Russia--lost in Transition: The Yeltsin and Putin Legacies

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Carnegie Endowment, 2007 - Political Science - 388 pages
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Russian history is first and foremost a history of personalized power.

As Russia startles the international community with its assertiveness and faces both parliamentary and presidential elections, Lilia Shevtsova searches the histories of the Yeltsin and Putin regimes. She explores within them conventional truths and myths about Russia, paradoxes of Russian political development, and Russia's role in the world. Russia ¿Lost in Transition discovers a logic of government in Russia ¿a political regime and the type of capitalism that were formulated during the Yeltsin and Putin presidencies and will continue to dominate Russia's trajectory in the near term.

Looking forward as well as back, Shevtsova speculates about the upcoming elections as well as the self-perpetuating system in place ¿the legacies of Yeltsin and Putin ¿and how it will dictate the immediate political future. She also explores several scenarios for Russia's future over the next decade.

 

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Contents

A Revolutionary Who Preserved Tradition
1
How Will Yeltsin Go Down in History?
25
A New Regime to Preserve an Old System
36
Imitation Democracy
47
Can You Sit and Run at the Same Time?
66
Pragmatists versus Idealists
74
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
81
The Siloviki in Power
97
In Search of a New Paradigm
220
What Went Wrong?
232
Bumps in the Road
246
The BushPutin Legacy
258
Unstable Stability or On Shooting Yourself in the Foot
269
What Might Detonate an Explosion?
280
Going Nowhere Fast
288
Can the West Help the Russian Liberal Project?
302

Oligarchy as Myth and Reality
104
Liberal Technocrats as an Adornment of the State
113
The Triumph of Bureaucratic Capitalism
118
A Nuclear PetroPower
132
The State Shakes Off Its Social Responsibilities
149
What Is Behind Russias New Assertiveness?
160
Is Russia Ready to Set Sail Under Its Own Steam?
171
How Can We Learn to Be Neighbors?
187
Condemned to Live Together
206
How to Stop Suicidal Statecraft
315
Paradoxes and Hopes
323
Political Chronology
331
Parliamentary and Presidential Election Results
349
Notes
353
Index
367
About the Author
387
Copyright

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Page 20 - The danger is clear if Russia's reforms turn sour, if it reverts to authoritarianism or disintegrates into chaos. The world cannot afford the strife of the former Yugoslavia replicated in a nation as big as Russia, spanning eleven time zones with an armed arsenal of nuclear weapons that is still very vast.
Page 18 - The first condition is that the human material of politics — the people who man the party machines, are elected to serve in parliament, rise to cabinet office — should be of sufficiently high quality.
Page 361 - Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership (New York: Basic Books, 2004), 215.

About the author (2007)

Lilia Shevtsova co-chairs the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, dividing her time between the Carnegie office in Washington, D.C. and the Carnegie Moscow Center. She is author of Putin's Russia (2005) and Yeltsin's Russia: Myths and Reality (1999), and coeditor (with Archie Brown) of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin: Political Leadership in Russia's Transition (2001), all published by the Carnegie Endowment.