chapter  2
18 Pages

Political elite integration and differentiation in Russia

ByJohn Higley, Oksan Bayulgen

Most lasting democratizations have originated in deliberate and sudden compromises of core disputes among political elites – in ‘elite settlements’ (Higley and Burton, 1998, 2000). Such settlements lay the basis for elite consensus about the worth of governmental and other institutions, and they create shared codes and rules for restrained political competitions. In this way, elite settlements tame politics, which is the sine qua non for lasting democratization. For a settlement to occur, however, there must be a long experience of costly but inconclusive elite conflict, an abrupt political crisis that threatens to enflame this conflict, inter-elite negotiations aimed at defusing the immediate crisis and avoiding future ones through compromises on basic issues, as well as authoritative and skilled leaders who can get allies and supporters to accept such compromises.