Why Did Putin Engage in Federal Reform as His Immediate Priority on Coming to Power? What were the Main Aspects of His Policy?
Following the break-up of the hyper centralized Soviet Union, there was fragmentation among Russia's regions, and contesting definitions of sovereignty. Under Yeltsin there was an asymmetrical growth in the federal authorities, with regions being given free reign so long as secession was not threatened. This principle of granting local privileges in return for loyalty was not a new concept; indeed it was practiced by the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires. However this tolerance of regional governance allowed the consolidation of political ethnic groups while also permitting authoritarian regimes. On the 11th May 2000 Putin began issuing the first presidential decrees to combat the destructive nature of competition between the center and the regions. To understand the urgency of decrees that were issued six weeks after taking office we have to examine the state of the relationship between the center and the regions. From this understanding, Putin's reforms of the system will then be analysed.…
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