Instruments of Regional Nationalities Policies Implementation

Regional programs of nationalities policy have become the principal instrument employed for aggregation of aims, tasks, priorities and mechanisms of ethnic regional policies implementation.

Regions develop and implement two types of nationalities policy programs: complex (comprehensive) regional programs that embrace all spheres of nationalities policy and special regional programs aimed at certain fields (education, languages, culture, development of tolerance, political and legal culture, patriotic education, relations with compatriots etc.).

Three models of regional nationalities policy implementation may be distinguished: some regions have made stakes on complex programs that embrace virtually all directions of nationalities policy while other regions have made stakes on ranges of special programs and still other regions have relied on combination of complex and special programs.

Table 2

Regional complex programs

Complex and special regional programs

Special regional programs

Lack of programs

Orenburg, Perm regions

Republics of Bashkiria, Buryatia, Komi, Udmurtia, Chuvashia, Stavropol, Volgograd, Samara, Saratov regions

Republics of Adyghea, Kabardinian-Balkar, Tatarstan and Amur, Astrakhan, Moscow, Penza, Sverdlovsk, Tver, Tomsk, Tula, Rostov regions and Moscow city.

Republic of Dagestan, Voronezh, Irkutsk, Nizhni Novgorod regions

The regions of the Federation that realized importance and necessity of regional nationalities policy earlier than other regions originally preferred complex purpose programs. Such programs are being implemented in Perm region since 1993, in Orenburg and Samara regions these programs are being implemented since 1994. Purpose complex programs in these regions are, in fact, the single and only instrument of nationalities policies.

How does it work in ideal? For example, in Perm region “Purpose complex program of harmonization of ethnic and interethnic relations of the Kama river region’s nations” is being implemented. At the end of 2002 it became obvious that the program had to be corrected and modified: a greater attention would have to be paid to support of ethnic cultural organizations and associations, nationalities newspapers, organization of information support of nationalities policy and monitoring of ethnic political processes as well as to counteraction to ethnic extremism and measures aimed at prevention of inter-ethnic conflicts. These shifts in nationalities policy were introduced into the Law “On introduction of modifications and addenda to the complex programs of harmonization of ethnic and inter-ethnic relations of the Kama region nations for years 1999 – 2000” (January 2003). Due to change in structure of funding assigned to sections of the program the funding assigned to ethnic cultural associations’ activities increased drastically (from 60 thousand roubles to 820 thousand roubles), to counteraction to ethnic extremism (form 807 thousand roubles to 1 347 thousand roubles) etc.

In April of 2003 the Legislative assembly of the region adopted “The Concept of regional purpose complex Program of Perm region nationalities relations for years 2004-2008”. The Concept already contains assessments of the year-by-year financial requirements for implementation of the Program. In July the Legislative Assembly adopted the respective Program in form of a law. The authorized budget of Perm region for 2004 envisages funding of this Program in the full amount.

Some regions show preference to special programs. That shift is justified in cases when programs cover a wide range of measures in the nationalities policy sphere. For example, at the present time five medium-term special programs (language development, education, tolerance, support of compatriots) are being implemented in Kabardinian-Balkar Republic while four such programs (culture and cultural heritage, education, vocational training and tolerance) are under way in Astrakhan region.

However authorities in a greater part of the Federation prefer to combine complex and special programs (Table 2). Some regions achieved success in development of complex as well as special programs. Buryatia implements four special programs though the republic has quite good complex programs. The same story with other regions and autonomous republics: Komi implements two special programs, Chuvashia implements five special programs, Saratov region implements three special programs though all these regions have sound complex programs. However in cases when complex programs, more often than not, are available development of special programs is tantamount to acknowledgement of the complex programs’ defects. Paying all due respect to choice made by regions we should say that an approach when all measures envisaged in a region’s nationalities policy are elaborated, implemented and controlled as a whole, within framework of a single purpose program seems to be preferable.

Complex purpose regional nationalities policy programs that embrace all spheres of nationalities policy allows concentrating financial means from various sources. These programs make co-ordination of various executive power agencies, state power and local self-government bodies and non-governmental organizations’ efforts easier. It is easier to organize control and transparency of expenditure and introduce modifications promptly.

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In order to compare the effectiveness of nationalities policy implementation instruments we have analyzed complex and special ethnic-regional programs separately. Three parameters have been considered: availability/lack of programs; quality of their elaboration; experience of implementation. Perm, Samara, Saratov regions and the Republic of Komi have achieved the greatest successes (See Appendix 1. Assessment of Comparative Effectiveness of the Russian Federation Regions’ Nationalities Policy. ).