Even after fifteen years of social, economic and political transformation in Russia, the country has not had the successes in dealing with the so-called ‘national question’. Managing ethnic diversity in multicultural Russia has recently become even more of an urgent issue than it used to be.
The paper seeks to analyze the capability of the Russian civil service to adopt multiculturalism, first in its employment policy and later more broadly as a social policy for the regional community. An attempt to illuminate the specificity of the Russian approach to multicultural policies if they were to be developed in the civil service in Russia is made in the paper. The main matters of concern were the attitudes and values of the senior civil servants in the regional governments of the Saratov and Perm regions in Russia.
One of the basic findings of the study is that, at present, the civil service in Russia is not ready to adopt multiculturalism in its norms, practices and values. However, at the same time many Russian civil servants are not satisfied with the principles upon which the appointments process is built - or with the practice of exploiting the upsetting and complicated ‘nationality question’ as an effective ad-hoc tool in a pre-election period.
The author suggests a number of policy recommendations that could be developed according to a three-level model of the civil service. According to the author the most important steps to be taken in the area of multiculturalism are:
introducing Assessment Centre technology that can be applied to staffing policies within the civil service
monitoring the number of applications submitted in relation to civil service job positions from members of ethnic minorities
making training and professional development courses on diversity management obligatory
giving citizens equal access to information about job vacancies within the civil service in the region
introducing non-discrimination federal and regional legislation dealing with the civil service
establishing a regional government body that is responsible for handling ethnic diversity issues in a region