Download PDF by Gordon B. Smith, Robert Sharlet: Russia and its Constitution: Promise and Political Reality

By Gordon B. Smith, Robert Sharlet

ISBN-10: 900415535X

ISBN-13: 9789004155350

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Extra info for Russia and its Constitution: Promise and Political Reality

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62 As in America, para-constitutional behavior gets things done, but ultimately provess counter-productive because they rely on the mechanical armory of stability politics rather than the selfsustaining practices of the politics of order. During Putin’s presidency the practices of para-constitutionalism have been sharply accentuated. His regime has been careful not overtly to overstep the bounds of the letter of the Constitution, but the ability of the system of “managed democracy” to 58 For an analysis of the problem, see András Sajó, Limiting Government: An Introduction to Constitutionalism (Central European University Press, Budapest, 1999).

From Sham ham to Pseudo seudo Constitutionalism? onstitutionalism? According to Weber, Russia’s 1906 Constitution represented sham constitutionalism (Scheinkonstitutionalismus), in that it was not able effectively to establish accountable government. 8 The pressure exerted by the Tsarist authorities on the newly-established State Duma, notably in the Third of June system of managing the democratic process, is in some ways reminiscent of Vladimir Putin’s attempts to ensure that the exercise of popular sovereignty remains within controlled limits.

15 The new constitutional system proved cumbersome and unwieldy, and even more so once this model was transferred to Russia. The Russian CPD was elected in March 1990, and at its first convocation in May-June all factions united in favor of a strong leadership. With El’tsin’s election to chair the Supreme Soviet in a hard-fought contest in May a significant step was taken towards the development of the presidential system. In 1990, the Russian parliament passed some 150 acts affecting virtually every aspect of Russian life.

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Russia and its Constitution: Promise and Political Reality by Gordon B. Smith, Robert Sharlet


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