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FORGING A NEW RUSSIAN STATE SYSTEM:
REALITY AND PROSPECTS.
This book is the result of a study initiated and carried out by scholars affiliated with the "STRATEGY" Center - a non-governmental research institution for studies in the humanities and politics, established in February 1993 by former State Secretary Dr. Gennady Burbulis.
The main task of the authors was to analyze the new state structure codified in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which was adopted by referendum on December 12, 1993.
In Chapter I the reader will find an analysis of the constitutional foundations of the new structure of the Russian state system, which has two contradictory tendencies - democratic and authoritarian.
In Chapter II the key institutions of the new Russian state structure - the Presidency, Federal Assembly (Federation Council and State Duma), the Executive Branch, and Judiciary - are analyzed from the point of view of their legal rights and real political practice.
The most urgent problems of the Russian state as a multi-ethnic federation are treated in Chapter III. Here the phenomenon of the so-called asymmetrical federation is described, and two undesirable and dangerous models of the federation structure are discussed: the special status assumed by "national" republics within the federation and the attempt to define republican divisions only in terms of ethnicity. The same chapter deals with the main problems of local self-government as well.
Chapter IV is devoted to a thorough analysis of the current legislation that determines the procedure of electing federal and regional representative bodies.
How can the traditional confrontation between "State" and "Society" in Russia be transformed into a mode of cooperation? This vital question is addressed in Chapter V. Here a number of issues are considered: the ethics of power relations, the legitimacy of the new Russian state system, and the quest for an authentic ideology that can serve as a basis for a new concept of statehood.
The last chapter examines emerging Russian statehood in light of the December 1995 parliamentary and upcoming (June 16, 1996) presidential elections. The main tendencies of the electoral campaigns are analyzed, and substantial amendments to parts 4-6 of the constitution are proposed in order to balance the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the key state institutions: the Presidency, Federation Council, and Cabinet.
A list of amendments is included in the Appendix. These amendments are needed in order to counter the authoritarian tendencies of the present constitution. That is, the constitutional reforms begun in the summer of 1993 are incomplete and must be continued in order to establish a truly democratic Russian state.