Will the State Duma become the center for expert discussion?

November 20, 2019
Kesarev Partner Evgeny Roshkov took part in a discussion by experts of the trends in the work of the State Duma of the current convocation and its future image.

The discussion was held at the presentation of the sociological study by the State Duma titled 'Subjectivity, Lobbyism and Populism', prepared by the Platform Center for Social Design.

The study stressed several issues which differentiate the current convocation from the previous one:

  • The Duma has increased its subjectivity by raising expertise and forming its own position in dialogue with the Government;
  • The Duma remains openly accessible for direct lobbying from the Administration of the President, the Government and state-owned enterprises, although it shows little appetite to cooperate with business associations and private enterprises;
  • While populism remains a key feature of the work of MPs, its focus has shifted from the general population to government bodies;
  • All these changes are associated with the role of Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, a bureaucrat with extensive experience, who worked as First Deputy Head of Administration of the President in charge of internal policy;
  • The work of Duma members has become significantly more disciplined and is comparable to that of corporate employees. But at the same time, the activity of the Duma as a government body is still viewed as imitational.

The study expects the populist rhetoric of the deputies to shift back to the general population over the next 18-20 months in the lead-up to the next Duma Elections in September 2021. The expert community expects the Duma of the next convocation will find a way to establish itself as a center for expertise and dialogue for government and business.

Experts of the study included current and former members of the State Duma and Senators of the Federation Council, members of State Duma public councils, journalists and political analysts.

The Russian version of study can be found here.