The Challenge of Revolution: Contemporary Russia in Historical Perspective

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OUP Oxford, Feb 22, 2001 - Political Science - 386 pages
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This volume provides an challenging and controversial explanation of the recent events in Russia. It examines the causes, processes, and consequences of Russia's recent political development. Drawing on, and criticizing the existing literature, the book also shows how the recent Russian experience casts light on general theories of revolution and comparative political developments. The transformation in Russia is usually compared with transformations in other post-communist countries. The authors argue that the Russian transformation should be explained in the logic of the great revolutions of the past such as the English Civil War, the French Revolution, and the Bolshevik Revolution. The difficulties and inconsistency of Russian reforms are usually explained as a result of mistakes made by reformers. This book argues, however, that these problems should be considered as a natural consequence of the 'weak state'. In revolution the weakness of state power is inevitable (resulting from social fragmentation, property rights transformation, changes in the interests of different social groups). Hence, the authors argue that most of the transitional problems in Russia were unavoidable. The authors go on to argue that revolutions are usually considered as rapid change made through violence. However, the spontaneous character of change in the situation of a weak state is a much more important feature of any revolution than violence. The book contains unique interviews with four leaders of the Russian transformation - Mikhail Gorbachev, Alexander Yakovlev, Yegor Gaidar, and Gennadii Burbulis - as well as the personal experience of the authors, who were deeply involved in the practical process of Russian transformation.
 

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i didn't really have a taste for it im afraid

Contents

I
xiv
II
xvi
III
9
IV
40
V
74
VI
98
VII
130
VIII
179
X
228
XI
251
XII
282
XIII
299
XIV
326
XV
339
XVI
361
Copyright

IX
191

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About the author (2001)

Irina Starodubrovskaia, Deputy Director of the Foundation for Enterprises' Restructuring and Financial Institutions Vladimir Mau, Director of the Russian Government Working Centre for Economic Reform

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