While several theories abound that attempt to explain the obstacles to democracy in Russia, Joel Hellman's partial reform equilibrium model is an institutional theory that illustrates how weak institutions, combined with an instrumentalist cultural approach to the law and authoritarian-minded leadership, allowed the struggle over interests to craft and determine the nature of Russia's political structure. This thesis builds on the work of Hellman by using the partial reform theory to understand the evolution of interest infiltration and their impact on the formation of policies and institutions in favour of the elites or winners from 2004 to the present time period that allow them to wield law as a political weapon. The hypothesis posits that through their vested interests in state politics, the political and economic elites of the oil and gas industry have successfully stalled reform in Russia resulting in partial reform equilibrium. This is illustrated in a case study that was designed to collect the names, backgrounds, and social networks of gas and oil executives in order to determine how many of them have a history of, or are currently working as, ministers in the government or representatives in the Federation Council. The objective being to measure the degree to which gas and oil interests are present in government decision-making and conversely, the degree to which the government is present in the gas and oil industry. The thesis stresses the importance of institutional structure in determining Russia's political evolution, and uses vested interests as a primary source of structural institutional change, while also stressing on the social and international implications of this evolution.
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Department:||International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Political science, Energy|
|Keywords:||Gas and oil industry, Institutional structure, Interest infiltration, Partial reform equilibrium, Russia|
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