The immediate focus of this project is on Russian political elites and the network of their personal connections as well as the changes this network went through as the Russian regime went further from democracy. More generally this study inquires how different patterns of patron-client relations (PCR) correspond to certain types of political systems.
There are two research questions that we try to answer in the framework of this project. One of them concerns inner structure of Russian elites. It is important to understand who are the nodal points in the social network, what are the main factors of cluster formation, and to what extent the elite structure determines political regime (and vice versa, is defined by it). The other set of questions concerns, more generally, the dynamics of elite structures under transformation: we have to explore how the factors, that define elite network development, change over time and how they correlate with institutional metamorphoses.