Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-sjtt6 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-14T15:38:44.310Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

A Genealogy of Kontrol’ in Russia: From Leninist to Neoliberal Governance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Abstract

This article examines the emergence of the concept obshchestvennyi kontrol’ in Russian state discourse, the practices to which it has been attached and the legitimating narrative employed to justify them. It traces the concept of kontrol’ from Leninist conceptions olrabochyi kontrol’, through post-Stalinist discourses of narodnyi kontrol ‘, demonstrating that contemporary state-driven articulations of obshchestvennyi kontrol’ exhibit a substantial amount of continuity in the conceptualisation of the role of the citizen as assisting the state in its pre-determined goals. However, in contrast to rabochyi and narodnyi kontrol’, which were legitimated by various aspects of Marxist-Leninist theory, contemporary mechanisms of obshchestvennyi kontrol’ are accompanied by a rhetoric of increasing international competitiveness, thereby allowing the Kremlin to respond to international norms of a ‘small state’, outsourcing and civic participation.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Inc. 2016

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1. Some English texts have translated obshchestvennyi kontrol’ as “public control,” but I consider this a grave mistranslation. “Control” in English means to manage, that is, to make decisions in full possession of relevant facts and to steer the course of events. Yet, as Maurice Brinton observed, kontrol’ in Russian means to monitor or check the decisions made by others; it thus implies a limitation of sovereignty not present in the English word. This distinction is very important for the relationship between state and society inculcated by the institutions that enact obshchestvennyi kontrol’. However, when citing directly from sources that have translated kontrol’ as “control,” I have remained faithful to the source from which the citation came.

2. “Obshchestvennyi kontrol’ dolzhen priiti v armiiu,” Press Sluzhba Obshchestvennoi Palaty RF, February 15, 2012, at http://oprf.ru/press/832/newsitem/16747 (last accessed January 8, 2016); “Putin obsudit c ONF kontrol’ goszakupok,” http://DNI.ru, November 26, 2015, http://www.dni.ru/society/2015/ll/26/321743.html (last accessed April 5th 2016); “Priiutskii kontrol’,” Press Sluzhba Obshchestvennoi Palaty RF, February 28, 2012, at http://oprf.ru/press/news/2012/newsitem/16851 (last accessed January 8, 2016); “Putin predlozhil oprobovat’ na TsKAD sistemu obshchestvennogo kontrolya”, RIA Novosti, November 8, 2011, at http://ria.ru/society/20111108/483890816.html (last accessed April 5, 2016); “Putin prizivaet usilit’ obshchestvennyi kontrol’ za provedeniem YeGE,” Vesti, May 31, 2011, at http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=460924 (last accessed January 8, 2016).

3. See Vladimir Putin, “Demokratiia i kachestvo gosudarstvo,” Kommersant, February 6, 2012, at: http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1866753 (last accessed January 8, 2016); “Address to the Federal Assembly,” President of Russia, December 21, 2012, at http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/4739 (last accessed January 8, 2016); Vladimir Putin, “Poslanie Prezidenta Federal’nomu Sobrianiiu,” Prezident Rossii, December 12, 2013, at http://www.kremlin.ru/transcripts/19825 (last accessed January 8,2016).

4. “Istoriya Obshcherossiiskogo narodnogo fronta,” at http://onf.ru/structure/istoriya-onf/ (last accessed January 8,2016).

5. “Putin podpisal’ zakon ob obshchestvennom kontrole v RF,” RIA Novosti, July 22, 2014, at http://ria.ru/politics/20140722/1017012976.html (last accessed January 8, 2016).

6. In defining discourse, I follow Norman Fairclough, who sees discourse as a particular stable linguistic representation or ‘vision’ of a set of social practices articulated by a specific social group. See Fairclough, Norman, New Labour, New Language (London, 2000), 21 Google Scholar.

7. Rhodes, R. A. W., “Waves of Governance” in Levi-Faur, David, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Governance (Oxford, 2012), 33 Google Scholar.

8. See also Rhodes, R. A. W, “Understanding Governance: 10 Years On,” Organization Studies 28, no. 8 (August 2007): 1243-64Google Scholar.

9. Hood, Christopher, “The ‘New Public Management’ in the 1980s: Variations on a Theme,” Accounting, Organizations and Society 20, no. 2/3 (1995): 93109 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Ferlie, Ewan et al., The New Public Management in Action (Oxford, 1996), 69 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Peck, Jamie, Constructions of Neoliberal Reason (Oxford, 2010), 9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; see also Plant, Raymond, The Neo-Liberal State (Oxford, 2010)Google Scholar; Denters, Bas and Rose, Lawrence E., “Towards Local Governance?” in Deniers, Bas and Rose, Larry, eds., Comparing Local Governance: Trends and Developments (Basingstoke, 2005), 261 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Geddes, Mike, “Neoliberalism and Local Governance: Cross-National Perspectives and Speculations,” Policy Studies 26, no. 3/4 (September 2005): 439-58CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

10. Christensen, Tom and Lægreid, Per, eds., Transcending New Public Management: The Transformation of Public Sector Reforms (Farnham, 2007), 4 Google Scholar; see also Jessop, Bob, “The Rise of Governance and the Risks of Failure: The Case of Economic Development,” International Social Science Journal 50, no. 155, (March 1998): 2945 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

11. These are paradigmatic exegeses of the Kremlin’s contemporary worldview: the pre-election articles articulate to the electorate Putin’s strategy for national development over the coming years.

12. Lenin, Vladimir, Selected Works, 12 vols., ed. Fineberg, J. (New York, 1935), 6:488 Google Scholar and 6:426-27.

13. John Reed, “The Origins of Work’s Control of Industry in Russia,” http://Marxists.org, November 23, 1918, at http://www.marxists.org/archive/reed/1918/origins.htm (last accessed January 8, 2016); see Lenin, Selected Works, 6:453.

14. Ibid, 6:452, 6:488 and 6:285.

15. Ibid, 6:487.

16. Ibid, 6:265.

17. Ibid, 6:623.

18. Ibid, 6:410.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid, 6:411.

22. Maurice Brinton, “The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control: The State and Counter-Revolution,” http://Marxists.org, at http://www.marxists.org/archive/brinton/1970/workers-control/ (last accessed January 8,2016).

23. Brinton, “The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control.”

24. Perrins, M., “Rabkrin and Workers’ Control in Russia 1917-34,” European History Quarterly 10 (April 1980): 225-46Google Scholar.

25. Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. 7:319.

26. Brinton, “The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control.”

27. Brinton, “The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control.”

28. Perrins, “Rabkrin and Workers’ Control in Russia 1917-34,” 228.

29. Deutscher, Isaac, Stalin: A Political Biography (London, 1949), 230 Google Scholar.

30. Perrins, “Rabkrin and Workers’ Control in Russia 1917-34,” 239.

31. Adams, Jan, Citizen Inspectors in the Soviet Union: The People’s Control Committee (New York, 1977), 36 Google Scholar.

32. Adams, Citizen Inspectors in the Soviet Union, 38-9.

33. Jr.Evans, Alfred B., Soviet Marxism-Leninism: The Decline of an Ideology (West-port, 1993), 95 Google Scholar.

34. Lenin, Vladimir, The State and Revolution (Moscow, 1984), 19 Google Scholar.

35. Sandle, Mark, “Soviet and Eastern Bloc Marxism” in Glaser, Daryl and Walker, David M., eds., Twentieth Century Marxism: A Global Introduction (Abingdon, 2007), 68 Google Scholar.

36. Evans, Soviet Marxism-Leninism, pp. 93-94.

37. Howard Swearer, “Who Controls Whom?” Problems of Communism (July 1963): 46-50.

38. See Adams, Citizen Inspectors in the Soviet Union, 51-56.

39. Friedgut, Theodore H., Political Participation in the USSR (Princeton, 1979), 147 Google Scholar.

40. Nikita Khrushchev, “O pazvitii ekonomiki SSSR i perestroike partiinogo rukovodstvo narodnym khoziaistvom,” Magnitogorskii Metall, November 28,1962, at http://magmetall.ru/pdf/1962-ll-28_02.pdf (last accessed January 8,2016).

41. Adams, Citizen Inspectors in the Soviet Union, 61.

42. Ibid, 59.

43. Swearer, “Who Controls Whom?,” 49.

44. Ibid.

45. Adams, Citizen Inspectors in the Soviet Union, 79-80.

46. Ibid, 107.

47. Brezhnev, Leonid in Adams, Jan S., “People’s Control in the Soviet Union,” The Western Political Quarterly 20, no. 4 (December 1967): 919-29Google Scholar.

48. Adams, Citizen Inspectors in the Soviet Union, 108.

49. Ibid.

50. Ibid, 150.

51. Sakwa, Richard, Russian Politics and Society, 4th Edition (London, 2008), 125 Google Scholar.

52. Howard, Marc Morjé, The Weakness of Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe (Cambridge, 2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

53. Sakwa, Russian Politics and Society, 125.

54. Cook, Linda J., Postcommunist Welfare States: Reform Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe (New York, 2007), 12 Google Scholar.

55. Cook, Postcommunist Welfare States, 5; see also Shevtsova, Lilia, Putin’s Russia, 2nd Edition (Washington, 2005), 354-55Google Scholar.

56. Pravitel’stvo Rossiiskoi Federatsii, “Kontseptsiia Administrativnoi Reformy v Rossiiskoi Federatsii v 2006-2010 Godakh,” last modified October 25, 2005, at http://www.arhcity.ru/data/564/l%20conc.pdf (last accessed January 8,2016).

57. Cook, Postcommunist Welfare States, 153.

58. “Kontseptsiia Administrativnoi Reformy v Rossiiskoi Federatsii v 2006-2010 Godakh.”

59. “Federal’nyi Zakon Rossiiskoi Federatsii ot 4 Aprelya 2005 g. N 32 F3. Ob Obshchestvennoi Palate Rossiiskoi Federatsii,” Rossiiskaia Gazeta, last modified April 7, 2005, at http://www.rg.ru/2005/04/07/obshestv-palata-dok.html (last accessed January 8, 2016).

60. However, obshchestvennyi kontrol’ has recently been fully defined for this first time in the Law on the Foundations of obshchestvennyi kontrol’ in the Russian Federation, discussed below.

61. Obshchestvennaia Palata Rossiiskoi Federatsii, “O Palate,” at http://www.oprf.ru/about/ (last accessed January 8, 2016).

62. Belokurova, Elena, “NGOs and Politics in Russia Regions” in Gel’man, Vladimir and Ross, Cameron, eds., The Politics of Sub-National Authoritarianism in Russia (Farnham, 2010), 116 Google Scholar.

63. Jr.Evans, Alfred B., “The First Steps of Russia’s Public Chamber: Representation or Coordination?,” Demokratizatsiya, 16, no. 4 (Fall 2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Richter, James, “Putin and the Public Chamber,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 25, no. 1, (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Richter, James, “The Ministry of Civil Society? The Public Chambers in the Regions,” Problems of Post-Communism, 56, no. 6, (November 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Petrov, Nicolai, Lipman, Masha, and Hale, Henry E., “Over-managed Democracy in Russia: Governance Implications of Hybrid Regimes,” Carnegie Papers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Russia and Eurasia Program No. 106, (February 2010)Google Scholar; Sakwa, Richard, The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession, (Cambridge, Eng., 2011)Google Scholar.

64. ‘Tret’ respondentov “Levada-Tsentra” schitaet Obshchestvennuyu palatu dekorativnoi,’ http://Polit.ru, March 2, 2011, at http://polit.ru/news/2011/03/02/decorate/ (last accessed March 30, 2016).

65. Obshchestvennaya Palata Rossiiskoi Federatsii, ‘Doklad o Sostoyanii Grazhdanskogo Obshchestva Rossiiskoi Federatsii za 2011 God,’ (Moscow 2011), 69, at http://www.oprf.ru/files/dok2012/dokladOPRF2011.pdf (last accessed March 30, 2016).

66. Obshchestvennaia Palata Rossiiskoi Federatsi, “Palaty Po Okrugam,” at http://www.oprf.ru/about/interaction/region_chambers/1445/1435/ (last accessed January 8,2016).

67. In 2008, obshchestvennyi kontrol’ was made the subject of a law for the first time when prison monitoring bodies, known as Public Monitoring Commissions (PMCs), were created by Law No. 76 “On the Obshchestvennyi Kontrol’ of the Protection of Human Rights in Places of Detention and Assistance to Persons in Places of Detention.” However, even here the concept is not given a full definition; rather, the law states that obshches-tvennyi kontrol’ is to be performed by PMCs, and continues with an elaboration of their activities. These include inspections of detention facilities, followed by the preparation of recommendations for improvement to the facility authorities, the handling of complaints by inmates and helping prison authorities ensure that prisoners’ rights are observed. In short, it is the combination of assistance and scrutiny that characterises public chambers. Furthermore, the Federal Public Chamber conducts the PMC application process and regional chambers often provide training sessions and administrative support. See Catherine Owen, “Consentful Contention in a Corporate State: Human Rights Activists and Public Monitoring Commissions in Russia,” East European Politics, 31: 3,2015.

68. These councils were then regulated according to the governmental decrees No. 481 of August 2, 2005 and No. 842 of August 4, 2006.

69. “Postanovlenie Rossiiskoi Federatsii ot 2 Avgusta 2005 g. N 481 g. Moskva,” Rossiiskaia Gazeta, last modified August 9, 2005, at http://www.rg.ru/2005/08/09/obsch-sovetydok.html (last accessed January 8, 2016).

70. “Postanovlenie Rossiiskoi Federatsii ot 6 Iyunia 2013 g. N 480 g. Moskva,” Rossiiskaia Gazeta, June 18, 2013, at http://www.rg.ru/2013/06/18/sovety-site-dok.html (last accessed January 8,2016).

71. “Ukaz Prezidenta Rossiiskoi Federatsii ot 4 Avgusta 2006 g. N 842,” Rossiiskaia Gazeta, August 8,2006, at http://www.rg.ru/2006/08/08/ministerstva-sovety-dok.html (last accessed January 8,2016).

72. Informatsionnyi Biulleten’ No. 1, Koordinatsionnyi Komitet Obshchestennykh Sovietov, Moscow: March 2011, at http://www.oprf.ru/files/dokument2011/infbyullet27072011.doc (last accessed January 8,2016 at).

73. Obshchestvennaia Palata Rossiiskoi Federatsii, ‘Doklad o Sostoyanii Grazhdanskogo Obshchestva Rossiiskoi Federatsii za 2010 God,’ Moscow 2010, pp. 40, at http://www.oprf.ru/files/Doklad-OPRF-2010.pdf (last accessed March 31, 2016).

74. “Podpisan Ukaz ob osnovnykh napravleniiakh sovershenstvovaniia sistemy gosupravleniia,” Prezident Rossii, at http://kremlin.ru/news/15239 (last accessed January 8,2016).

75. “Postanovlenie Pravitel’stva Rossiiskoi Federatsii ot 1 Sentiabria 2012 g. No. 877 g. Moskva,” Rossiiskaia Gazeta, September 11, 2012, at http://www.rg.ru/2012/09/ll/dokumenty-site-dok.html (last accessed January 8,2016).

76. Federal’nyi zakon Rossiiskoi Federatsii ot 21 Iiulia 2014g. N 212-F3 “Ob osnovakh obshchestvennogo kontrolia v Rossiiskoi Federatsii,” Rossiiskaia Gazeta, July 23, 2014, at http://www.rg.ru/2014/07/23/zakon-dok.html (last accessed January 8, 2016).

77. Adams, Citizen Inspectors in the Soviet Union, 108.

78. An earlier draft of the law contained a vague description of the ‘public interest’; however, this has been removed in the final version. See Press Sluzhba Obshchestvennoi Palaty RF, “Proekt Federal’nogo Zakona ‘Ob obshchestvennom kontrole v Rossiiskoi Federatsii,”‘ at http://www.oprf.ru/ru/discussions/1389/newsitem/18428?PHPSESSID=2g7g9jcpJjif8j89kpqj23b6v7 (last accessed January 8, 2016).

79. See Sovet pri Prezidente RF. Po razvitiiu grazhdanskogo obshchestva i pravam cheloveka, “Proekt Federal’nogo Zakona ‘Ob Obshchestvennom (Grazhdanskom) Kontrole v Rossiiskoi Federatsii,’” November 2011, at http://www.president-sovet.ru/chairman/materials/draft_federal_law/ (last accessed January 8,2016).

80. “Obshcherossiiskii Narodnyi Front.” Ria Novosti, June 11,2013, at http://ria.ru/spravka/20130611/942141719.html (last accessed January 8, 2016).

81. Obshcherossiiskii Narodnyi Front, http://onf.ru/.

82. Vladimir Putin, “Rossiia sosredotachivaetsia: Vyzovy, na kotorye my dolzhny otvetit,’” Izvestiia, January 16, 2012, at http://izvestia.ru/news/511884 (last accessed January 8, 2016).

83. Vladimir Putin, “Nam nuzhna novaia ekonomika,” Gazeta Vedemosti, at http://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2012/01/30/o_nashih_ekonomicheskih_zadachah (last accessed March 31, 2016).

84. Vladimir Putin, “Rossiya Sosredotachivayetsya: Vyzovy, Na Kotoryye My Dolzhny Otvetit’”, Izvestiya, January 16, 2012, at: http://izvestia.ru/news/511884 (last accessed 5 April 2016).

85. Fairclough, Norman, New Labour, New Language? (London, 2000), 36 Google Scholar.

86. Vladimir Putin, “Rossiia i meniaiushchiisia mir,” Moskovskie Novosti, February 27, 2012, at http://www.mn.ru/politics/20120227/312306749.html (last accessed January 8, 2016).

87. Vladimir Putin, “Demokratiia i kachestvo gosudarstva,” Kommersant, February 6, 2012, at http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1866753 (last accessed January 8, 2016).

88. Vladimir Putin, “Stroitel’stvo spravedlivosti. Sotsial’naia politika dlia Rossii,” Komsomol’skaya Pravda, February 13, 2012, at http://www.kp.ru/daily/3759/2807793/ (last accessed January 8,2016).

89. Putin, “Nam nuzhna novaia ekonomika.”

90. Putin, “Rossiia sosredotachivaetsia.”

91. Putin, “Demokratiia i kachestvo gosudarstva.”

92. Putin, “Rossiia sosredotachivaetsia.”

93. Putin, “Stroitel’stvo spravedlivosti.”

94. Vladimir Putin, “Rossiia: natsional ‘nyi vopros,” Nezavisimaia Gazeta, January 23, 2012, at http://www.ng.ru/politics/2012-01-23/l_national.html (last accessed January 8, 2016).

95. Putin, “Rossiia sosredotachivaetsia.”

96. Putin, “Demokratiia i kachestvo gosudarstva.”

97. Putin, “Rossiia sosredotachivaetsia.”

98. Plant, The Neo-Liberal State, 250.

99. Putin, “Rossiia sosredotachivaetsia.”

100. Putin, “Demokratiia i kachestvo gosudarstva.”

101. Ibid.

102. Putin, “Demokratiia i kachestvo gosudarstva”, “Stroitel’stvo spravedlivosti and “Rossiia sosredotachivaetsia.”