Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

How Federal Is the Russian Federation?

ORCID (Links to author’s additional scholarship at ORCID.org)

Jeffrey D. Kahn: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8857-5647


It is undeniably true that in the last 8 years Russian law has experienced an extraordinary period of unification. Whether the Russian Federation (Russia) continues to operate a federal system of government, however, is a question on which reasonable minds differ. On the one hand, its constitution proclaims Russia to be a “federal, rule-of-law” state, divides the country into 83 component states of six different types, and appears to allocate separate spheres of both exclusive and shared jurisdiction to both the central government and to the component states. On the other hand, Russia’s political system has grown increasingly centralized and the actual implementation of the Constitution’s division of jurisdiction between governments has resulted in such an extraordinary degree of central control that the de facto federal nature of the system is thrown into doubt.

Publication Title

Federalism and Legal Unification: A Comparative Empirical Investigation of Twenty Systems

Document Type

Book Chapter



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)