«Public Administration Issues» Journal,

Post. address:
National Research University
Higher School of Economics
20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow 101000, Russian Federation
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Major Indexing

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

Larissa Nikovskaya 1, Vladimir Yakimets2
  • 1 Doctor of Sociology, Chief Researcher of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, B.5, 24/35, Krzhizhanovskaya str., 117218, Moscow, Russian Federation.
  • 2 Doctor of Sociology, Chief Researcher of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 19, B.Karetny Pereulok, Moscow, 127994, Russian Federation.

Advocacy of Public Interest as the Imperative for Improving Public Administration

2017. No. 5. P. 101–116 [issue contents]
In the face of the increasing complexity (multidimensionality) of the transforming Russian society and the emerging pluralism of socio-political interests, a growing need in civil society for strengthening the functional capacity of the institute for advocacy and promoting public interest in the public sphere was shown. The modality of this request is enhanced by the crisis conditions of economic development. With the dominance of administrative-bureaucratic approaches to public policy there is a falsification of feedback and a dysfunction of the public sphere in the direction of strengthening the influence of corporate and bureaucratic interests against the public interest, which inevitably leads to increased social tension and protest moods, as well as to a declining level of confi dence in state activities and the legitimacy of political power. The subject of this research are successful practices in identifying and advocating the public interest. Among them: the administrative guillotine, associated with the reduction of terms for rendering state and municipal services to entrepreneurs in the Perm region; the preservation of the status and location of the Children’s cancer hospital in St. Petersburg; protection of relict lake Harovoye in Kazan; defending the rights of citizens to common house property in Kostroma. The main questions arising while studying the above practices are: who and how articulates the public interest?; what is the role and influence of civil society institutions on regional policy formation?; And, how and in what way are concerned citizens becoming “actors” of public policy, etc? The case study approach was selected as a basic method for this project. The method of content analysis of available publications was applied in all of the selected cases. Descriptions of cases were made on a unifi ed format. In-depth interviews and focus groups were used for clarifying details. It is shown that the development of institutions for public participation, and mechanisms for cross-sectoral social partnership contribute to streamlining interaction between authorities and society. In the conditions of incompleteness of processes for socio-political transformation these approaches also enhance the effectiveness of the social representation of public interests and stimulate the reform of public administration in the direction towards openness and transparency, that help to more adequately take into account the increasing mobility and pluralism of social groups and their socio-cultural preferences. This article summarizes the results of case studies in three Russian regions (Kostroma and Yaroslavl oblasts plus the Republic of Tatarstan). The main conclusion is that in improving the functional capacity of the institute for identification, formation and advocacy of public interests can be reached through enhancing the procedures for citizen engagement in decision making processes, and considering it as an important resource and the basis for improving the quality of modern governance and democracy.
Nikovskaya, L.I. & Yakimets, V.N. (2017). Advocacy of Public Interest as the Imperative for Improving Public Administration. Public Administration Issues, Special Issue (electronic edition), pp. 101–116 (in English); doi: 10.17323/1999-5431-2017-0-5-101-116.
ISSN 1999-5431
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