shoulder all policies.

3 Constitution A constitution is a very unique explanan in the sense that it fuses the deep and proximate or actor-based explanans. Constitutional superiority is echoed by Sieyes. 2004: 32)4 . civil. different types of regimes occur. and as mentioned above. is that of constitutional rule of law.). One prominent constraint mentioned by Preuss is that of the former regime.” (my emphasis) (Preuss. Two issues are worth mentioning in relation with section 2.” (my emphasis).” (Preuss. who stresses that ”No type of delegated power can in any way alter the conditions of its delegation. it is actors that define the constitution.. Hence. 1992-93: 642).3. dispostions. Thus. Hence.2. tempers. and moral. this section must elucidate both the structural components of the constitution as well as the actor-based components. is to place the elected representation over all other branches of government (Preuss. accountability. which entails authors and interests.. O’Donnell’s emphasis on the importance of the rule of law for liberal democracies echo these positions. while it is plausible to argue that there are structural factors that shape these moods and habitudes. Preuss’ (1992-93: 641) argues that the constitution ”[. It ensures political rights.” (Preuss.. The proximate component of the constitutional explanan is vested in Burke’s argument that constitutions are ”[. Easter (1997: 187) argues that depending on the structure of the former elites. Feher argues that ”[.] made by the peculiar circumstances. It is proximate precisely because it is the written foundation of a country.] creates the political and institutional preconditions for the emergence of totally new social and political actors. 1992-93: 639). which disclose themselves only in a long space of time. the constitution defines the country’s political set up. and social habitudes of the people. which in one way or the other inspires the founding fathers of the new polity (ibid. and a limitation on the prerogatives of the state (O’Donnell.. it assumed that the type of rule of law he deals with. newly created countries can to a certain extent shape their constitution as they see fit. occasions. This is based on his emphasis of what rule of law ensures. 1992-93: 640). civil liberties. 12 . 1992-93: 653). thus making it the highest source of authority in any society only subject to the constitution itself.. He argues that it is the essential pillar upon which any high-quality democracy rests.] a constitution based on will can only endure as long as those persons whose wills backed the document.. It is deep in the sense that it defines the political framework of any country. One pivotal goal of such a constitutionally defined setup. As an example. If the constitution 4 Although O’Donnell does not say it explicitly.

Landman (2006: 29) argues that MSSD seeks to compare cases that are alike on most explanans. To sum up. which in this paper is assumed to be the presidency and the parliament. it might not last. cannot garner mass support. Hence. As opposed to probabilistic methodology that deems relationships probable. As is evidenced below. It is an attempt to identify intervening causal processes. If neither can agree on it.2). will they attempt to overthrow the document. conflict arises. 4 4.does not receive the support described by Linz and Stepan. deterministic assumes that explanan X leads to outcome Y. in order for a democratic regime to maximise legitimacy. and thus the question of outliers become important. this is not the case of this study. Thus. This lends crendence to the importance of the author that wrote the constitution. the constitution entails a definition of the checks and balances as well as battles between those with interests in the setup. Assuming that the presidency submits a draft that lies outside the indifference lines of the parliament. in order to consolidate. Is it the parliament or is it the presidency. To address this caveat. it needs to deliver a constitution that can be broadly accepted especially by all institutional actors. a constitutional battle might either weaken or even force a democracy to break down (cf. SSDs demand that all relevant explanans are specified. democracy needs a constitution accepted by the key institutions of the regime. Hence. any constitution favouring the presidency might damage the democratic development. Or put inversely. a process tracing method as described by Bennett (2005: 206) is utilised. It is in such a situation. and that the far majority of these are held constant. and thus might not survive its creator. Any constitutional document built on will. As mentioned above. Tsebelis (2002: 27) argues that the unanimity core is dependent on the preferences of the actors in question.1 Methodological approach Most similar systems design and process tracing The methodological approach is deterministic. the methodological approach is deterministic. To maximise the difference in the outcome. 13 . yet varies on key explanans as well as the outcome. the case is selected on the explanandum (Landman. 2006: 30). section 2. it is very difficult to know whether the neighbouring case fits the same relationship. This addressed through the scope conditions depicted in section 1. or what is known as a most similar systems design (MSSD) followed by process tracing that probes the findings of the MSSD.

but because this paper does not have a single explanan. each explanan is operationsalised.1 Natural resources Natural resources are a binary and structural explanan. As depicted in table 1. The presence of natural resources can be used to control society through the rentier and repression effect as described in section 3. Hence. it can be argued that natural resources bolster the negative effects of disloyal elites (cf. Regarding the series of constants depicted in table 2 on page 22 this paper subscribes to Møller and Skaaning’s (2009: 307) understanding of the economic level. 2. which is basically a detailed narrative couched in theoretical terms. if the incumbent has a party of power strong enough to nationalise privatised state corporations.2. it must also define the causal relationship. follows Ross’ (2001: 356f) findings regarding the negative effect on democracy from both oil and minerals.3 and the 14 . Therefore further elaboration on these explanans are not conducted. 4.This makes it an ideal companion for MSSDs especially like the one of this paper.1. The understanding of what constitutes a natural resource as well as the effect of such. Bennett identifies several different forms of process traincing.3 depicted in figure 2. whereas the latter two are understood as actor-based explanans. Thus. and transition (cf. Natural resources give the incumbent a resource-advantage. Alternatively. The original purpose of an MSSD is to single out the key explanan and determine the deterministic relationship. the process tracing must attempt not only to single out the most important explanan. the natural resources are at his disposal without the need of private consent. legacy. The idea that natural resources are granted the incumbent through private sponsors is based on the assumption that former state corporations have been privatised. table 2). two qualifications are needed. The causal chain argues that natural resources are either granted the incumbent through private sponsors or through parties of power with a negative effect on the checks and balances. 4. It is either present or absent.2 Operationalisation and causal links In the sections below. it is along the lines of the theory explained in section 2 and the operationalisation depicted in section 4. The model is defined in section 4. and the causal links are spelled out. The one used in this paper is an analytical explanation. To fully understand these arguments.2 the process tracing takes place. the two first are understood as structures.

and entails an actor decision.2 Party system The party system is based on the concept of cleavages (cf.behavioural dimension) or parties of power rather than being a negative effect in itself.2. 4. and thus it might be dangerous to neglect certain groups. This is built on the assumption that all are able and allowed to create representation. to measure the presence of strong cleavages or alternatively. To estimate volatility. cannot tilt the checks and balances. and as such. make a party system volatile and thus not very structured. the question of voting behaviour needs to be addressed. to measure a party of power. section 3. it still gives a rough idea about whether a system is volatile. yet equally important. Instead of looking at percentage of votes each party gains. Albeit the method is crude compared to the approach defined by Pedersen. The cleavage is the structuring part of a party system. Thus. Hence. voter choices are cross referenced with the party’s supporter base and fluctuations in support over time. Secondly. This method follow Ascher and Tarrow’s definition albeit in a simplified manner. the party of power needs to have clear connections to the presidency.1 and the importance of meaningful elections. the number of seats are evaluated.2. This is built on the assumption that parties of power without any significant influence. which lends credence to their definition as actor-based explanans. it is considered a structural explanan. section 3. they are not dependent on a specific cleavage (cf. This is so because the parliament is strongly organised. To identify cleavages. The causal chain indicates that on the one hand. Thus. The causal chain related to the party of power indicates that the presence of such parties have a negative effect on checks and balances and hence the 15 .2). and void cleavages.2). 4. a high degree of volatility.3 Party of power (PoP) A party of power is unique in the sense that they are personalistic and built around a small number of actors.. cleavages have a negative effect on parties of power as a result of their catch-all nature as well as a postive effect on checks and balances. the party must as a minimum be the most significant party in the parliament. The same positive effect can be found in relation with the writing of the constitution. Autocracies might try to prevent certain groups in participating in any form of electoral process. Strong cleavages make it more difficult for the author to neglect large parts of the population. party support from election to election is measured. This follows the lines of section 2.

and thus making the constitution a question of will. 16 . The causal chain indicates that the strength of the cleavages (or volatility) and party of power work through the framework of the constitution. One such feature might be the balancing between the parliament and the presidency. This measurement is based on the assumption that a constitution defined by the presidency is pro-presidential and thus imbalancing. the central aim of this explanan is to measure the conflict surrounding the constitution.3). Thus. which affects the development of the constitution through its cleavages. Hence. 4. assuming that a parliament is already settled. 2. whether the author (thus actor-based explanan) has taken other than narrow interests into consideration. It is in scenarios of this kind that the party of power has a negative effect on the parliament and thus the checks and balance. It affects the strength of the party of power as well as the checks and balances. As depicted in figure 2 on page 17 the negative effect of natural resources enters the polity either through private sponsors or parties of power. Strong parties of power are also in a better position to re-write the constitution and thus tamper with the institutions of democracy as well as claim power over state assets. In both scenarios.4 Author of the constitution Feher’s argument regarding the survival of will-based constitutions is pitvotal for the operationalisation of this explanan (cf.2. 4. It is a problem if issues with the presidency must be attenuated (cf. 5 This argument is built around Mainwaring and Shugart’s understanding that carefully designed systems can attenuate problems with presidentialism. the essential question to ask is.3 Theoretical model As indicated in section 4. the parliament and the presidency are both affected and affect the constitution.3)5 . there is an extra-constitutional parliamentarian framework. However. The question of the party system enters independent of natural resouces. The strength of the party of power is dependent on the degree of volatility and its ability to gain the majority of the votes. Thus. Will-based constitutions are assumed to lie outside Tsebelis unanimity core.parliament because of its ability to prevent the parliament from functioning. the party of power slant the checks and balances in favour of the president.2 each explanan plays a signficant role through various chains in affecting the checks and balances. section 3.

This created a very strong group of oligarchs. 2007: 2). they helped removed the popular prime minister (Duncan. This make it subject to the cleavage / volatility situation as well as parties of power.“ (Duncan. yet for now it must suffice to say that it strengthen it. they supported him ardently. but during the transition-phase. Putin changed the privatisation trend. Yet because it is the ultimate definer of checks and balances.. Thus. and started a re-nationalisation of key industries. One effect of this is elaborated in connection with parties of power. Russia privatised state-owned enterprises. it is important to understand who has authored the document and the author’s position. that mined for natural resources. section 7). it is highly dependent on the power arrangement. en masse (Remington. and during his brief struggle with then-prime minister Jevgenij Primakov. 2008: 394). referred to as a ”[.] group of seven or so bankers who applied their vast wealth and influence to ensure the re-election of Boris El’tsin as President in 1996. During most of Yeltsin’s time as president. 2007: 8). in new countries.. Ambrosio (2009: 51) notes that the Russian elite created a series of state controlled NGOs to insulate Russia from external interference (cf. the negative effects of 17 . Figure 2: Theoretical model 5 Comparison of Russia and Ukraine Russia has an abundance of natural resources.Despite the traditional understanding of constitutions as a relatively deep and structural variable.

2008: 395f). and unemployment rates soared. whereas the new party. where Unity’s successor. but because of economic mismanagement. only seven of those parties contested in the 1995 election (cf. The growth in the supporters of United Russia is assumed to be explained by the growth in GDP7 (Rose. Of the 1999 parties. appendix C). The CPRF. it is possible to argue that despite the presence of an indeed strong economic cleavage. The 2007 election follows this trend (cf. The majority of the people are ethnic Ukrainian. In 1993 12 parties contested. battered its way unto the political stage with 222 seats. only four parties contested in 2003 (cf. whereas Unity or Yeltsin’s party had greatest success among the wealthier (Rose. United Russia.). They are decimated to 52 seats in 2003. The economic cleavage can be seen as a direct consequence of the privatisation or chock-theory in Russia. From the 1995 election. 6 The 7 This Communist Party of the Russian Federation is supported by the development in the GDP. 2007). This voter allignment is echoed in the 2003 election. 18 . In 1995 it is reduced to meagre nine seats. that benefitted from the economic downturn. appendix B). Naftohaz. Natural resources is not playing as important a role in Ukraine as in Russia. 2009: 2). Russia holds a Duma election in 1993 and again in 1995. The difference between rich and poor as measured by the Gini-index doubled (Remington. appendix A). despite the possibility of rents. the Ukraine gas transit system transport around 120 billion cubic metres or 80 percent of Russia’s gas to Europe (Gnedina and Emerson. only four parties contested during the 1999 election. Naftohaz is constantly on the bringe of bankruptcy and is indepted to the Russian energy-giant Gazprom (ibid. Ukraine is very different from Russia in the sense that Ukraine is dominated by two large ethnic groups. mismanagement has prevented the Ukrainian state access to ”easy” money. These trends echo Madrid’s depiction of economic cleavages as susceptible to volatility.2). which is negative until 1998. volatility is high (cf. In 1999 the CPRF6 gained most votes among the poorest. 2008: 396). United Russia. However. 2007).natural resources are found in connection with elections and the rentier effect. Thus. From 1999 it grows with an average of two to three percent (Remington. Another way to observe volatility in this period. it is dependent on Russia. and as noted in section 7. are also subject to volatility. is to observe the total number of parties. Thus. In 1993 Russia’s Choice wins 70 seats. gained most votes among the richer (Remington. 2008: 391). CPRF wins 103 seats in the same period. section 3. Because of the transition many people slided into powerty. Of those 12 parties. The system is administrated by a state energy company.

and 2007 parliamentarian elections. but at the same time gave the Duma and the Upper Chamber the possibility of override vetoes by a two-thirds vote in each chamber (Remington. there seems to be a degree of volatility in the Ukrainian party system. 2001: 170). To disconfirm the claim that Russians’ favour the left-wing because of economy. wanted to maximise presidential power and minimise the Duma’s ability to block Yeltsin (Remington. 2006: 108f). 2002. It is smaller than in Russia. Yeltsin’s supporters sat up a presidential counterpart with the aim of creating a presidential constitution (Remington. Two distinct positions emerged. it is plausible to argue that Yeltsin alienated other parts of the political arena as well as used will to get his draft approved (cf. The Communist participated in the 1994. volatility is observed. As is evidenced in appendix E the Russians continued to vote for pro-Russian parties. where Russians in general backed the Communists. 2005: 4). Despite this very strong cleavage. Thus. the Communist party is the most stable with the longest election record.whereas the largest minority is ethnic Russian. despite the strong cleavage. and thus leaving the question with the people. Yeltsin’s supporters. which is evidenced in the relative smaller changes in voting behaviour among those voting for the parties that manage to run for more than one election. While the Duma refused to approve the Yeltsin-draft. whereas from 1999 to 2002. The same goes for 2007 (cf. 1998.8 percent voted in favour of his draft (Remington. Thus. The latter being an essential part of the independence movement (D’Anieri. However. appendix D and E). Yeltsin decided to take the matter outside the existing constitutional framework. on the other hand. section 6. These regional patterns are echoed in the 1998 election8 . 2001: 160f). 2006: 111). only two countinues.1 for 8 It is likely that the 1994 election follows these lines as well. where presidential powers were limited. While anti-Yeltsin deputies took part in a constitutional assembly. The post-Soviet Yeltsin authored constitution was approved by referendum in 1993. it is worth noting that the Russians’ did not switch to a nonethnic based party during the strengthening of the Ukrainian GDP in the 2000s (Duenwald. This draft gave the president lawmaking prerogatives. 54. Of the other parties three survive from 1994 to 1998. the run up to the approval was not void of trouble. 19 . In the first two elections they gained seats. 2001: 168). 2001: 169). Anti-Yeltsin forces sought to create a two-tiered form of government. Gueorguiev and Schaechter. Of all the Ukrainian parties. and the ethnic Ukrainians backed Rukh. whereas they lost seats in both the 2002 and 2007 election. This is also echoed in the 2002 parliamentarian election as well as the presidential elections (D’Anieri.

Kuchma used the same tactics as above. a real significant party of power is only United elaboration of the effects). This was resisted by the Rada (D’Anieri. in both cases. which is 40 less than the Communists. when Kuchma attempted to amend the constitution. and pushed the constitution through the Rada (D’Anieri. 2006: 92). The 1995 ”Law on Power” is a package suggested by then-president Kuchma. the Rada was legally binded to change it (D’Anieri. Thus. which was approved in 2005. While Gill (2006: 70) mentions Yegor Gaidar’s Russia’s Choice as a semi-official party. He used the unpopularity of the Rada and the threat of referendum to make the Rada approve his package. the constitution was perceived as the lesser of two evils. appendix A). There was great support for the referendum. as specified in section 3. United Russia has clear connections to the Russian presidency in the sense 20 . but the high court decided that if Kuchma proposed a referendum supported by the people that demanded change of the constitution. A real power of party did not manifest itself in Russia until Unity. As depicted in section 3. Another constitutional battle emerged in 2000. Once again Kucha threatened the Rada with his fist. the Ukrainian Rada was never in agreement with Kuchma and put up a fierce fight. Russia’s Choice disappears practically in 1995 (cf. 2006: 91). Unity contests the 1999 election and wins 73 seats. as in Russia. In relation with the constitution of 1996. 2006: 71. which would give him powers. where he had more power. the Ukrainian constitution is approved by fist. which was affliated with Putin. as the Rada repealled the reforms of the constitution in 2004.2. alienating parts of the political society. Oleksandr Moroz argued. and succeeded by United Russia (Gill. As in Russia much of the debate revolved around whether Ukraine should take a presidential or semi-presidential path. 73). appendix B and C). which dominates the Duma with 222 seats in 2003 and 315 in 2007 (cf. The first Ukrainian constitutional document was approved in 1995 called the ”law on power”. Secondly. whereas a real constitution was put in effect in 1996.2 only strong parties of power are interesting. the parliament would otherwise not grant him. it does not receive the same status as United Russia. Kuchma went outside the existing framework. Thus. 2006: 90). Feher’s argument regarding will-based constitutions seem to have merit in the Ukrainian case. 2006: 84). yet it did not consist of any actual text to be replaced in the constitution. Hence. 2006: 95). and as Rada speaker. contrary to the Russian case. However. which made the Rada approve the amendments (D’Anieri. This reform transferred power from the president to the prime minister (D’Anieri.

that United Russia is formed by Putin during his first tenure (Almond et al. 2003: 47). D’Anieri (2006: 93f) does. however. whereas the research question is answerd in section 8. The hypotheses are answered in the sections related to the case study 6. 9 For a United Ukraine is an electoral alliance consisting of among other Janukovich’s Party of Regions (Kuzio. 2008: 82). According to Haspel et al. Thus. Like Russia. 1998: 434) party cohesion is higher than expected in the first elections to the Duma. the party of power. Section 3. the Russian party system is much more volatile than the Ukrainian. There is little doubt that Russia and Ukraine are alike in many ways. whereas the only Ukrainian party of power. Thus. As depicted above. This is not to the same extent the case in Ukraine. and the constitution.. appendix D and E). the Russian party leaders have become better at maintaining cohesion. it is plausible to argue that the checks and balances in Russia are weakened because of the weak party system. disappeared in the following election. albeit Ukraine’s Rada has put up significant resistence every time. and becomes the second largest party in the Rada in 2002. Remington and Smith. because the next election to the Rada is set to be hold in 2012. but in 2007. Kuchma attempted to rewrite the constitution to his liking. ((Haspel. In Ukraine there is no clear equivalent to United Russia. in Russia. which is dominated by an ethnic cleavage. Thus. it is fair to assume that in time. is to be the next party of power. Ukraine has a presidential constitution. For a United Ukraine. Table 2 summarises. which endorses Janukovich. United Russia has dominated Russian politics since 2003. because Kutchma links himself with the party. While they do not evaluate the latest elections. yet also different. 21 . identify For a United Ukraine9 as a party of power. The party wins 101 seats. that in turn affects the possibility of creating parties of power. It is unclear whether Party of Regions. especially United Russia might in fact be a serious problem for Russian democracy. volatility.2 argues that the problem is only severe if the party is cohesive. though he did not declare himself a member. the party disappeared (cf.

Table 2: Comparison of Russia and Ukraine Explanans Transition Stalemate Stalemate Transit tax Cleavage Both Plenty Volatile President None Natural resources Party system Constitutional autor PoP United Russia Imbalanced Balanced Balancing Constants Legacy Russian Russian Economic level Russia Above Ukraine Above 22 .

where deputies passed laws counteracting Yeltsin’s decrees (Nichols. it did not get a democratically elected parliament and new constitution before 1993.The leader of the Supreme Soviet. are susceptible to fluctuations in 23 .6 Case study In section 5 table 2 argues that the Russian political system is imbalanced in favour of the presidency. The newly elected Duma. his goal was to deprive the president of any control over the presidency in an attempt to make him a cerimonial figurehead (Nichols. the successor of the Supreme Soviet. 1998). and call for elections to the Duma. however. was a power-struggle between elites seeking to gain control over each other (Nichols. However.1 Russia Russia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. 2001: 65). Thus. the deputies would have to give up their seats just one year before the election in 1999. This is best evidenced in the battle between Yeltsin and the Duma regarding the nomination and approval of prime minister Kiriyenko. In 1995 the CPRF becomes the next dominating party. as it became. Yeltsin. the pro-presidential constitution pushed through a prime minister not very popular among the deputies of the Duma. The run up to the 1993 constitution evidenced the differences between Yeltsin and the Supreme Soviet. however. with a result favouring Yeltsin’s position. Hence. The Duma rejected Kiryenko twice. which created a deadlock between the Supreme Soviet and the president. 2001: 73). and as argued in section 5 the CPRF gained votes as the Russian GDP dwindled. The process tracing follows a historical narrative structured around figure 2. decided to turn against his former ally. Khasbulatov. a process tracing of each case is conducted. whereas the Ukrainian is relatively more balanced. the Duma approved (Babayeva and Dokuchayev. as the Russian parliament was called before 1993. 2001: 63). and thus parties depending on this cleavage. the president must dissolve the Duma. yet the third time. The Russian Constitution demands that any prime minister must be approved by the Duma. of reasons unknown. The crisis. To fully understand this claim. If the Duma rejects the prime minister three times. Yeltsin resisted. This struggle is briefly sketched out in section 5. The dominance did not last. Had the Duma refused to approve Kiriyenko. and to categorise the Russian and Ukrainian regimes. was in 1994 dominated by Yegor Gairdar’s Russia’s Choice. This lends credence to the notion that the main cleavage of the Russian Duma is economic. the Russian political system is biased in favour of the presidency as of 1993. 6.

however. Hence. and thus makes it the new dominating party of the Duma. During the first post-Soviet presidency. 24 . with the creation of a succesful and lasting party of power. Another example is the finalising takeover of Gazprom in 2005 (Denisov and Grivach. The media or the proxy. 2007: 8). 2005) To sum up. then-president Yeltsin did not have the same political resources at his disposal as his successor. the space for a party of power grew together with its negative effect on the checks and balances. When the economic cleavage weakend. A prime example of the difference in power over the political arena between Yeltsin and his successor. 2004). Putin had constructed an effective parliamentarian control through his party of power. tilted the checks and balances in favour of the Russian presidency. The election of 2003 gives Putin’s United Russia overwhelming support. the Duma was strongest. Yeltsin proposed to ask the Russians whether Lenin should be buried or not. because of the reinforced cleavages. 2008: 389). Putin. However. a presidential constitution together with a volatile party system leaving space for a party of power controlling the Duma. This role evaporates as the GDP increases. Putin. As depicted above. which he used to among other gain control of the Russian governors. United Russia. it clearly manifests itself. 1997). section 2. while Yeltsin was not able to bury Lenin because he lacked parliamentarian support. at the time of the greatest deprivation of the Russian people. denied Yeltsin’s opponents air time in their media (Remington.1 regarding the resource benefit. His attempt failed because at the time the CPRF dominated the Duma and ardently refused any such action (AP. which in turn gives the presidency even more control over the political arena. is best depicted by Yeltsin’s attempt to bury the founder of the USSR. natural resources entered the political system through private sponsorship (Duncan. This gives the CPRF a central role during the 1990s as seen in connection with the hestitated approval of Kiryenko. Before 2004 they were elected.2. had no opposition against nationalising key industries. owned by the oligarchs. Putin gets a parliamentarian tool by which he can change the way Russia is governed as well as nationalise key industries and thus use the natural resources to his advantage. whereas after 2004. it is only in relation with the presidential elections. the president appoints the governors (Baker. Hence.the economy. Putin. Vladimir Lenin in 1997.2). Russian democracy never consolidated because the elite never accepted the democratic game (cf. Despite the argument brought forth in section 4. The 1996 election proves to be an example of how private sponsorship works albeit by proxy.

and thus the Orange Revolution is seen more as an interlude between Kuchma and Janukovich than a defining event.2 and Madrid’s conception of the weight of ethnicity as a structuring cleavage. Janukovich followed Yushenko as president in 2010. where the popular change of the incumbent is unlikely. Contrary to the Russian case. who put a high value on avoiding secession.3). that in turn gave the presidency to a pro-Russian president and a significant amount of seats to ethnic-Russian parties. these cleavages became pivotal in the design of the pre-constitutional Ukrainian institutions. it seems evident that it is confirmed. the question of cleavages and volatility is elevated to a premier position as an essential determining factor of the future outlook of Ukrainian politics. Thus. any further elaborations on the topic is not conducted. Precisely because of the placement of Ukrainian ethnicities. The ethnic Russians primarily live in the eastern and southern part of Ukraine. appendix D and Anieri (2006: 108) for expected future indications of alignments based on section 3. they made the necessary compromises (D’Anieri. Ethnic Ukrainian nationalists. the possibility of especially ethnic Russian secession was a possibility. Thus. Hence.2 Ukraine Before embarking on the process tracing. Yushenko was president from 2005 to 2010 with both Timoshenko and Janukovich as prime ministers. whereas ethnic Ukrainians live in the western and northern part of Ukraine.2 took another ethnic group into consideration.They instead attempted and succeeded in manipulating the political game to their advantage thus creating a system. 6. the Orange Revolution deserves a short note. the Ukranians elected a new Rada. 2010). Thus. Thus. because of its ability to dismantle the Duma as a check on the presidency (cf. it is possible to argue in favour of a classification of Russia as a civilian autocracy from the time of the creation of United Russia. were aware of this. supported Kuchma in his amendments of the constitution as well as in the dismissal of Yushenko as prime minister in the 2000s (D’Anieri. 2007: 23). In 1994. 25 .2. Hence. and as described in section 4. because of Janukovich’s succefull attempt to boost presidential powers once again (BBC. the ethnic-Russian party. the Communist. In relation with hypothesis H1.). which gave them a strong basis for secession. the first Ukrainian parliamentarian election took place before the approval of their constitution. 2006: 118) As evidenced in section 5 there is a battle between Kuchma and the Rada. section 2. It brought Yushenko to power when Janukovich’s election fraud was revealed. structured around ethnic cleavages (cf.

Another indirect effect of the constitution. The alliance did. This gave them a platform by which. eventhough these attempts were succesful. appendix E). Janukovich. a real party of power never manifested. appendix E). Rents from Russian gas on its way to the European market. As depicted above regarding the constitution. While the Duma is void of any significant opposition to United Russia.). had he had a successful party of power. and the lack of a party of power. deputies enjoyed.2. are considered a source of income similar to that of natural resources. won 175 seats in the Rada (cf. Because of the strong cleavages. never manage to be elected more than once. echoing Feher’s argument. However. however.). Ukraine does not have access to natural resources comparable to that of Russia’s. attempts. Kuchma could not attack the g opposition for critism. which might indicate a new party of power in Ukraine. Kuchma still needed to create informal institutions in order to for his regime to function as he wanted (Way. during its time. Yet because of strong cleavages. Kuchma’s arm-wrestling with the Rada could have been avoided. 2006: 92). they could criticise Kuchma (ibid. This is best evidenced in the pro-presidential and primarily ethnic Rusian supported alliance dubbed For a United Ukraine. 2005: 133). and needed institutions such as processes designed to harass the opposition and falsify election results (ibid. it faced a significant opposition in the Timoshenko bloc in 2007 (cf. This is evidenced in the three. strong cleavages manifested in a parliament prior to the approval of a constitution. is the deputies’ repeal of reforms (D’Anieri. the negative effect from such sources of income are more or less absent in Ukraine. Kuchma’s attempts to change it as well as the informal institutions indicate that his did not. assuming that Party of Regions is the next party of power.During Kuchma’s tenure. As demonstrated in section 5. Thus. Yet. Hence. and 2000. In the following election in 2007 one of the members of the alliance. Kuchma could not shape the constitution as he saw fit. the constitution is changed in 1995. and it is likely that any future Ukrainian party of power will face other significant blocs. albeit succesful. section 4. the Party of Regions headed by former pro-Russian presidential candidate. though limited to its ethnic supporter base because of the cleavages structuring the Rada (cf. Thus. whereas the Russian constitution served Yeltsin well. situates the different positions vis-` a-vis the negotiation regarding the constitution. 2006: 88f). It clearly shows that a parliament structured around 26 . it lessened Kuchma’s need to weaken the Rada (D’Anieri. This is also evidenced in the immunity. To sum up. yet it is not large enough to play a similar role as natural resources.3). 1996.

Thus. The parliament on the other hand. Thus. 2005: 21f). Russian elites used the fear of a potential coup to crack down on independent NGOs such as those dealing with human rights and democracy (Ambrosio. Especially the American Treasure invested a lot of political time on reforms. which at times favoured a stronger presidency. and linkage as the integration with a certain region (Levitsky and Way. and at numerous occassions. They feared that foreign NGOs might attempt to incite a colour revolution just like the one neighbouring Ukraine experienced (Ambrosio. During Putin’s tenure. 2005: 101). among the Ukrainian presidents. he ”overthrew” the constitution through will. cleavages seem to be the explanan that most clearly determines Ukraine’s fate. The leverage dwindled as Russia’s GDP grew. only Yushenko seemed to respect the rules of democracy. Russia has an interest in Ukraine because of the Russians and the Black 27 . Another effect of these cleavages is that of the room for a party of power. which lends albeit limited credence to the alternative hypothesis HA. the foundation for those battles. the question is briefly assessed through an evaluation of leverage or power to affect other contries. the leverage was not as much a concern as foreign NGOs. 2005: 100). Thus. 7 Considering an alternative explanation The theoretical model does not take external factors into consideration. Western leverage over Russia is best evidenced through the opening of the Russian market during Yeltsin’s tenure (Desai. The situation in Ukraine is different. described above. Thus. Hence. 2009: 46). seemed to be very interested in following the constitution. Cleavages reduced the room that would otherwise have limited the ability of the parliament to act as a check on the presidency. Whereas Russia is subject to a pressure from the West. lies in the compromise made and hence the cleavages. they deemed necessary for Russia (Desai.stable cleavages are in a much better position to resist encroachments. democracy fares better in Ukraine because of the relatively more balanced institutions. 2009: 51). In this section. The latter concept is expanded by Tolstrup (undated: 7f) as economic and technocratic or political among other. It might also be worth noting that this situation enhanced the power of the Russian minority and their parties. Ukraine is subject to a pressure from the West as well as Russia. Kuchma was not willing to accept the rules of democracy. and thus forcing the president outside the formal framework. To postulate that the Ukrainian democracy is consolidated is premature.

Thus. Mainwaring and Shugart rightfully argue that much depends on the institutional design. Then-prime minister Timoshenko criticised the agreement as an illegal attempt to influence Ukrainian politics. there is a strong Russian interest in Ukraine as well as space to exert influence. Firstly. yet as evidenced. leverage and linkage is taken serious in both Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine. Ukraine is dependent on Russian energy (ibid. got extensive support from Russia for his election campaign. Thus. The first position to discuss is Russias abundance of natural resources and its constitution. 8 Discussion and conclusion As depicted above in section 5 and 6. the discussion focuses on the Russian failure to remain on a democracy consolidating path using Ukraine as a mirror. whereas the latter seems very susceptible to Russian influence. Despite being a brief interlude between the primary arguments of this paper and the discussion. Instead Russia attempted to undermine Yushenko’s efforts to democratise by denouncing his attempts as well as adopting confrontational policies toward Kiev (Ambrosio. it depends on the decision to utilise them to repress. The economic linkage between Russia and Ukraine is best evidenced through the Ukrainian natural resource dependecy. whereas the technocratic linkage is depicted in the relationship between United Russia and Party of Regions. The former has shook of western leverage through growth in GDP albeit paranoia has made the Russian elite harass foreign NGOs. United Russia and Janukovich’s Party of Regions established formal ties in order to help the party in the upcomming 2006 Rada elections. The Orange Revolution is perhaps the best example of a time where Russia needed to influence Ukrainian politics. yet failed.). on the other hand managed to remain relatively balanced because of its party system and the lack of a party of power. which they do not want to loose (Ambrosio. as shown in section 4. albeit this influence is not succesful at times. yet 28 . and ath the same time.Sea Fleet. despite this support the pro-western Yushenko won.1.It is claimed in section 3. and the support of Janukovich. Janukovich. However. 2009: 145).1 based on Ross’ arguments that natural resources impede democracy. it gives at least a couple of points worth noting. Russia failed to consolidate its democracy because of its imbalanced political system favouring the presidency. natural resources must be transferred to the political system through political actors. Thus.2. The pro-Russian Kuchma’s sucessor. 2009: 135).

The party system is considered a prime explanan in section shown in the Ukrainian case.1 Diffusion versus the rest Until know the core explanations of this paper has been discussed. even in functional democracies. a party of power is not necessary a problem. Thus. At the same time.2 and Linz and Stepan). volatility does not necessary damage the regime. Russian parties are more cohesive than expected. section 1 and the scope conditions). diffusion is tested vis-` a-vis the rest. section 5). The strength and 29 . The best argument in favour of cleavages is that some cleavages seem to be a better foundation for a party system than others. as depicted in section 2. are not very cohesive. the Ukrainian case exemplifies a situation where the party system is perhaps too polarised thus making it very difficult for the presidency to have a fruitful relationship with the parliament.1. which might lend crendence to the damaging effects of such parties. This is depicted in both section 5 and section 6. Neither the Russian nor Ukrainian party system seem to embody such cleavages. As D’Anieri puts it. However. The Russian case evidences this as well. section 6. it seems evident that a Russian party of power damages the horizontal accountability of the Duma. Parties of power are considered to have a negative effect on both the Russian and Ukrainian parliament. Another criticism of natural resources as depicted by Ross and used in this paper. section 2. is primarily based on the Middle East and Latin America. is the practice in Russia (cf. presidents can go outside the constitutional framework (cf. There are not many young democracies with communist origin in these regions (cf. with the creation of For a United Ukraine. Kuchma does not need to weaken the Rada anymore (cf. Russia is plagued by a volatile party system. In the final part of this discussion. Thus. as Pedersen (1979: 9) shows. several consolidated western democracies go through periods of relatively high volatility vis-` a-vis the general norm. Thus. and Ukraine’s cleavages do not necessary benefit its regime. Thus.2).3. Thus it might be difficult to assess the impeding character of natural resources on newly created democracies.2 as intrinsic to the preservation of Ukrainian democracy as a structuring factor as well as preventing parties of power. the volatility Russia experiences are not necessary a democracy delimiting phenomenon. The key argument within the framework of the scope conditions in favour of the resource curse. It depends on its cohesiveness. However. there might be cases where fairly large and dominating parties. 8. As brought forth by Haspel et al. On the other hand.

The lack of successful leverage vis-` a-vis the Russians in Ukraine might be explained by a weak Russia. Party of Regions. but it is clear that the West succesfully exerted leverage over the Russian president. It is not known whether the West attempted to influence the Russian Duma. Thus. the acquisition and renationalisation of Russian natural resources gave it a chance to insulate itself from state-to-state pressure. it has the potential of causing more harm than good to the Russian case. dominated by ethnic 30 . table 2. United Russia is clearly a party of power that is not susceptible to utilised leverage. However. The straight forward answer is that Russia scored negatively on all the explanans and in particular on the party system and party of power (cf. 8.2). Because of its pro-Russian stance it might alienate the ethnic Ukrainian population. but also during the first ten years of Ukrainian independence. However. section 6. And precisely these natural resources as well as the energy dependency might have made United Russia capable of making a deal with the potential party of power. The resource wealth also helped Russia to build new organisations as well as ousting other organisations in order to protect the current Russian regime. albeit it might have something to do with the renewed wealth from the natural resources as depicted above.2 Conclusion The research question proped the puzzle of why Russia slided into autocracy whereas Ukraine did remain somewhat stable in the same period. It might have been very difficult considering the domination of CPRF and later the proSoviet United Russia.thus wealth certainly reduces any leverage any country might face. In Russia. the ethnic Russians and their parties did not move forward with secession (cf. as history has evidenced. thus aligning them among proUkraine candidates. This made it difficult to remain on a consoldiation path because of the imbalances created by these very scores. the party system showed stronger signs of volatility because of the economic cleavage than the Ukrainian. Thus. it is important to remember that Party of Regions is not a party that encapsulates the entire population. had they wanted it. The ethnic-Russian parties could probably have received some support for secession. Hence. if diffusion has any merit in this case. A party of power (or even a dominating party such as the CPRF) might pose a serious problem for anyone attempting to utilise leverage in a parliamentarian setting. The Ukrainian party system depicts a situation where Russian attempts to utilise leverage has been futile not only during the Orange Revolution. the question of resources bolster the diffusion explanation.

cleavages. The second condition is related to that of the strength of allies such as strong parties in the state in question. 31 . Especially the latter three explanans owe their postive score to the strong cleavages.1 the idea that natural resources impede democracy was somewhat confirmed. The Ukrainian case reveals that Ukraine scored better on the explanans. whereas Russian linkage is very clear in connection with Janukovich’s failed attempt to become Kuchma’s sucessor. As evidenced in section 6. In Russia. their effect was minor. yet they are not determining the outcome of neither Russia nor Ukraine. It seems evident that certain conditions qua the results of this paper must be fulfilled if succesful diffusion has to take place. If they are privatised. Thus. This is best depicted in the short term effect of the Orange Revolution and the return of the old modus operandi. and thus. a constitution not overly presidential. and thus the elite cannot use them as depicted in section 7. this effect might be of minor importance. strong cleavags. The Russian determined to continue to exert influence in Ukraine paid off as Janukovich later got elected. The process tracing revealed that with the creation of United Russia. easy rents are not as accessible as if the state nationalised it. The first condition is the ownership of the natural resources.1 show that there are signs of diffusion. This is why the Orange Revolution is unimportant. The theoretical model addresses democratic development in the long run. yet its importance is dwarfed by that of party system and party of power. the real transformative effect of diffusion depends on the endurance of the state. yet depending on the commitment from the state exerting diffusion. the model is not seriously impeded by the introduction of diffussion. It had no natural resources. Such allies might enhance the chance of succesful diffusion. leverage is most clear during Yeltsin’s tenure. Hence. While external factors are excluded in the theoretical model as depicted in figure 2. and no party of power. were able to maintain a more stable system securing consolidation. Section 7 and 8. Hence short term attempt leaves long term effects with the explanans. Diffusion plays a role. the oppositional character of the Russian Duma disappeared. if the West was involved in the Orange Revolution.

Source: Rose (2011) 32 . ‡) Involves both SMD and PR seats.A Appendix I: Duma elections in 1993 and 1995 1993 1995 Seats 70 54 48 23 33 23 19 15 4 2 1 1 Party (17/7)† Communist Party Liberal Democratic Party Our home is Russia Yabloko Agrarian Party of Russia Power to the People Russia’s Choice Congress Russian Communities Ivan Rybkin Bloc Women of Russia Forward Russia! Pamfilova–Gurov–Lysenko Bloc Union of Labour Communists of the USSR Workers’ Self-Government Stanislav Govorukhin Bloc Russian Unity and Concord Seats† 157 51 55 45 20 9 9 5 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 77 Party (12) Russia’s Choice Liberal Democratic Party Communist Party Women of Russia Agrarian Party of Russia Yabloko Russian Unity and Concord Democratic Party of Russia Movement for Democratic Reforms Dignity and Charity Civic Union Future of Russia Independents 146 Independents Note: Parties marked with bold participated in more than one consecutive election. †) Total number of parties / Participated in the prior election.

B Appendix II: Duma elections in 1999 and 2003 1999 2003 Seats 113 73 68 29 17 20 7 2 2 1 1 1 114 Party (12/4)† United Russia Communist Party Motherland Liberal Democratic Party People’s Party Yabloko Agrarian Party of Russia PVR-RPZh: Rebirth–Party of Life Union of Right Forces New Course: Automobile Russia Development of Enterprise Great Russia-Eurasian Union Independents Seats‡ 222 52 37 36 17 4 2 3 3 1 1 1 68 Party (12/4) Commmunists Party Unity Fatherland–All Russia Union of Right Forces Liberal Democratic Party Yabloko Our Home Is Russia Movement in Support of the Army Russian People’s Union Party of Pensioners Russian Socialist Party Spiritual Heritage Independents Note: Parties marked with bold participated in more than one consecutive election. †) Total number of parties / Participated in the prior election. Source: Rose (2011) 33 . ‡) Involves both SMD and PR seats.

†) Total number of parties / Participated in the prior election. ‡) Involves both SMD and PR seats.C Appendix III: Duma elections in 2007 2007 Party (4/2)† United Russia Communist Party Liberal Democrats Fair Russia Independents Seats‡ 315 57 40 38 - Note: Parties marked with bold participated in more than one consecutive election. Source: Rose (2011) 34 .

‡) Involves both SMD and PR seats.D Appendix IV: Rada elections in 1994 and 1998 1994± 1998∓ Seats 86 25 18 15 14 11 7 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 Party (19/3)† Communists Rukh Socialist / Village Popular democrats Hromada Greens Social Democrats (United) Progressive Socialists Agrarians National Front Reforms and Order Party of Regional Revival Forward Ukraine! Christian Democratic Party NEP Social liberal union Working Ukraine Razom Menshe sliv Seats‡ 122 46 34 29 23 19 17 16 8 5 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 116 Party (17) Communists Rukh Peasant Party Interregional bloc for reforms Socialist party Republican Party Congress of Ukrainian nationalists Communist party of Crimea Party of Democratic Renewal Labour Party Democratic Party Ukranian National Assembly Social Democratic Party Civic Congress Conservative Republican Party Christian Democratic Party Soyuz Independents 136 Independents Note: Parties marked with bold participated in more than one consecutive election. Source: ±) Bojcun (1995: 239) ∓) Birch and Wilson (1999: 1040) 35 . †) Total number of parties / Participated in the prior election.

†) Total number of parties / Participated in the prior election. ‡) Involves both SMD and PR seats.E Appendix V: Rada elections in 2002 and 2007 2002± 2007∓* Seats 110 101 66 24 22 22 4 3 1 1 93 Party (5/2)† Party of Regions Timoshenko bloc Our Ukraine . dem.People’s Self-defense Communist Party Lytvyn bloc Seats‡ 175 156 72 27 20 Party (10/2) Our Ukraine For a United Ukraine Communist party Soc. party of Ukraine (United) Socialist Party of Ukraine Timoshenko bloc Democratic Party of Ukraine Unity Party of National Economic Revival Ukrainian Marine Party Independents Note: Parties marked with bold participated in more than one consecutive election. *) Re-run of parliamentarian election of 2006. Source: ±)Herron and Johnson (2003: 19) ∓) Copsey (2008: 300) 36 .

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