This article aims to explain the tenure of incumbent governors in Russia studying what conditions have accounted for their reappointment and dismissal in the period of 2008–12. Qualitative comparative analysis of 32 cases reveals that the ability of incumbent governors to deliver high voting results at national elections has not been necessary for their reappointment. In turn, low economic performance of the regions was one of the sufficient conditions accounting for gubernatorial reappointment, while regions’ high economic performance was one of the sufficient conditions leading to their dismissal. These results suggest that instead of prioritizing governors’ political loyalty over regions’ economic performance, President Medvedev replaced incumbents in Russia’s wealthiest regions, regardless of their performance, in order to establish federal control there.

You do not currently have access to this content.