Russia's Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin
Michael McFaulISBN: 0801488141;
For centuries, dictators ruled Russia. Tsars and Communist Party chiefs were in charge for so long some analysts claimed Russians had a cultural predisposition for authoritarian leaders. Yet, as a result of reforms initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev, new political institutions have emerged that now require election of political leaders and rule by constitutional procedures. Michael McFaul traces Russia's tumultuous political history from Gorbachev's rise to power in 1985 through the 1999 resignation of Boris Yeltsin in favor of Vladimir Putin. McFaul divides his account of the post-Soviet country into three periods: the Gorbachev era (1985-1991), the First Russian Republic (1991-1993), and the Second Russian Republic (1993-present). The first two were, he believes, failures--failed institutional emergence or failed transitions to democracy. By contrast, new democratic institutions did emerge in the third era, though not the institutions of a liberal democracy. McFaul contends that...
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