Book

Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

Graeme Gill and Roger D. Markwick

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780199240418
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599347 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199240418.001.0001
Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

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The period since Gorbachev came to power has been a tumultuous time for Russia. It has seen the expectations raised by Gorbachev's efforts to bring about change in the Soviet Union dashed, the collapse of the Soviet superpower and the emergence of a new Russian state claiming to base itself on democratic, market principles. It has seen a political system shattered by a president turning tanks against the parliament, and then that president configuring the new political structure to give himself overwhelming power. These political upheavals took place against a background of social dislocation as the Russian people were ravaged by the effects of economic shock therapy. This book analyses this process, showing how the policies of perestroika, glasnost and democratization failed to bring about the renewal Gorbachev sought. It traces how, in the absence of active civil society forces, Yeltsin built up a hegemonic, but unstable, presidential system that sought to concentrate political power in the presidency. It explains how the quest for a market‐based democracy was undermined by the way in which political elites were able to act largely independently of the wishes of the mass of the population. It was this gulf between mass populace and elite political actors that shaped the course of developments under both Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

Keywords: civil society; democratization; elites; glasnost; Gorbachev, Mikhail; perestroika; presidency; Russia; Soviet Union; Yeltsin, Boris

Book.  290 pages. 

Subjects: Politics

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Table of Contents

The Reformers' Inheritance in Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

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The Attempt at Liberalization in Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

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From Reform to Transformation in Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

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The Struggle for a Hegemonic Presidency in Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

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A Debilitated President in Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

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A Stunted Civil Society in Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

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Conclusion in Russia's Stillborn Democracy?

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