The Flexible Domestic State: Institutional Transformation and Political Economic Control in the Khabarovsk Krai Forest Sector.
This paper is about the political economy of state control in the forestry sector of post-Soviet Khabarovsk krai. Following the breakup of the USSR in 1991, the Russian Federation government began introducing policies to decentralize administrative and management responsibility to the regions, with President Yeltsin famously urging the regions to "take all the sovereignty you can swallow". In Khabrovsk krai, located on Russias Pacific coast and adjacent to the expanding industrial timber markets of the Pacific Rim, the provincial government took the President at his word and began legislating provincial control over access, revenues, and management of the territorial forest resources. In the process, the provincial state challenged the administrative and financial controls of local state bodies, the municipal governments and the district branches of the Federal Forest Service. This paper looks at the transformation of the state in its multiple levels and associated powers, and seeks to explain the political economic relationships of state power that prevail in the sector. The paper first presents the changing logic of codified authority in the krai forest sector between 1992 and 1998, as legislated authority moved from Moscow to the municipalities and then to the provincial state. It then examines the tensions created among the different state institutions as the result of these reforms, and the responses by the local state institutions to counter the challenges to their fiscal and administrative autonomy.
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