«Public Administration Issues» Journal,

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Higher School of Economics
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Major Indexing

Research and educational journal
Published quarterly since 2007
ISSN 1999-5431
E-ISSN 2409-5095

Irina Dezhina1
  • 1 Doctor of Sciences in Economics, Head of Division on Analysis of Science & Technology Development, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Innovation Center “Skolkovo”, 30, 1 Bolshoy Bulvar Str., 121205 Moscow, Russian Federation.

Science and Innovation Policy of the Russian Government: A Variety of Instruments with Uncertain Outcomes?

2017. No. 5. P. 7–26 [issue contents]
This paper explores the state and pace of the development of science and innovation policy in Russia with the goal of finding an explanation for its relatively slow progress. We argue that this slow pace can be explained by three major factors. First, instruments of science and innovation policy are government-centered as manifested in excessive, hands-on government involvement. This is a reflection of the vertically organized Russian innovation system having weak horizontal linkages. Second, the government policy is poorly balanced. While in some areas there is a policy mix, in others, necessary instruments are lacking. This is a result of a growing asymmetry of information under the conditions of weak horizontal linkages. Third, in recent years, changes in economic conditions and international relations started to affect Russia’s innovation system. Measures undertaken in response to economic sanctions produced signals that conflict with the science and innovation policy. We illustrate our position by analyzing (1) policy instruments aimed at linking research and commercialization and supporting the improvement of the scientific and technological workforce, and (2) new regulations, which appeared during economic sanctions and are related to the work of foreign science foundations in Russia.
We link our interpretations to theoretical studies of science and innovation policy and a policy mix. The Russian case confirms the theoretical models that describe hierarchical systems in which government dominates and asymmetry of information becomes a persistent problem. Government, as a principal, tries to find new forms of a pursuing agent to implement tasks. In Russia, the lack of monitoring leads to new instruments being added while the existing ones remain uncorrected. As a result, a policy mix becomes more complex and its outcomes  are difficult to predict.
Dezhina, I.G. (2017). Science and Innovation Policy of the Russian Government: A Variety of Instruments with Uncertain Outcomes? Public Administration Issues, Special Issue (electronic edition), pp. 7–26 (in English); doi: 10.17323/1999-5431-2017-0-5-7-26.
ISSN 1999-5431
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