International Dimensions of Authoritarian Persistence: Lessons from Post-Soviet States

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Rachel Vanderhill, Michael E. Aleprete
Lexington Books, 2013 - History - 271 pages
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While the international system has been evolving in an increasingly liberal direction, the level of democratic practice within the post-Soviet region has, on the whole, declined. Two decades after the popular uprisings against communism, many governments in the region have successfully blunted both popular and international pressures for democratic consolidation. Each selection in this volume explores how international factors interact with domestic conditions 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, and Belarus; special attention is 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. 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 offers important lessons for policymakers and academics dealing with the recent wave of political transitions in the Middle East and Asia.

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About the author (2013)

Rachel Vanderhill is visiting assistant professor at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She holds a PhD in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. Her primary research interests are the international dimension of regime change, East European politics, the promotion of democracy, and corruption in postcommunist states. Recent publications include Promoting Authoritarianism Abroad (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2013), which examines how states encourage the development of authoritarian regimes in neighboring countries by influencing elite strategies and capabilities.

Michael E. Aleprete Jr. holds a BA from Duquesne University, an M. and PhD in political science from the University of Pittsburgh, where he also earned a graduate certificate in Soviet Studies. Trained in the areas of international conflict, international relations theory, and the comparative politics of the former Soviet Union, his research interests include U.S. and Russian foreign policy, Russian domestic politics, and processes of international conflict. His writings have appeared in a variety of publications including International Interactions, Journal of International Relations and Development, Democracy and Security, Comparative Political Studies, and The Russian Review. Dr. Aleprete is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. He lives in Zelienople, Pennsylvania with his wife and son.

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