Derek S Hutcheson, "Party
cartels beyond Western Europe: Evidence from Russia,"
Party Politics, 19 (November 2013), 907-924.
[Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol19/issue6/
In their seminal article, Katz and Mair (1995) noted the
emergence of what they termed 'cartel parties', which
colluded with others to draw resources from the state and
put up barriers to entry to newcomers outside the cartel.
This manifested itself in two ways -- a movement of parties
away from society towards the colonization of the state and
a shift in the dynamics of intra-party relations towards the
party in public office (Katz and Mair, 2009). As party
leaders realized that they had more in common with each
other as a political class than with their voters, they
could use their privileged position as both framers and
enforcers of the rules to reinforce their positions
(Kitschelt, 2000: 151-152).
- Figures and
- Table 1. Party orientations and percentage of votes,
1993-2007 State Duma elections.
- Table 2. Requirements for registration for State Duma
elections, 1993 to date.
- Figure 1. Party socio-economic platforms,
- Table 3. Funds from Federal Budget, 2005-2009
Finally, it confirms the notion that cartel parties and
party systems can exist in the absence of a party-based
polity -- albeit that the parties' ultimate influence is
lower. Unlike Belgium and Italy, where party leaders have
been trying in recent years to downplay their partisanship
while still operating within a party-based political system,
Russian party leaders play up their partisan affiliations
while in reality operating in a power structure that
provides little real power for political parties.
Nonetheless, within this sphere there is a mutual benefit
for forces close to the Kremlin and the Communists to
collaborate in structuring the party system in a manner that
reinforces the status quo.
Katz and Mair's initial
discussions focused on the emergence of cartel parties in
Western Europe. The case of Russia indicates that, two
decades on from the collapse of communism, the post-Soviet
space may be heading in the same direction.