“Fragile representation” or Women in Big Politics: The Case of the Administrative Elite

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The research of the “feminization” of administrative politics is important to understand the transformation of power and the overall development of the Russian society amidst political, economic and social instability. This article presents the study results for the administrative elite in ten Russian regions (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Leningrad, Rostov, Kaliningrad, Kostroma and Novosibirsk Oblasts, Khabarovsk and Stavropol Krais, Republic of Dagestan). The analysis of the socio-demographic characteristics of the administrative elite showed no significant differences between men and women in terms of age, birthplace, as well as the type and the place where first (and subsequent) higher education was received. Studying the career trajectories of women in the ministerial elite showed that they most often occupy elite positions, like men, in middle age, but less often come from economic and security structures; horizontal and vertical movements mostly take place within the same professional institution - executive power agencies. The author identified regional governments with similar gender specifics (relative gender parity and relative gender imbalance). The study revealed that more feminized governments are formed in bordering and economically successful regions, while gender imbalance is most characteristic for the governments of economically dependent regions and those located in the south of the Russian Federation (with some exceptions).

About the authors

Natalya V. Kolesnik

Sociological Institute of the RAS - Branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SI RAS - FCTAS RAS)

Author for correspondence.
Email: n.kolesnik@socinst.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2323-6799

PhD in Sociology, Senior Research Fellow

Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation


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