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The Far East in the ratings: political successes in an unstable economy

The Far East in the ratings: political successes in an unstable economy

Rostislav Turovsky

Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor of HSE, Scientific Editor East Russia

Rostislav Turovsky, Doctor of Political Science, Professor at the Higher School of Economics:

- The compilation of regional ratings has become a very popular activity for some time now. Research organizations, expert structures, and official authorities more or less regularly release their rating products, which usually receive a great informational resonance. Of course, many ratings sin with subjectivity, and many positions in them are of a custom-made nature. But on the other hand, their results reflect, if not objective reality (or not only objective reality), then the influence and penetrating abilities of the governors, their relations with the federal authorities and structures close to them. Low positions in the ratings often indicate problems that may threaten the resignation of governors. In this paper, we will pay attention to the set of ratings, which can be conditionally called “political”. They assess the political positions and influence of governors, the effectiveness of their management and information activity.

The political positions and influence of the Far Eastern governors can best be judged by the ratings of the Civil Society Development Fund (ForGO), the Political and Economic Communications Agency (APEC) and the Petersburg Politics Foundation together with the Minchenko Consulting group, which simultaneously receive the most publicity in the media and are the most quoted.

The rating of ForGO, as is commonly believed, testifies not only to the effectiveness of the governors (which is assessed mainly on the basis of sociological data of the Public Opinion Foundation), but also about their relations with the presidential administration. Therefore, special attention is paid to him, speaking about the prospects for retaining certain regional chapters in office. Rating divides governors into four groups - the first group with a very high rating, the second simply with a high rating, the third with an average and the fourth with a below average rating.

The analysis of FORGO's ratings in 2014 allows us to conclude that the compilers of this rating as a whole highly appreciate the Far Eastern governors. Perhaps this is due to the fact that in the conditions of increased attention of the federal authorities to the Far East, its governors are actively involved in relations with the Kremlin and the federal government, in implementing major federal programs, which creates a real or imaginary impression of their effectiveness. In the ratings of FORG, two governors occupy traditionally low places. If this can be considered explanatory in the case of the Jewish Autonomous Region, it is difficult to explain the clearly weak positions of the governor of Sakhalin A.Khoroshavin, given that, from the economic point of view, the Sakhalin Region is one of the most successful regions (as shown by another rating, see below). It is noteworthy that A.Khoroshavin was the only Far Eastern governor, who once, but still found himself in the worst group (in the January rating of FORGO). In the remaining months he was in the third group, where A.Vinnikov constantly resides.

The efficiency of the other governors of the Far East is estimated by the Konstantin Foundation as high or very high. In all six ratings in 2014, the first group included R.Kopin, V.Pechenyi and V.Shport. Periodically appeared in this group V. Ilyukhin and O. Kozhemyako. And the Amur governor entrenched in the first group since June, and the head of Kamchatka appeared there in January, and again returned in November. At the same time, V.Miklushevsky and E.Borisov, who passed this year through direct elections, were constantly in the second group and did not raise a very high level of efficiency.

Monthly APEC ratingwhich is based on expert assessments and is intended to demonstrate the influence of governors at the federal level, gives somewhat different results. Generally, the heads of regions of the Far East are characterized by either strong or moderate influence in the center. Only once did the same O. Kozhemyako (in February), as well as E. Borisov and V. Miklushevsky (even before the beginning of an active campaign, in May), go up to the level of very strong influence. And the position of O. Kozhemyako was experienced in the APEC rankings of the greatest fluctuations among all the Far Eastern governors: usually being in a group with strong influence, he managed to visit the best group once and once in May was at an average level. E. Borisov and V. Miklushevsky, who passed, as already said, through direct elections, can be considered strong governors in the APEC ranking. Almost always, the influence of the Chukchi governor is assessed as strong (it was only in October that he moved to the middle peasants).

At the same time, the positions of V.Pecheny and V.Shport, which occupy consistently high positions in the Forgo rating, are not so unambiguous in the APEC rating. These governors changed their positions, more than once migrating between groups with strong and medium influence. Moreover, the head of the Magadan region in the first months of 2014 was characterized by a strong influence, but then descended into a lower group, again rising higher in October. Similar dynamics also distinguished V.Shport's position with the difference that he was longer in the “strong” group, and, on the contrary, fell in October. Since May, the rating of APEC has been transferred from the medium to the strong group of V. Ilyukhin. But as for the less influential governors, here the ratings of FORGRO and APEC largely coincide. A.Vinnikov and A.Khoroshavin are stably in the group with average influence

The rating of political survival of the governors, which make up the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation and Minchenko Consulting, and also based on expert assessments, is intended to predict the chances of the governors to hold their positions of power. Two such ratings, published this year, were generally again favorable for Far Eastern chapters. Expected for Moscow experts low positions in it both times received A.Vinnikov, awarded three. From the top four went to the top three by the end of the year A. Khoroshavin, which brought this rating closer to the ForGO rating. The rest of the governors in the first rating are equally divided between the "horoshistami" and "honors pupils". At the same time, the chapters that went to the polls, E. Borisov and V. Miklushevsky, received fours, which could be affected by some objective difficulties of the election campaign. The study of M. Vinogradov and E. Minchenko also attributed V.Iluhina and A.Khoroshavin, whose elections are ahead, to the "horoshistas". The positions of R. Kopin, V. Pecheny, O. Kozhemyako and V. Shport in the first rating were rated “excellent”, which again brings the political survival rating closer to the K. Kostin rating. But, in the case of the ratings of M. Vinogradov and E. Minchenko, this is largely due to the fact that these governors have previously passed through elections, and therefore they should not be threatened in the near future. In second ranking its authors lowered the positions of all Far Eastern governors-honors, except for V.Pecheny, and the slightly more modest four became an absolutely dominant assessment, which, however, is meant to indicate that the Far Eastern governors are almost in no danger.

More regularly the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation publishes Rating of socio-political stability of regionswhich is published monthly and is also based on expert estimates. This rating also looks extremely positive for the Far East, thereby causing even some surprise. For example, no region of the Far East fell into the group with weak socio-political stability during the year. On the contrary, as the maximum, sociopolitical stability was characterized throughout the months in Kamchatka, in the Magadan Region and in Chukotka, i.e. in the most remote and isolated regions. In the group with the highest rate, the Amur region was almost always located (except February and March). Yakutia entered this group just against the background of the election campaign (it was in it in April-August), and then it left.

While the assessments of the Sakhalin governor are usually at a lower level, the socio-political stability of his region is estimated by M. Vinogradov's fund as constantly high. Improved its position in this rating during the election campaign and the Primorsky Territory, which in April moved from middle to high positions (while Yakutia - from high to maximum). Relatively weak in this rating is not only the Jewish Autonomous Region, but also the Khabarovsk Territory, which consistently occupy middle positions.

Returning to the governors, you should pay attention to Rating of their selectivitywhich is compiled by the Political Expert Group (K. Kalachev) and is close in meaning to the political survival rating, but only directly focused on the assessment of electoral prospects. This rating was released in February and again gave very good results to the Far East. Immediately, five governors entered Group A (election guaranteed). It turned out to be not only V. Miklushevsky, who in fact won the elections then, but also V. Pecheny, V. Ilyukhin, O. Kozhemyako and R. Copin (of which only V. Ilyukhin has the first direct elections ahead). The rest of the governors, including E.Borisov, had a high chance of being elected.

Speaking about the assessments of the influence of the governors in the public sphere of their region, one can finally pay attention to the so-called. "National rating", Also compiled on the basis of expert assessments (it is prepared by the Center for Information Communications "Rating"). In it, however, there is no R. Kopin and A. Vinnikov. In general, this rating recalls the rating of K. Kostin. In group III, only A.Khoroshavin is located in it. On the contrary, in the best group I one can find O. Kozhemyako, V. Ilyukhin and V. Shport. The remaining chapters - E.Borisov, V.Miklushevsky and V.Pecheny are in group II.

Thus, from a comparative analysis of “political” ratings, it can be concluded that they are quite similar, reflecting the opinion of the capital's expert community and partly realizing the Kremlin’s installations. The positions of A.Vinnikov, who is probably considered to be the leader of a too backward and unobtrusive region, and A.Khoroshavin, who periodically turned out to be at the epicenter of criticism, incl. by the pro-Kremlin ONF. Considering that both governors will soon have elections, such assessments can be considered an artificially negative sign. On the contrary, on the threshold of future election campaigns, Moscow experts clearly began to evaluate V. Ilyukhin.

As for those who passed through the elections this year, the experts could not say that their positions were considered very strong or, conversely, weak. But closer to the election, the ratings of these governors were more likely to rise. It also draws attention to the very positive attitude of experts to the positions of governors of two remote regions - the Chukotka Autonomous Region and the Magadan Region. Both governors have already been very successful in the elections, but they are headed by less important regions. However, they are rated very highly. Almost equally high in the ratings is O. Kozhemyako, but the matter is clearer with him, since he is known for his lobbying abilities and active relations with the center. Perhaps the most controversial positions in the "political" ratings are noted by V. Shport, whose assessments differ the most.

Governors' ratings in the information sphere are compiled monthly and are sometimes characterized by huge jumps. This in itself, by the way, immediately creates an information resonance, since it is always possible to say in the media that any of the regional heads sharply strengthened or, on the contrary, weakened their positions. AT Rating of "Medialogy"which, based on its media index, determines the number and visibility of the references to the governors, the best positions are taken by V. Miklushevsky, who in fact conducts the most effective PR campaign, both before and after the elections. Since the summer, he has entered the top ten Russian governors and continues to remain in it. On the contrary, among the outsiders A. Vinnikov is stably located. Rather, hardly visible in the information space can be called, judging by this rating, the heads of remote regions that are not major news providers - R. Kopin and V. Pecheny. The first did not rise above 57-th place, the second - 53-th.

The rest of the governors can have both bursts and falls caused by the conjuncture of the information market, resonant events in the regions. So, A.Khoroshavin's positions changed between 29 and 84 places, O. Kozhemyako - between 27 and 71, V.Ilyukhin - between 33 and 73. Somewhat more stable and, as a rule, relatively high are the positions of V. Shport and E. Borisov. The Khabarovsk governor is usually in the third or fourth ten. The head of Yakutia did not fall below 54-th place, and more often was in the top half of the table, reaching even the ninth place in April. In general, the rating of "Medialogy" testifies in favor of the governors, who head the larger regions, with which there is usually more news. But at the same time the rating is extremely unstable due to the fact that the flow of interesting news from the regions of the Far East is irregular.

Monthly Media rating of the "National Monitoring Service", which is compiled on the basis of the information transparency factor, is also characterized by very large leaps. Especially striking is the situation around R. Copin, who managed to visit both 80 and the first place. Similarly, V.Ilukhin was in seventh place, and on 75. This rating speaks as a whole rather in favor of the information openness of the Far Eastern chapters, which usually appear in the first half of the list of Russian regions. An obvious outsider in it looks only A.Vinnikov. On the contrary, in addition to the head of Chukotka, in certain months, V.Ilukhin, V.Pecheny, A.Khoroshavin, and V.Miklushevsky were in high positions in the first ten. There was no such success with V.Shport (did not rise above 15-th place) and E.Borisov (not higher than 31-th place). With the generally positive results of this rating, one cannot say that any of the Far Eastern governors consistently has a high level of informational openness and is constantly noticeable by this at the Russian level. On a set of indicators for the year, A. Khoroshavin, who is usually underestimated by “political” ratings, looks the best with his information openness.

Finally, we turn our attention to management efficiency ratings, which are mainly based on socio-financial and economic indicators. Firstly, there is an official rating of the effectiveness of the activities of the executive authorities of the constituent entities of the federation, which the government compiles annually based on certain socio-economic indicators and sociological data. The second is coming out management efficiency rating, Based both on statistics and on expert assessments and compiled by APEK together with the Laboratory of Regional Policy Studies of the Higher School of Economics.

The "official" rating can be considered political, because on its basis the country's leadership draws conclusions about the effectiveness of governors of various regions. But its results are very different from the "political" expert ratings, of which we spoke aboveE. According to the recently published results of 2013, the best region was Sakhalin Oblast, which ranked seventh in the ranking, which is clearly explained by its economic successes and good dynamics. In the twenty regions, which, moreover, receives federal grants as a reward for this, included Yakutia (17-place) and Chukotka (20 place). The effectiveness of the authorities in the Magadan region is fairly high (25 place). At the same time, most regions of the Far East, in the framework of the state assessment of the effectiveness of regional authorities, are located in low places. The medium can be called the Amur region (46 place). Positions of other regions, including, which is especially noticeable, - the largest, Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories are very low. Khabarovsk Territory took only 68 place, Primorsky after him - 69-e. Kamchatka turned out to be 78, and the Jewish Autonomous Region was 83, in other words. The last.

Among the interesting results of this rating, by its individual components, the fact that the authorities of Chukotka took first place in the country in their assessment by the population is striking (the rating is based on the data of surveys of the Federal Guard Service). Because of this, against the background of low other indicators, Chukotka managed to become 20 in the final ranking. It is difficult to say how these surveys are representative and comparable, but the federal authorities are guided by them in this case. Moreover, the population's assessment of the work of the Far Eastern authorities is relatively high, which makes the rating in this part similar to expert ratings. Low positions were taken only by the Jewish Autonomous Region (60-e place), Primorsky Krai (73-e place) and Kamchatka (75-e place), low - Khabarovsk krai (51-e).

Downward, the indicators of the economy and especially of the social sphere tend to drag the Far Eastern regions. For example, in the social sphere, the Amur Region, the Primorsky Territory, the Jewish Autonomous Region and even the "winner" of the Sakhalin rating show a very low level. Often extremely unfavorable is the dynamics, which indicates the accumulated and unsolvable problems. According to the dynamics of the economic sphere, the Khabarovsk Territory, Kamchatka and the Jewish Autonomous Region are at the bottom. Also, the Jewish Autonomous Region demonstrates extremely poor dynamics in the social sphere.

Management efficiency rating for 2014 year, prepared by APEC and the HSE Laboratory of Regional Political Studies, also does not speak in favor of the Jewish Autonomous Region, which took the 83 place. But in general, the regions of the Far East can be called not only outsiders, but also middle peasants. In part, this is influenced by the use in this rating of expert assessments (which are often better for Far Eastern governors than objective indicators), in part - a larger amount of indicators, which, moreover, correspond better to the real indicators of regional power than indicators of the official rating (which are few, and which put to the regions, general tasks, often unsolvable with the resources and powers of the regional authorities). If you do not take the obviously lagging Jewish Autonomous Region, then the best indicator is shown by Primorsky Krai, who took the 26 place, followed by Chukotka (27-28-place) and the Amur region (29-place). Slightly lower are Yakutia (33-34-th place) and Kamchatka (38-th place). Lower positions are occupied by the Magadan region (44-e place), Khabarovsk region (55-56-e place) and Sakhalin (58-60-e places).

Considering the individual blocks of this rating, you can see that the regions differ from each other quite strongly, but they do not belong to the number of leaders in the country and occupy rather average positions. Among the regions that are relatively successful within the political-management bloc are the Amur Region, Chukotka and Primorye Territory, which are in the third ten. Back here Sakhalin (79 place) and the Jewish Autonomous Region (80 place), which coincides with the data of other "political" ratings. Closer to the end, the Khabarovsk Territory (67-68 place) is located. A wide spread is noted in the effectiveness of governors in the financial and economic block. There are also successful Yakutia (17 place) and Primorsky Krai (18 place), and the backward Jewish AO (84 place), which are successful by Russian standards. The remaining regions are located approximately in the middle of the list, occupying places from 33-go (Kamchatka) to 51-52-go (Amur Region). Within the social block, the Jewish Autonomous Region also lags far behind (83), while the Far Eastern leader is not so high (Chukotka at 23). In other regions positions are between 27-m (Amur region) and 55-56-m (Primorsky Krai and Magadan region) in some places.

The results of the two ratings of the effectiveness of regional management differ markedly due to differences in their methodology. A common place in them is the backlog of the Jewish Autonomous Region. At the same time, there are practically no Russian leaders in executive power in the Far East. Only due to the favorable economic situation in their number, and only in the framework of the "official" rating, Sakhalin came out. Basically, the regions of the Far East and their governors demonstrate the average level of efficiency, measured on the basis of socio-economic indicators, taking into account sociological data and expert assessments.

So, the regional ratings show that in the Far East, politics looks more successful than the economy and social sphere. Most of the Far Eastern governors receive good and excellent expert assessments of their political work and influence, including at the federal level, the results of opinion polls and elections often speak in their favor. Only the Jewish Autonomous Region differs for the worse and is often among the worst regions of the country, in which almost all the ratings agree. However, quantitative methodologies based on various socio-economic indicators and media metrics are not so favorable for the Far East. The Far East cannot be called an advanced part of the country in terms of socio-economic development, it is also lagging behind and unstable in the information sphere, both as a news provider and in terms of openness of power. Therefore, in the field of socio-economic and financial management, the regional authorities in the Far East clearly have a large underutilized potential. 

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