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Networks and regional leadership in El’tsin’s Russia: the case of Eduard Rossel’ in Sverdlovsk Oblast, 1989-1999

Carter, T; (2015) Networks and regional leadership in El’tsin’s Russia: the case of Eduard Rossel’ in Sverdlovsk Oblast, 1989-1999. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis examines the regional leadership in Sverdlovsk Oblast between 1989 and 1999. Focusing on the identity of the regional governor, Eduard Rossel’, who rose to power at the end of the Soviet period and dominated the region throughout the El’tsin decade, the research considers the role and use of networks as critically important to the exercise of regional power. The research questions consider the nature of the political system that Rossel’ installed, focusing on how his involvement in different vertical and horizontal networks, both as patron and client, facilitated the construction of a personalised power system in this heavily industrialised region. It finds that the activation and use of different relationships at the numerous critical junctures that emerged in centre-regional relations during the El’tsin decade protected Rossel’’s grip over regional power, through use of a ‘boundary control’ model that ensured he was the only actor capable of leading the region in this decade. Whereas many previous studies of regional politics in the 1990s have focused on the development of institutions, this research considers that the ability of the Sverdlovsk leader to participate in, and lead, overlapping networks outweighed the consolidation of institutions, resulting in his personal domination of the regional political space. The thesis considers the effect of Putin’s recentralization programme on the personalised system of power that Rossel’ constructed, finding that the introduction of alternative routes to the centre weakened his position amongst the regional and inter-regional elites.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Networks and regional leadership in El’tsin’s Russia: the case of Eduard Rossel’ in Sverdlovsk Oblast, 1989-1999
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469971
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