International Dimensions of Aucb
Why does authoritarianism persist among the countries of the former Soviet Union? How is that persistence related to the international and regional context? While the international system has been evolving in an increasingly liberal direction, the level of democratic practice within the region has, on the whole, declined. Extensive research on regime change in postcommunist Europe has shown that the international influences can affect democratization. However, in the former Soviet Union, American and European efforts to encourage democracy have not succeeded. In many instances, international factors appear to be supporting the continuation of authoritarianism in many cases throughout the region. Each selection in this volume explores how international and domestic conditions interact to explain the persistence of authoritarianism throughout the region. The selections in the volume cover several countries, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, South Ossetia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, with special attention paid to the Russian Federation since it is both a member of the region and acts as an external actor influencing the political development of its neighbors. Two decades after the popular uprisings against communism, many governments in the post-Soviet region have successfully blunted both popular and international pressures for democratic consolidation. This volume is especially relevant as the world again experiences the surprising overthrow of long-running authoritarian regimes. The failure of democratic consolidation among post-Soviet states may offer important lessons for policymakers dealing with transitions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya today.
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