IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Political barriers to economic development in Russia: Obstacles to modernization under Yeltsin and Putin


  • Neil Robinson


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to question the periodization of Russian political and economic development that sees a break occurring between the Yeltsin and Putin presidencies. It does this by looking at how political problems common to late developing nations influenced the development of reform programs in Russia under its first two presidents. Design/methodology/approach - The paper applies concepts from the literature on development to Russia, using it as a case study to develop an alternative historical narrative on Russian political economy. Findings - The paper finds that there was more continuity in political conditions between Yeltsin and Putin and that economic change in Russia under Putin was not achieved because a political consensus over economic policy developed but because the wealth generated by hydrocarbon exports enabled Putin to buy support. Whilst this has meant that there was less contest over economic policy during the Putin presidency, it is far from certain whether this means of managing the economy can last over the longer term if the price of oil declines. Originality/value - The paper demonstrates the need for political reform in Russia as a condition of economic change, something that is beginning to be taken seriously in Russian political circles after the experience of economic crisis that followed Putin.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Robinson, 2011. "Political barriers to economic development in Russia: Obstacles to modernization under Yeltsin and Putin," International Journal of Development Issues, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(1), pages 5-19, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijdipp:v:10:y:2011:i:1:p:5-19

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Irina Sinitsina, 2009. "Experience in Implementing Social Benefits Monetization Reform in Russia. Literature Review," CASE Network Studies and Analyses 0381, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Kornai, Janos, 1992. "The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287766, June.
    3. Cédric Durand, 2008. "Between developmentalism and instrumentalization: the comeback of the producing state in Russia," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 171-191.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Wörz, 2016. "Non-price competitiveness of exports from emerging countries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 707-735, September.
    2. Wörz, Julia & Benkovskis, Konstantins, 2015. ""Made in China" - How does it affect our understanding of global market shares?," Working Paper Series 1787, European Central Bank.
    3. Konstantins Benkovskis & Julia Woerz, 2014. ""Made in China" - How Does it Affect Measures of Competitiveness?," Working Papers 2014/04, Latvijas Banka.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijdipp:v:10:y:2011:i:1:p:5-19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.