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Elite Management in Electoral Authoritarian Regimes: A View From Bashkortostan and Tatarstan

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image of Central Asian Affairs

Contributing to the literature on authoritarian elite management, this study explores a puzzle concerned with the elite evolution in Russia’s two ethnic republics, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. The variation of political legacies left by these two republics’ first presidents cannot be addressed using mainstream explanations that are usually considered principal for the Kremlin’s decisionmaking on gubernatorial cadres in Russia. Both Rakhimov and Shaimiev were very successful as political bosses who could effectively deliver electoral votes to the Kremlin and maintain relative social and economic stability within their republics. Yet, toward the end of their political careers, they faced different degrees of freedom in their negotiations with federal elites and had varying degrees of success in ensuring political and economic continuity within their republics. The study instead focuses on the legacies of republican privatization and the institutional dynamics of patronal presidentialism as two alternative explanations for their divergent political outcomes.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer, King’s College London


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