Event Title

An Independent Woman in Putin's Russia: Elvira Nabiullina in Political Context

Location

Virtual presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2020 8:00 AM

End Date

5-2-2020 5:00 PM

Abstract

Amid the increasing consolidation of power in modern Russia beneath President Vladimir Putin, one might expect Russia’s Central Bank (Bank Rossii) to be as subordinated to the “vertical of power” and dependent on elite interests as other key governmental organs. However, such appears not to be the case: in words and actions, Bank Rossii’s Governor—Elvira Nabiullina—has publicly stood against social and governmental elites. She appears to decide Russian monetary policy and banking regulation with significant independence, based on principles of economics rather than short-term political interest. This paper investigates certain political and economic factors which likely contribute to Ms. Nabiullina’s policy-making autonomy: Nabiullina’s history of working with Putin, in view of which he likely trusts her; Nabiullina’s self-presentation as a professional and non-competitor for political power, which assuages potential elite fears of challenge by her while also fitting into an expected type of governmental power-holder; and Nabiullina’s substantial competence in conducting central bank policy for Russia, which contributes to long-term stability and better growth prospects that make opposing the regime less appealing, helping Russia—and those in power—survive. Nabiullina’s autonomy raises important questions about independent policymaking in semi-authoritarian systems, and the relative importance of competence, political noninvolvement, and personal connections in allowing a professional some independence. I draw on video and media analysis as well as macroeconomic data (especially on the state of the banking system and the 2014-5 exchange rate crisis), numerous news articles, and experts’ insights. The vast majority of my sources are in Russian; all translations are my own.

Keywords:

Monetary policy, Central banking, Political economy, Soviet Russia, Urban politics

Notes

Click here to view this presentation at the Office of Undergraduate Research website from April 27-May 2, 2020.

Major

Economics; Russian and Eastern European Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Maia Solovieva, Russian

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 27th, 8:00 AM May 2nd, 5:00 PM

An Independent Woman in Putin's Russia: Elvira Nabiullina in Political Context

Virtual presentation

Amid the increasing consolidation of power in modern Russia beneath President Vladimir Putin, one might expect Russia’s Central Bank (Bank Rossii) to be as subordinated to the “vertical of power” and dependent on elite interests as other key governmental organs. However, such appears not to be the case: in words and actions, Bank Rossii’s Governor—Elvira Nabiullina—has publicly stood against social and governmental elites. She appears to decide Russian monetary policy and banking regulation with significant independence, based on principles of economics rather than short-term political interest. This paper investigates certain political and economic factors which likely contribute to Ms. Nabiullina’s policy-making autonomy: Nabiullina’s history of working with Putin, in view of which he likely trusts her; Nabiullina’s self-presentation as a professional and non-competitor for political power, which assuages potential elite fears of challenge by her while also fitting into an expected type of governmental power-holder; and Nabiullina’s substantial competence in conducting central bank policy for Russia, which contributes to long-term stability and better growth prospects that make opposing the regime less appealing, helping Russia—and those in power—survive. Nabiullina’s autonomy raises important questions about independent policymaking in semi-authoritarian systems, and the relative importance of competence, political noninvolvement, and personal connections in allowing a professional some independence. I draw on video and media analysis as well as macroeconomic data (especially on the state of the banking system and the 2014-5 exchange rate crisis), numerous news articles, and experts’ insights. The vast majority of my sources are in Russian; all translations are my own.