Factors of Legal Diversity in Russian Regions: lack of loyalty or lack of competence
A report by Pavel Kononenko at the regular LCSR seminar
On April, 10th 2014 Pavel Kononenko (SPSU, Department of Problems of Interdisciplinary Synthesis in the Field of Social Sciences and Humanities) delivered a speech at the regular LCSR seminar on the sources of legal diversity in Russian regions.
Despite the fact that the institutes of Russian federalism are very decorative and are well integrated into the so-called power vertical, regional legislatures make their own contribution to the legislative activity in Russia by adopting a number of federal laws. All these laws have to be reviewed by the Ministry of Justice. Some of the laws that have been accepted by the federal parliaments are rejected later on a higher level since they are not compatible with the federal law. It is interesting that there is a significant variance in the number of laws that are being rejected by the Ministry of Justice. Pavel tried to understand and explain the existing differences in the shares of the “wrong” laws.
He posited two hypotheses. According to the first, “regional”, hypothesis the differences are explained by the regional features such as geography, economy and culture. “Parliamentary” hypothesis interprets those differences through the characteristics of regional legislatures. The quantity of laws that were rejected is normalized by the number of members of regional parliament (the dependent variable). That normalization has significantly improved the model. The results of linear regression modeling showed that among the regional variables the ones that explain the most are the status of region (oblast, republic, krai etc), GRP (per capita adjusted by consumer price index); and among the parliamentary explanatory variables the most significant were the size of parliament and the distance from Moscow.
These results are preliminary and demand a better theoretical explanation. Moreover, the author has received a lot of comments on how to improve the methodological part of the research. Nevertheless the audience has concluded that the research done by Pavel highly contributes to the existing research and helps to fill in many gaps.
by Pavel Kuzmichev