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Comparative politics russia hon


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Comparative politics russia hon

  2. 2. RUSSIAN HISTORY  Bound by treaty, Tsar Nicholas II and his subjects entered World War I at the defense of Serbia. At the opening of hostilities in August 1914, the Russians took the offensive against both Germany and Austria- Hungary in support of her French ally.  Later, military failures and bureaucratic ineptitude soon turned large segments of the population against the government. Control of the Baltic Sea by the German fleet, and of the Black Sea by combined German and Ottoman forces prevented Russia from importing supplies and exporting goods.
  3. 3.  On March 3, 1917, a strike occurred in a factory in the capital Petrograd (formerly Saint Petersburg). On February 23 (March 8) 1917, International Women's Day, thousands of women textile workers in Petrograd walked out of their factories protesting the lack of food and calling on other workers to join them. Within days, nearly all the workers in the city were idle, and street fighting broke out. When the tsar ordered the Duma to disband, ordered strikers to return to work, and ordered troops to shoot at demonstrators in the streets, his orders triggered the February Revolution, especially when soldiers openly sided with the strikers. On March 2 (15), Nicholas II abdicated. To fill the vacuum of authority, the Duma declared a Provisional Government, headed by Prince Lvov.[ Meanwhile, the socialists in Petrograd organized elections among workers and soldiers to form a soviet (council) of workers' and soldiers' deputies, as an organ of popular power that could pressure the "bourgeois" Provisional Government.
  4. 4. RUSSIAN CULTURE  There are over 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples in Russia.  Ethnic Russian clothes include kaftan, kosovorotka and ushanka for men, sarafan and kokoshnik for women, with lapti and valenki as common shoes.  Russian cuisine widely uses fish, poultry, mushrooms, berries, and honey.  Russians have many traditions, most prominent being the washing in banya, a hot steam bath somewhat similar to sauna.  Russia's large numbers of ethnic groups have distinctive traditions of folk music. Typical ethnic Russian musical instruments are gusli, balalaika, zhaleika and garmoshka.  Russian architecture began with the woodcraft buildings of ancient Slavs.
  5. 5.  Russians have been successful at a number of sports and consistently finish in the top rankings at the Olympic Games and in other international competitions.  There are seven public holidays in Russia.  Tourism in Russia has seen rapid growth since the late Soviet times, first inner tourism and then international tourism as well. Rich cultural heritage and great natural variety place Russia among the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  Orthodox Christianity is Russia's traditional and largest religion, deemed part of Russia's "historical heritage" in a law passed in 1997.
  6. 6. RUSSIAN ECONOMY  Major Exports Russia's major exports are fuels, energy, metals, machinery & equipment, chemicals, oil, Vodka, and clothes.  Major Imports Russia's major imports are machinery & equipment, food and agricultural raw materials, chemicals and metals.  Major Export Markets Main export markets are Ukraine, Germany, Belarus, Netherlands and China.  Major Import Markets Russia's main import markets are Germany, Ukraine, Belarus and the US.
  7. 7.  Agriculture  Russia is a major producer of wheat, barley, oats, and rye. In the early 1990s Russia annually produced 46 million metric tons of wheat, 25.5 million metric tons of barley, 13.9 million metric tons of rye, and 11.5 million metric tons of oats. Other important crops in Russia include dry peas, corn, millet, buckwheat, rice, and soybeans. Various types of temperate-climate fruits, such as apples, pears, and cherries, are also grown extensively in Russia. In the far north, reindeer herding is a major occupation among the native peoples.  Fishing  Russia's fishing industry is one of the largest in the world. In the early 1990s the annual catch was about 9.2 million metric tons. Marine fisheries accounted for the largest share of the catch. Of the inland catch, the saltwater Azov, Black, and Caspian seas accounted for about three-fifths of the total; freshwater lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and ponds accounted for the remainder.
  8. 8.  Mining  Mining is a major sector of the Russian economy and provides important items for national export. Mineral resources are diverse, abundant, and generally well developed. Russia has large reserves of energy-bearing minerals, including petroleum, coal, and natural gas. For many years it extracted enough of the minerals to meet domestic demands, provide for nations in its economic sphere, and export to industrial nations of the West in return for needed hard currency.  Export  Russia is a major exporter of iron ore, with most production occurring in the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly of south central Russia. Iron ore deposits near Magnitogorsk in the Ural Mountains have been largely depleted. Russia is also a notable exporter of copper (168,000 metric tons in 1990) and nickel (127,000 metric tons in 1990). Copper and nickel ores are mined primarily in the Urals, although sizable deposits of nickel are also located in the Kola Peninsula near Murmansk.  The country is one of the world's leading producers of gold, which is mined in the Urals, western Siberia, and eastern Siberia in the valley of the Lena River. Russia is also a major diamond producer.
  9. 9.  Economy (2008 est.) GDP: $14.3 billion. Growth rate: 4.0%. Per capita GDP: $1,845 (official exchange rate), $3,130 (PPP, IMF). Natural resources: Arable land, forests, minerals, and fisheries. Agriculture (18.6% of GDP): Products--coffee, bananas, shrimp and lobster, sugar, fruits, basic grains, and livestock. Manufacturing (19.7% of GDP): Types--textiles and apparel, cement, wood products, cigars, and foodstuffs. Services (54.2% of GDP). Trade: Exports (goods)--$6.95 billion: apparel, auto parts, coffee, shrimp, bananas, palm oil, gold, zinc/lead concentrates, soap/detergents, melons, lobster, pineapple, lum ber, sugar, and tobacco. Major market--U.S. (70%). Imports (goods)--$11.60 billion: fabrics, yarn, machinery, chemicals, petroleum, vehicles, proces sed foods, metals, agricultural products, plastic articles, and paper articles. Major source--U.S. (52%).
  10. 10. RUSSIAN POLITICAL STRUCTURE  THE PRESIDENT  The President has broad authority to issue decrees and directives that have the force of law without legislative review, although the constitution notes that they must not contravene that document or other laws.  The Law on Presidential Elections requires that the winner receive more than 50% of the votes cast. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates in term of votes must face each other in a run-off election. Under the original 1993 constitution, the President was elected for a four-year term but, in November 2008, the constitution was amended to make this a six year term. The President is eligible for a second term but constitutionally he is barred for a third consecutive term.
  11. 11. EXECUTIVE BRANCH  THE EXECUTIVE  The Prime Minister is appointed by the President with the approval of the Duma and is first-in-line to the presidency in the case of the President's death or resignation.  Historically the role of Prime Minister has been very much subservient to that of President. 
  12. 12. LEGISLATIVE  THE STATE DUMA  The lower house in the Russian Federal Assembly is the State Duma. It is the more powerful house, so all bills, even those proposed by the Federation Council, must first be considered by the Duma. However, the Duma's power to force the resignation of the Government is severely limited. It may express a vote of no confidence in the Government by a majority vote of all members of the Duma, but the President is allowed to disregard this vote.  The Duma has 450 members who are known as deputies. Formerly seats in the Duma were elected half by proportional representation (with at least 5% of the vote to qualify for seats) and half by single member districts. However, President Putin passed a decree that all seats are to be elected by proportional representation (with at least 7% of the vote to qualify for seats) and this system took effect in the election of November 2007.
  13. 13. THE COUNCIL  THE FEDERATION COUNCIL  The upper house in the Russian Federal Assembly is the Federation Council. The Council has 168 members who are known as senators. Each of the 84 federal subjects of Russia sends two members to the Council.  The federal subjects are the 21 republics, the 47 oblasts, the eight krais, the two federal cities, the five autonomous okrugs and one autonomous oblast (each category of which has different powers). One senator is elected by the provincial legislature and the other is nominated by the provincial governor and confirmed by the legislature.
  14. 14. PARTIES  POLITICAL PARTIES  The main political party is called United Russia. It was founded in April 2001 as a result of a merger between several political parties. It describes itself as centrist. It is essentially a creation of Vladimir Putin and supports him in the Duma and the Federation Council. Indeed Putin agreed to be the top name on the party's list for the recent Duma elections. In that highly flawed election, United Russia won 38% of the votes which gave them 68% of the seats (305 deputies).  The main opposition party is the Communist Party of the Russian Federation led by Gennady Zyuganov. In the recent election, it won 46 seats. The only other parties retaining seats in the Duma are the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia with 35 seats, the fake opposition party A Just Russia with 31 seats, and the nationalist People's Union with 12 seats.  Western-orientated reform parties are Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces. Other parties include the People for Democracy and Justice Party.
  15. 15. JUDICIARY  THE JUDICIARY  The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation consists of 19 judges, one being the Chairman and another one being Deputy Chairman. Judges are appointed by the President with the consent of the Federation Council.  The Constitutional Court is a court of limited subject matter jurisdiction. The 1993 constitution empowers the Constitutional Court to arbitrate disputes between the executive and legislative branches and between Moscow and the regional and local governments. The court also is authorized to rule on violations of constitutional rights, to examine appeals from various bodies, and to participate in impeachment proceedings against the President.
  16. 16. INTEREST ARTICULATION  Russia  -There were over 300,000 non-governmental organizations.  -Patron-client networks between state officials and their patrons and their clients remain a persistent feature of political life.  -Glasnost stimulated an explosion of political expression which in turn prompted groups to form and to make political demands and participate in elections.  -People joined with groups who had common interests and therefore form an independent association and protest together.  -The pattern of interest group activity is more pluralist than corporatist.  -90% of the strikes are from teachers.  -The RUIE is the most powerful organized interest group in Russia.