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Issue № 88. October 2021

On the Politics of Governability in Contemporary Russia

Kirill O. Telin, Kirill G. Filimonov

Kirill O. Telin
PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Political Science, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1402-3778

Kirill G. Filimonov
Junior Research Fellow, Institute for Demographic Research, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation.
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7698-8666

The paper is dedicated to the problem of actual evaluation and assessment of public policy and public administration in contemporary Russia, which is increasingly associated with such a popular concept as governability. Through the prism of modern approaches, including the theory of public governance and collaborative governance, the authors emphasize the fundamental differences between two possible readings of governability — governability as obedience (in this case, the key features of manageability are hierarchy, discipline and predictability) and governability as cooperation (in this case, the most important elements are the quality of regulation, trust in state actors on the part of social forces, as well as the ability of various public authorities to operate autonomously)The paper outlines the main features of such approaches and the logic of their practical application in the field of decision-making and its implementing as well as the circumstances that potentially hinder the internal transformation of political systems and the transition from one approach to another. As a result of the study and critical analysis of topical practices of evaluating public administration, the authors propose a new conceptual framework for the analysis and assessment of such decisions, which includes four dimensions of public authorities’ activities: functional-despotic, functional-infrastructural, consolidation-despotic and consolidation-infrastructural. Taken together, these dimensions will make possible not only to correct, but also significantly expand the optics of modern assessment of public governance systems. In the conclusion the notable remarks are given related to the potential application of the proposed conceptual framework in contemporary Russian conditions.


Russian politics, governability, performance evaluation, public governance, public policy, stateness.

DOI: 10.24412/2070-1381-2021-88-161-172

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