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Paul Chaisty, "Party cohesion and Policy-Making in Russia," Party Politics, 11 (May, 2005), 299-318.

First Paragraph:
While Russia's political transition from communism has produced a weakly consolidated party system, parties within parliament have become more cohesive over the past decade. The capacity of Russia's parliamentary parties to hold on to their members and to deliver relatively high levels of voting discipline has been a notable feature of Russian legislative politics. In accounting for the existence of party cohesion in parliaments, comparative research, which draws heavily on studies of the US Congress, has focused on the electoral and institutional incentives that parties command. Summarizing this literature, Bowler (2002) makes the distinction between the 'two-arena' approach, which emphasizes the impact that electoral rules and the level of partisanship in electoral contests have on party behaviour in legislatures (Mayhew, 1974), and the 'one-arena' approach, which asserts that the procedural power of parties to deliver collective performance in policymaking provides incentives for legislators, intent on shaping policy outcomes, to defer to party leaders (Cox and McCubbins, 1993; Rohde, 1991).

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Average faction and group membership loss, First-Third Dumas
Figure 2. Aggregate party discipline scores, 1994-2004
Table 1. Party voting cohesion and absenteeism in the State Duma (1994-2003)
Figure 3. Authors of priority economic legislation, 1996-2004
Figure 4. Variation in the initiation of priority economic legislation, 1996-2004
Figure 5. Committees responsible for steering priority economic legislation, 1996-2004
Table 2. Summary of means and median tests on ratings between committee contingents and their parties
Appendix 1: Coding of Party, Committee and Deputy Bills

First paragraph of Discussion:
According to these legislative results, the effects of parliamentary parties on policy outcomes are limited. These findings do not exclude the possibility that parties influence policy at earlier stages in the law-making process, but they uncover insufficient evidence to conclude that this might be the case. The procedural advantages that parties enjoy in determining the Duma's legislative programme, and in shaping the composition of the assembly's legislative committees, produced few examples of overtly partisan bills, plus little evidence that parties use their institutional powers to expedite the legislative priorities of committees that share similar policy preferences. Furthermore, while tests used to compare the voting behaviour of committee contingents and their party colleagues did not uncover evidence of systemic conflict between parties and committees, there were some important exceptions: the committees for Agriculture, Industry and the Budget. The findings suggest that party contingents in these key committees were more likely to diverge from their party's position on important votes that fell within their committee's jurisdiction than were party representatives in other economic policy committees.