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2.4. Strengths and vulnerabilities of Russian federalism.
Federated constitutions provide for the division of power between central and regional governments. In cases where the boundaries of federal subjects correspond to the borders the main concentration of the ethnic, religious or linguistic group, federalism proves to be ineffective. An example is the territorial strategy of decentralization of state power, pursued by the first President of the Russian Federation and recommended to him by Western advisers, which quickly led to the escalation of ethnic violence and the formation of ministates , not free in terms of modern economic development5.
Federalism is a whole series of institutional practices, which include the balance in the distribution of powers between the center and regions. There is no universal form of the subject of federalism in the Russian territory6. Each entity is a combination of general and specific characteristics. For example, the Chechen Republic has initiated most of the attempts to revise the system of government1. At the same time, in Dagestan, as elsewhere, there were problems with minorities who challenge the right of local authorities to manage this part of the territory without their active consent2.
Federalism - is just one of a number of tools to help solve the problem of ethnic identity politics. McGarry and O'Leary (1994) have identified a number of different methods of regulating this kind of conflict - the genocide and forced relocation to federalism and konsotsionalizm, and federalism is not the most popular option3.
On the one hand, federalism offers a fixed, reliable solution of territorial ethnic conflict. On the other hand, many groups are not sufficiently concentrated, and the potential imbalance between center and periphery are so large that it would be to push against the federalist solutions4. It must be recognized that federalism does not lead to the resolution of ethno-political conflict, but only allows you to manage them5. The secret is here, apparently, is that federalism provides the promise of preservation of pluralism and ambiguity in a world where the forces of globalization under the influence of a growing trend towards homogenization. In the 1960s this idea was clearly formulated by Uery, "One of the most pressing issues in today's world - is the preservation of diversity where it deserves to be preserved, or where it is impossible to destroy, let it even be desirable to do, and in the same time introduce a fraction of unity, which would have prevented the conflict and facilitate co-operation. Federalism is one of the way to cover both these needs6
Advantages of Russian federalism.
1. Russian Federation guarantees to minorities a share of state power. They have their own authorities, exercising executive, legislative and fiscal functions, not just representation in the parliament with very limited capacity to participate effectively in political decision-making or resource allocation.
2. Ethnic minorities are more likely to preserve their own culture because they are able to make decisions for themselves.
3. R.F. device can warn or suspend the requirement of secession. The flexibility of federal structures in terms of the options division of powers and institutional structures can find a solution that would provide the necessary compromise.
4. Russia can contribute to the political integration of ethnic groups. Federalism allows you to increase the number of people competing with each other in the struggle for political power. This political competition may, in turn, enhance the differentiation within the group, which could lead to fragmentation before the monolithic nationalist parties. As a result, the place of unification on the basis of common ethnic identity can come to the union on the basis of common political interests or ideologies.
5. Russian federalist solution of ethno-political problems can enhance the constitutional foundations of statehood. It requires strengthening mechanisms for implementing the provisions of the constitution, strengthening the legal nature of the State Institute of separation of powers and the role of civil society. The institutionalization of federalism, especially procedures for the harmonization of relations between the center and the republics should be based on the discussions, mutual respect and compromise, thereby strengthening these elements of political culture of the society.
6. Russia is trying to switch the ethnicity to a regional channel (creating NCFD), thus to some extent, by rationalizing the existing ethno-political conflict. And even if the Federalist solution to build SKFO is sham, it nevertheless gives some breathing space and reduces the level of aggressiveness in the actions of separative forces. It helps to better define the position to formulate specific questions on which differences exist and may even contribute to the creation of framework conditions for the integral process.
The vulnerability of Russian federalism.
The Soviet Union collapsed because of the continuous growth of centrifugal forces within the Soviet empire. But, perhaps more accurately explains this collapse is not something that the centrifugal forces were too high, but that proved to be insufficient centripetal forces opposing them. The weakness of centripetal forces, which may be called the weakness of Soviet federalism, follows naturally from the whole of the Soviet model of development, although the origins of the processes are reviewed in pre-revolutionary past1.
Russian Federalism encapsulates what may be "temporary" or part of group identity to a constant. I.e., the territorial nature of the federalist solution consolidates the existing Russian ethnic (religious, cultural, civilizational, anthropological) differences and contributes to their reproduction. According to McGarry and O'Leary - "a poor track record of federalism as a means of conflict management in the multinational and multiethnic states, even in cases where it allows a certain degree of autonomy for minorities2.
With the success of the restructuring in-Russian ethnic conflict only escalated, the national movement, at first moderate, radikalized from attempts to protect the cultural identity of their people, their language and so on, move on to the slogan of "national liberation", but, in essence, to demand, "to political and ethnic identity coincide, as well as to manage and control within a given political unit belong to one ethnic group3 "- in this requirement, Ernest Gellner sees the essence of nationalism.
When it comes to the Russian ethno-federalism, it seems that he is constantly in a state of crisis4. Federalism - is not only the most desirable option for a select group, but it is inherent in the discrepancy between his imposition of common values and standards by central government and jealous protection of its powers republics.
Drawing the boundaries between the subjects of the federation, which is intrinsic to any model of federalism, creates a tendency to turn them into something vulnerable to decay. The main property of the
decaying federalism is the painting into the national colors and at the end of a fully merged with nationalism5. Regional elites feel much more confident when lean to the national movement and feel that they are national elites. Examples of the Soviet Union, of Yugoslavia were federations till their disintegration, are very revealing in this regard. And in fact, and in another case, the boundaries between the constituent members of the Federation have been determined taking into account the area of residence of the main ethnic groups.
Of course, in both cases, the majority of a significant number of minorities lived in the federation but the majority in each of the republics could operate as though it were a master, since the division of power between center and regions legitimized its hegemony. This laid the foundation for the open expression of hostility as soon as the heavy hand of central government disappeared. But it also meant that with the collapse of the communist parties, who carried out the basic relationship between center and periphery, it was ready alternative in the face of nationalism, which was based on the requirement of ethnic hegemony within the historic territory, i.e. the territory which was designated to them within the framework of federalism.
Russian federalism as a political phenomenon, does not cause joy none of the di-and multi-ethnic republics (Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, Dagestan)6. It is the result of political compromise, it planted outside, it was one of the tools for implementing the principle of "divide and conquer" and was the result of ethnic differences and negotiations.
There is a well-founded fear that the ethnic republics - is only an intermediate step towards secession. The latter becomes particularly likely, by the example of Chechnya, has received today a special financial-economic status7. In addition, the recognition of ethnic minorities "titular nation" on its territory (with the departure of Russian) already leads to the fact that other ethnic minorities living in the country, periodically require autonomy (for example, Nogai)1, in the case and meet these requirements will inevitably lead to the fragmentation of the state.
At the same time there is a fear that as a result of encapsulation of an ethnic group different from their own cultural and religious values of the majority may be compromised by the fundamental values of the entire Russian Federation (local Shariah board)2. Post-Soviet Russia faces the challenge of creating a new culture of federalism, which would be based on associative democracy, that in a weak civil society, and not yet fully address systemic crisis is a difficult task, requiring a relatively long period of time.
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