#15 - JRL 7023
From: "Scot (Buck) McCallum" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: 7022-Stephen Shenfield/JRL RESEARCH AND ANALYTICAL SUPPLEMENT
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 2003
I agree with the review of research on the effect of lobbying (JRL 7022, #2: "Capture or Exchange? Business Lobbying in Russia," Europe-Asia Studies, Vol.54, No. 7, November 2002, pp. 1017-1036)
In the article, the following figures were cited:
"Managers were asked: "During the preparation of new laws or normative acts by the federal/regional/local government that are important for your business, how often is your firm able to have influence on the final version of the document?" A large majority of firms -- 88, 83, and 76 percent for the federal, provincial, and municipal levels respectively -- answered "almost never." 10-20 percent of firms (11, 15, 19) said "sometimes"; and a small minority (1, 2, 5) said "almost always."
It's that 1, 2 & 5% that you really need to look at. I live in Rostov, Rostov Oblast, in the South of Russia. I did see in the notes that Rostov was not covered in the survey, but I hardly think it differs from most capitals of provinces. If you pick up a booklet on Rostov State's Lawmakers (members of the State Duma), you will see they are all representatives of business here. In fact, my impression is that on the local level, there are very few professional politicians. The debate about professional lawmakers versus representatives of the community is at least as old as America's political system. But here, (call me cynical) I doubt that these representatives from the business community are simply "fulfilling their civic duty."
As the reviewer noted, business people are not extremely concerned with what's written in a law. They just want to know that no matter what the law says, they can either benefit from it or be excepted if need be.
Scot (Buck) McCallum
Director, Russian Office
Active Technologies Group, Inc.
16 Moskovskaya, No. 2
Rostov na Donu, Russia 344002