Does regional context matter? A comparative study of two Russian regions implementing budget reforms
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionKhodachek, I. (2019). Does regional context matter? A comparative study of two Russian regions implementing budget reforms. Barents Studies, 6(1), 38-64.
This article presents a comparative study of two regions of Russia. The focus is on regional budgets and budget reforms for the period 2004–2014 with the aim to show the contextual specificity of the High North regions. Recent research on public sector reforms shows the imposition of power and the search for legitimacy as well as the resilience of traditional accounting instruments and their contradiction with New Public Management ideas as the main sources of changes. This study attempts to describe and understand other drivers that seem to shape and force changes in such public sector institutions as budget reforms, along with the previously revealed drivers. Thus, the actions of transnational companies and federal players such as military and financial authorities as well as the initiatives of regional politicians and executives may also be important elements in budget developments, while their role may vary from context to context. I will describe and analyse these incentives through studying changes in normative frameworks regulating budgets and budget reforms in the rather new context of Russia’s regions. A very cautious generalization from this study suggests that the governance of the High North regions in Russia is more dependent on the federal level, implying less local autonomy than in non-High North regions with similar economic profile.