The Rise and Fall of Local Self-Government: The Case of Petrozavodsk

23 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2016  

Mikhail Turchenko

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Students

Date Written: August 31, 2016

Abstract

On September 8, 2013 the mayoral election was held in Petrozavodsk, the capital city of the Republic of Karelia. An independent candidate Galina Shirshina gained success in this contest. On December 25, 2015 Shirshina was dismissed by the Petrozavodsk City Councillors. Her misgovernment of the city’s public sector was the official explanation for her dismissal. An alternative explanation of why she lost her position, was her refusal to conform with the regional power vertical. In accordance with the obtained results, the leading role in Shirshina’s recall was played by the Karelian authorities. They decided to remove Shirshina after their failure to control her actions as mayor. The key step towards the implementation of this decision was elimination of the autonomy of the local political elites, who supported the mayor of Petrozavodsk and controlled the majority of the municipal deputies. The regional authorities replaced popular mayoral elections in the city with the appointment of a city manager to assure their political control in the future. This case study shows that the survival of mayoral governance and the direct mayoral elections in the cities of Russia depend on mayoral loyalty to the regional authorities

Keywords: local politics, local elites, electoral authoritarianism, Russia

JEL Classification: D72, D74

Suggested Citation

Turchenko, Mikhail, The Rise and Fall of Local Self-Government: The Case of Petrozavodsk (August 31, 2016). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 37/PS/2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2832729 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2832729

Mikhail Turchenko (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Students ( email )

Moscow
Russia

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