Electoral Practices at the Sub-National Level in
As it has generally been understood, ‘authoritarianism is a political system with limited, non responsible political pluralism’ (Linz 2000: 159). Limited political pluralism manifests itself, in particular, in limited electoral competition. The latter is achieved through various methods which are clearly outlined in Schedler’s model of ‘electoral authoritarianism’ (2006). In Russia, national parliamentary and presidential elections have ceased to be competitive. However, at the subnational (regional and municipal) levels a more complex picture can be observed. Here, ruling groups do not always succeed in their attempts to prohibit opposition parties from participating in elections. Moreover, elite conflict at the sub-national level is often settled by open competition for votes rather than backroom deals behind closed doors.