Return to: Search Page or to: Table of Contents Vol. 19, Issue 6

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/ ]

First paragraph:
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 Tables:
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, 1993-2007.
Table 3. Funds from Federal Budget, 2005-2009 (million roubles)

Last Paragraph:
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.

Last updated November 2013