Dr Elena Denezhkina, an Honorary Research Fellow of CREES, with the support of the Centre presented a paper at the 2013 BASEES conference, entitled 'the Sverdlovsk Saga'.

The paper, which drew on the author's two decades of studying the Russian region of Sverdlovsk, analysed the evolving relationships between federal, regional and municipal authorities.  Dr Denezhkina emphasised the degree to which local 'horizontal' networks were able to resist attempts to impose order vertically from the federal level, but also the dangers of a governance vacuum in those cases where regional elites had been marginalised but Moscow's appointees had failed to become established.

The conclusion was that the centralist model was under strain and  that decentralist federalism would be back on the agenda after being more than a decade in retreat.