John T. Ishiyama, "Red Phoenix?: The Communist Party in
Post-Soviet Russian Politics," Party Politics ,
2 (April, 1996), 147-175.
Since 1991 a growing body of literature has emerged on the
subject of political parties in the Russian Federation. By
and large, these works have generally been skeptical about
the utility of western theories of party development in
explaining post-Soviet party politics. This skepticism is
fed by observations that the 'parties' in post-Soviet
politics remain largely groups of notables who are
politically weak and lack a firm social base (Evans and
Whitfield, 1993). Others have pointed to the absence of
stable social interests capable of supporting party politics
(Evans and Whitefield, 1993; White et al., 1993; Salmin et
al., 1994; McAllister and White, 1995), or the fact that the
very concepts of 'party' and 'responsible opposition' are
alien to Russian political leaders (Sakwa, 1993). Further,
the emergence of a stable, responsible opposition in Russia,
a prerequisite for structured party politics, is also seen
as quite unlikely (Evans and Whitefield, 1993).
Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Occupational data for affiliated persons by
Table 2: Patterns derived from occupational data, appearance
on party list, and party membership.
Table 3: OFFSEEK scaling results, for all individuals.
Table 4: OFFSEEK scaling results, for top 35 names on party
Table 5: Coefficient estimates for results of probit
procedure by party dependent variable cand.
Table 6: Difference of means test for OFFSEEK values for
leadership core and district nominees by party.
Theoretically, the analysis has demonstrated the utility of
western-based organization theory to explain party behavior
in Russia. As an alternative to 'grand theory', organization
theory offers the opportunity to account for the behavior of
individual parties, within the constraints imposed by the
environment of democratic transition. Although this does not
yield the same overall predictions offered by such grand
theories, it is surely, in the short run, far more useful.
It offers insight into how internal constraints affect the
behavior of individual parties and hence their potential as
forces promoting further democratization. Thus it assists in
explaining how key actors at crucial moments can affect the
emergence of stable or unstable party politics and,
consequently, stable or unstable trajectories of