All FSI Events Seminars

Bureaucratic Incentives Under Neopatrimonialism

Tuesday, October 18, 2022 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (Pacific)

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.

Bureaucratic promotion criteria create powerful incentives that shape the behavior of bureaucrats and governance outcomes. I bring together the scholarship on neopatrimonialism and comparative studies of bureaucracy under different political regimes to explain the variation in patterns of bureaucratic promotion criteria.

I argue that in neopatrimonial states, merit and patronage will be equally important for bureaucratic promotion, but the specific configuration would depend on the political regime. I formulate a series of relevant empirical expectations and test them in Russia, an authoritarian neopatrimonial regime, using a conjoint experiment embedded in a survey of 1,860 bureaucrats. I find that candidate attributes associated with patronage and merit are both significant contributors to promotion – but patronage plays the role of a necessary condition, without which merit loses its significance. I open the discussion on the way neopatrimonialism and political regime interact in affecting everyday government practices.


Guzel GarifullinaGuzel Garifullina is a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on authoritarian politics, Russian local politics and governance, and bureaucratic behavior. Guzel is currently working on several projects that try to improve our understanding of the Russian state and the incentives faced by its local agents. Furthermore, she explores public participation both online and through regime-approved local initiatives to identify the potential for citizen self-organization at the local level, even as the national regime pressure on any forms of dissent has grown exponentially. Guzel's co-authored work on Russian regional elites appeared in Post-Soviet Affairs, Comparative Political Studies, Demokratizatsiya, and Europe-Asia Studies.

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to E008 in Encina Hall may attend in person.