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SPP 373

Title: SAME SYSTEM, DIFFERENT OUTCOME: LEGISLATIVE BEHAVIOR DIFFERENCES IN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE
 
Author: Frank C Thames
 
Description: The two newly democratized post-Soviet giants, Russia and Ukraine, share a host of post-communist parallels. Based on this, one would expect their patterns of legislative behavior to mirror each other. Commonalities exist in the legislative behavior of both chambers; however, in the level of parliamentary party discipline among single-member district deputies they are not analogous. The Ukrainian single-member district deputies of the first mixed-member Rada (1998-2002) voted with the majority position of their parliamentary party at higher rates than their Russian brethren did in the first mixed-member Duma (1994-1995). In this paper, I argue that the higher level of discipline among SMD deputies in the Rada is a function of a more pronounced social cleavage in the Ukrainian electorate, which helps solidify behavior in the Rada. Russia, lacking such a cleavage, has a more fluid legislature.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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