The Project executed 1999-2001 with the financial support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and at participation of Institute of History of Academy of Science of Tatarstan. Web-site of the Project http://federalmcart.ksu.ru
Basic results of research are stated in the monograph «Federalism in Russia» edited by R.S.Khakimov in russian and english.
Formulation of a problem
The problems of the structure of Russian statehood are key for development of the country, in many respects they determine the stability within the country and finally influence on the whole political situation in all over the world.
Since 1990, when began «parade of the sovereignties», the basic political disputes go around a question of unitary or federal structure of Russia, preservation or division of the country, special status of Tatarstan and Chechen Republics, status of areas and territories as the full rights subjects of federation, prospects of so-called «gubernizatsia», powers of Center, ethnical component of the state structure, budget federalism and etc..
Russia has the prospect of development on several directions. The declaration of the sovereignty of Russia in 1990 has resulted into the collapse of USSR. By analogy many experts predict the collapse of Russia because of number of republics do not want to refuse the state sovereignty fixed in the constitutions. Russia still did not make final determination on principles of its own Federal structure and because of that we are not able to exclude any of three following version of the development of the state: (1) collapse; (2) return to empire; (3) federalization. For any of these version there are their own political and economic reasons and political forces to support the particular version. Taking in consideration all mentioned above it is necessary to learn and estimate the probability of realization of all three versions. And this is considered as a subject of offered research project.
Today in Russia there is a number of groups of scholars involved in research of the federal relations. Mostly they are concentrated in Moscow. A detect of their investigations is the purely «academic approach» on the problem without making the deep analysis of real processes in regions, without taking into account the opinion of regional elite. Even those, who normally addresses to opinion of regions are limited by the analysis of a situation in two - three brightest regions (Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Sakha-Yakutiya) while the situation varies every day and so it is necessary to choose that regions, on which it is possible to define the basic tendencies of development of the political relations in Russia.
The Purpose and Problems of the Present Project:
(1) To reveal of the existing contradictions in the relations between Centre and regions, as well as to offer possible ways for overcoming of arised collisions;
(2) To show a role of ethnical component in the state structure of the country;
(3) To give the prognosis of the most possible versions of development of the federal relations in Russia with taking in consideration of such new phenomena when the regions become the real subjects influencing on the process of Federalization of Russia.