AuthorKostina, Svetlana N.
  1. Introduction

    In the early 1990s, several dozen communist states were forced to re-build public administration systems taking into account the regime change, the demands of the time and the economy. However, there was no uniformity in the choice of technologies and directions for reform in the post-communist states. The reform of the public service also had its own specifics.

    The formation of the public service of the Russian Federation began in 1991 with the adoption of the Decree of the President of the RSFSR on the establishment of a rational public service (Decree of the President of the RSFSR, 1991). It involved the normative provision of the public service and the establishment of the Main Directorate for Personnel Training. The modern stage of the public service reform in Russia began in 2001 with the adoption of the Concept of Public Service Reform in the Russian Federation. In subsequent years, this process was carried out within the framework of three federal programs for the public service reform--in 2003-2005, 2009-2013 and 2015-2018. The basic normative legal acts that determined the structure of the Russian public service were adopted in 2003-2005.

    The following areas of administrative reforms in the 21st century Russia are of great importance for our analysis. Firstly, a change of the public service system of the Russian Federation as a result of the adoption of a number of federal laws--'On the Public Service System of the Russian Federation' in 2003, 'On the Public Civil Service of the Russian Federation' in 2004, 'On Municipal Service in the Russian Federation' in 2004 and their subsequent amendments. Secondly, a reduction of the number of the state apparatus, including attempts to downsize the public and municipal services' employees. Thirdly, a qualitative improvement of employees: rejuvenation of the service, rise of the level of education of employees, etc. The fourth area of interest is the anti-corruption measures. They include a system of restrictions for all categories of public servants on generating income, as well as the requirement to report the income of employees and their family members.

  2. Theoretical approaches to the stratification of public servants

    In the early 1990s, reforms in the management system, the public sphere and the public service passed through the Western countries like a tsunami, forcing researchers to consider a new management paradigm. The public service and its reform gradually became a focus of research, which allowed for formulating a new methodological approach--the neo-managerial approach (Toonen, 2007). This scientific discourse has stayed relevant for a long time. It is developing in the direction of PA-democracy and the creation of the European Administrative Space (EAS), 'the new approach developed after 2000, triggered formally by the United Nation's (UN) Millennium Declaration, has tended to institutionalize and foster cooperation and strengthen public services in each country' (Leskoviku, 2011) and 'institution-building and public administration reform (PAR)' (Muhhina, 2018).

    Thus, the key task of the formation of the executive branch of the post-communist countries is to increase its capacity in the field of policy development and to improve the professionalism of its employees (Goete and Wollmann, 2001). Changes in the implementation of the reform began everywhere and they were connected with the observance of anticorruption ethics, efficiency of work, 'transparency', improvement of professionalism in quality management, e-government development, etc. (Spacek, 2018; Pesti and Randma-Liiv, 2018; Nemec, 2018). The issue of the staffing implications of such a large-scale approach to the public sector reform is being actively discussed. Some authors adhere to the idea that these changes will have a negative impact on those who enter the public service or work in it. For example, 'we argue that reinventing government, contrary to its most ardent proponents' rhetoric, threatens to undermine the important role played by public servants in modern democratic governments' (Kearney and Hays, 1998). Others, on the contrary, are convinced of the need for ongoing changes, and point out that modern human resources technologies take into account the potential of the information society and allow the use of social networks for hiring employees. It also allows transition from the commission selection to the decentralized selection, which makes the service itself more efficient (Berman et al., 2015; Papapolychroniadis, Rossidis and Aspridis, 2017).

    New conditions for public administration also change the requirements for personnel as a modern public servant is assessed and selected not only based on educational qualification or work experience, but also based on the results of their activities (Pichas, 1999). Studies also focus on a specific group of public servants--senior personnel--and the process of their recruitment (Kuperus and Rode, 2016). A big problem of the recent years is the politicization of senior employees, favoritism and patronage in the recruitment of employees, as noted in the OECD materials (OECD, 2011). It is known that the adoption of new laws on public service and the revision of old ones did not lead to depoliticization and professionalization of employees (Meyer-Sahling, 2009). Increasingly, researchers put forward ideas about the lack of strategic prospects of such reforms. These ideas are associated with a high degree of misunderstanding of the ideas and values that should underlie the public service by reformers and employees themselves (Hintea, 2018; Bileisis and Kovac, 2017).

    Under these conditions, the study of the stratification of public servants is becoming quite a relevant direction, which allows assessing the differences that have developed within this group. It is necessary to turn to the theories presented in the works of Sorokin (1992) to analyze the stratification of public servants. Sorokin's (1992) theory of stratification points out that the basis of differentiation of groups is the uneven distribution of different rights, duties, privileges, values, authority and other ways of influencing individuals both within and between groups. Thus, Sorokin identified strata or social groups based on three grounds: economic, political and professional. Theoretical approaches to the problem of social stratification have been developed in numerous recent works, a short inventory of such papers can be found in Dyadin's study (2015, p. 17).

  3. Research matter and methodology

    The article is based on the case study method. The choice of this method is due to the peculiarity of the research problem, which involves studying the particularity and complexity of one case. The case study method gives an idea of a solution or a set of solutions, describes why the decisions were taken, how they were implemented, and what the result was (Schramm, 1971). To implement the case study method, we used a situation-procedural analysis of the interpretation and description of the existing situation of stratification of public servants. Despite the complexity of the public service structure in Russia and the diversity of processes, factors and development trends, we outlined common characteristics which resulted from the processes of social change and the public service reform of the Russian Federation.

    The stratification of public servants was considered within the framework of class-stratification, functional and gender approaches. The authors analyzed the theoretical and methodological literature devoted to the study of the professional stratification of public servants, analyzed normative and legal documents regulating the public service system of the Russian Federation, and studied implemented socio-economic programs, reviews of the country's socio-economic development, various regulatory and methodological documents. A comprehensive approach was also implemented through the application of historical and problem-chronological methods. They allowed us to consider the stratification of public servants at the present stage of the country's development as a result of not only the collapse of the world socialist system and the political transformation of the USSR, but also the public service reform in Russia.

    The study identified the internal differentiation of the public service of the Russian Federation, which was formed under the influence of the administrative reforms of the last 25 years, as the most important basis of the stratification of public servants. The authors formed a system of indicators for analyzing the stratification of public servants, which are as follows: type of service, branch of authority, level of authority, sectoral and territorial affiliation of government authorities, gender and age characteristics of employees, level of education, income and self-identity.

    The authors conducted a desk study on various indicators of stratification of public servants. The data was taken from the official statistics of the Russian Federation, which is collected by the Federal State Statistics Service of Russia (Rosstat). However, all the statistical data necessary for the study was not presented in this source, which hampered the solution of the research task. In addition, official statistical data was collected at different periods by different methods. For example, data on individual departments was gradually introduced into the system of statistical observation of the public servants. Data on employees of customs, which received the status of territorial authorities (FCS) of Russia, were introduced in 2002. Data on the number of employees of the State Courier Service and the Federal Drug Control Service and their territorial authorities was introduced in 2005, data on Rosgvardia employees and its territorial authorities--in 2018. Part of the data is not aggregated. For example, there is no data on employees substituting at the...

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