State Support for Families with Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Russia: Institutional Grammar Tool Analysis
The COVID-19 pandemic is characterised by active law-making processes aimed at health care and support of different categories of population in many countries in the world. Starting from 2019, due to negative demographic trends, Russia has experienced the active transformation of the state support system for families having children. This trend has strengthened during the pandemic. Our research aims to analyse the internal characteristics of the family policy, namely the state support for families having children, during the year preceding pandemic and within the pandemic period. We consider the dynamics of the family policy architecture by means of Institutional Grammar Tool (IGT) analysis and demonstrate the opportunities for using the results of such analyses in the highly dynamic situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We analysed 11 federal legal acts adopted in Russia after January 1, 2020 that addressed parents and offered support for families with children. These acts contain 78 institutional statements that we coded in accordance with the IGT rules, defining the attributes, objects, deontics and conditions in each sentence. Our results are as follows: 1) Russian family policy before and during COVID-19 pandemic can be divided into three stages, including the short-term second stage from the beginning of 2020 to the beginning of the pandemic. The most obvious changes in the three stages are seen in terms of the Objects and Conditions of the institutional statements. At the second and third stages we see a major expansion of support receivers (the Objects) as well as changes in the Conditions for the benefits gain. Conditions vary greatly and differ in terms of regularity of measure and the type of the payment granted; 2) Legal acts adopted do not always indicate clear Attributes, i.e., the subjects (federal and regional authorities) responsible for the implementation of the particular rule sometimes can hinder the implementation of the regulation; 3) Classification of the parameters of the main support measures in the framework and categories of the IGT analyses lead us to the probable concept of the information policy that would be clear to the beneficiaries of support measures.
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