State Duma Elections 2021: Results and Political Consequences

Today Margarita Zavadskaya took part in the research seminar organised by HSE University in St. Petersburg “State Duma Elections 2021: Results and Political Consequences”. At the seminar, Margarita will present her and Alexandra Rumyantseva’s paper ‘The party of people’s mistrust: foundations of the electoral success of the communists in 2021.

After the 2021 State Duma elections, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) re-emerged as a new political force with new people and creative local electoral campaigns within Russian political landscape. How and why the communists, who have been viewed as a system and rather passive opposition by most of analists and electorate, managed to successfuly accumulate political dissatisfaction of the voters during the September 2021 State Duma elections? We state that mobilisation against the pension reform in 2018 turned out to be the data on protests in 381 towns of Russia with population larger than 20.000 people, which took place during summer-autumn 2018, combined with the electoral data on State Duma elections 2016 and 2021.
The paper continues the presentation Margarita Zavadskaya and Alexandra Rumyantseva gave in October in Helsinki during the ElMaRB seminar. You can watch its recording on our blog.

Governing Authoritarian Elections: The Case of Russia

The new year has started and we continue to publish the recordings of keynote lectures given at our International Workshop. Today we are happy to share the excellent talk that Vladimir Gel’man, Professor of Russian Politics at Aleksanteri Institute and Professor at the European University at St.Petersburg, gave on the 26th of October. In the lecture titled ‘Governing Authoritarian Elections: The Case of Russia’, Professor Gel’man talked about

The mechanisms of electoral governance under authoritarianism aimed at preservation of political monopoly under the guise of multi-party and multi-candidate contest. However, the very framework of legal regulations and their implementation relied upon numerous political and institutional devices, carefully chosen and arranged on the basis of “menu of manipulations”, typical for some electoral authoritarian regimes. Under such conditions, regimes employs the combination of high barriers, vague norms, biased enforcement of rules, and top-down mechanisms of control. Russia demonstrated the evolution of mechanisms of electoral governance towards near-elimination of very possibilities for unwanted electoral results. Still, these mechanisms are imperfect, as they perform at the expense of legitimacy of elections and not always prevents undesired outcomes. This is why authoritarian elections is a risky game, vulnerable to disequilibrium, observed in the wake of post-election protests in 2011-2012. Based on this perspective, I will discuss the experience of elections in Russia since the Soviet collapse until the State Duma elections of 2021.