Nizhnii Novgorod The Dual Structure of Political Space
THE MOST WIDELY accepted general conclusion about the Russian election of December 1993 is that it was a crushing defeat for reformers in power, caused primarily by mass discontent with the consequences of the economic policies that they had introduced during the previous two years. While it requires elaboration and refinement, there is much to be said for this view. It also throws into sharp relief the outcome of the election in Nizhnii Novgorod. Here, too, a group of young democrats had taken power in late 1991 and introduced a far-reaching program of reform. They, however, waged an overwhelmingly successful campaign that returned strongly proreform candidates almost throughout the region.
The central question addressed by this chapter is how, in the background of electoral revolt against reformers in power at the national level, those at the local level in Nizhnii Novgorod not only succeeded in retaining power but actually secured a near monopoly on legislators representing the region. The answer to this question is a complex one, but its essence can be stated briefly at the outset. Two distinct electoral arenas emerged during the cam-____________________