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Synopsis

In the preface to this report, it is asserted that, " history hovers... over any discussion of fiscal federalism in Russia. " This report not only reviews that history, but also follows it to the present situation with respect to the difficult policy choices facing the new Putin-led government, and neatly links Russia ' s choices with the broader issues facing any country undergoing intergovernmental reform. Thus, the authors weave into the discussion the dynamics of Russia ' s options with respect to deciding who delivers what services and how to finance these services with the question of the fiscal politics of change, or the intergovernmental and inter-regional balancing and counterbalancing of power. Furthermore the authors tie these questions together with those of how to implement good governance: should it be piecemeal or unified, asymmetric or uniform, and centrally driven or locally controlled? This report also initiates the first in a series of studies that will be published in the World Bank Institute ' s Learning Resource Series on the issues of governance and decentralization as they are framed by the WBI ' s broader set of programs in public finance and financial management.

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