The Legal Concept of Liberal Reforms in Russia (Through the Example of Federalism Reform and Higher Education Reform)

  •  Alexey Anisimov    


The intensification of Russian citizens’ political activities after December 2011 has simplified the process of political parties’ registration and led to the creation of the Opposition Coordination Council. The analysis of the Council’s functioning proves that it doesn’t carries out the real coordination of all the opposition forces’ actions. This is because the Council consists of politicians whose views differ too much. The impossibility of working out a common opposition strategy requires the development of a unified political program of opposition politicians who have similar convictions.

In these conditions the development of this program is needed for liberal politicians who mutually understand the necessity to build in Russia a democratic legal state, in which human rights would be observed. The article draws attention to some approximate structural elements of such a political program of the union of liberal parties. The author thoroughly analyzes two issues: federalism reform and education reform.

The revival of Russian federalism is supposed to include at least three lists of arrangements: renewal of budgetary federalism, i.e. the increase of regional budget revenues collected in its territory; political reorganization of regional managerial human resources including the revival of the institute of election of all governors and the determination of their performance quality characteristics regulated by the civil society. Third, this is the reform of the existing distribution of matters of competence and powers between the center and regions according to the sectoral factor. In this sense, the experience of the federative state of Canada can be used. The distribution of powers between the center and regions there is carried out not according to the sectoral factor, like in Russia, but according to the types of activity having either central or regional importance.

Education reform that is currently under way in Russia causes a series of negative consequences connected with the growth of educational process bureaucratization, reduction in financing for universities, their groundless enlargement, lack of objective criteria for evaluation of students’ knowledge, and creation of the atmosphere of insecurity of the future. In this regard, the liberal concept involves the release of lecturers from paper work, election of state universities’ rectors and rating system allowing taking into account the scientific and methodical contribution of each lecturer to the process of students’ education, increase in financing for lecturers’ salaries depending on their position in the higher educational institution’s rating, and increase in financing for research activities.

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