Handbook of Political Party Funding
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Handbook of Political Party Funding

Edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau

Scrutinizing a relatively new field of study, the Handbook of Political Party Funding assesses the basic assumptions underlying the research, presenting an unequalled variety of case studies from diverse political finance systems.
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Chapter 26: The iceberg of political financing in Russia (2000–2015)

Lou Brenez


In post-Soviet Russia the 2001 Law on Political Parties enacted by Vladimir Putin was a first step toward a greater centralization of party organizations under state control. Thanks to this law and its later modifications, state funding has increased and records on party finance have been published and made available. But there remains a huge gap between official data and the reality of political financing. The majority of electoral and party funds are still made up of undeclared resources, and demanding laws are only selectively enforced. Through in-depth fieldwork at the local level, performed in Siberia in 2008–2010, it is possible to combine and confront various qualitative and quantitative indicators in order to assess the size and the shape of the two parts of the funding iceberg. The study of the submerged part reveals the determining role of private companies and of state structures in party competition in Russia today.

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