Why and how do ruling political elites co-opt private business actors through patronage and consultation? By testing different mixed models, the project examines whether and to what extent the openness of electoral authoritarian political regimes affects the extent of perceived patronage and consultation. Case studies on the political regulation of property rights and business interest representation in Kazakhstan and Russia document an expansion of the state-controlled economic sector, sanctioning of individual oligarchs and the inclusion of private business interests into politically managed consultation regimes. Conversely, in Ukraine a pattern of co-governing by influential business actors emerged during Kuchma’s presidency. This variation may best be explained by a focus on the governing strategies of incumbents rather than by economic conditions (resource rents, trade openness) or by concepts of elites as cohesive social groups.
The paper was published in a Special Issue of Politische Vierteljahresschrift (PVS).