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Covering the major contours of any Russian politics course, and comprehensive enough to serve as a core text, this new reader includes sections from the Soviet political system and its collapse, to the debate about post-Communist transition and efforts toward political and economic reform. A former journalist who worked in Russia, Ostrow's substantial headnotes blend needed background with insights from his experience, to create a nuanced treatment of Russian politics.
Highly regarded for its comprehensive coverage, up-to-date scholarship, and comparative framework, Politics in Russiais an authoritative overview of Russia's contemporary political system and its recent evolution. Leading area specialist Thomas Remington focuses on four areas of change–state structure, regime change, economic transformation, and identity–to offer a context for analyzing the transition from the Soviet to the post-Soviet era. Consistently emphasizing the intersection of politics and economics and the tension between authoritarian and democratic trends, this text helps students explore the complexities and ambiguities of Russian politics today.
The contributors here argue that Russia will never be able to create a viable democracy as long as authoritarian regimes are able to flourish in the regions. The main themes covered are democratization at the regional level, and the problems faced by the federal states in forging viable democratic institutions in what is now a highly asymmetrical Federation. A major strength of the book lies in its combination of thematic chapters with case studies of particular regions and republics. Electoral politics are also considered fully, before the book goes on to consider the whole issue of regional politics and democratization in five particular areas of Russia - Novgorod, the Komi Republic, Russia's Far East, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.
By the end of the 2000s Russia had become an increasingly authoritarian state, which was characterised by the following features: outrageously unfair and fraudulent elections, the existence of weak and impotent political parties, a heavily censored (often self-censored) media, weak rubber-stamping legislatures at the national and sub-national levels, politically subordinated courts, the arbitrary use of the economic powers of the state, and widespread corruption. However, this picture would be incomplete without taking into account the sub-national dimension of these subversive institutions and practices across the regions of the Russian Federation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, sub-national political developments in Russia became highly diversified and the political map of Russia’s regions became multi-faceted. The period of 2000s demonstrated a drive on the part of the Kremlin to re-centralise politics and governance to the demise of newly-emerging democratic institutions at both the national and sub-national levels. Yet, federalism and regionalism remain key elements of the research agenda in Russian politics, and the overall political map of Russia’s regions is far from being monotonic. Rather, it is similar to a complex multi-piece puzzle, which can only be put together through skilful crafting. The 12 chapters in this collection are oriented towards the generation of more theoretically and empirically solid inferences and provide critical evaluations of the multiple deficiencies in Russia’s sub-national authoritarianism, including: principal-agent problems in the relations between the layers of the ‘power vertical’, unresolved issues of regime legitimacy that have resulted from manipulative electoral practices, and the inefficient performance of regional and local governments. The volume brings together a team of international experts on Russian regional politics which includes top scholars from Britain, Canada, Russia and the USA.
By focusing on the popular forces which accomplished Russia's political rebirth, this 1997 book offers an original perspective on this critical period.
Cook explores the politics and policy of social welfare from 1990 to 2004 in the Russian Federation, Poland, Hungary, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. --Duane Swank, Marquette University
Russia is not only vast, it is also culturally diverse, the core of an empire that spanned Eurasia. In addition to the majority Russian Orthodox and various other Christian groups, the Russian Federation includes large communities of Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and members of other religious groups, some with ancient historical roots. All are in a state of ferment, and securing formal state recognition for specific communities is often daunting. This collection provides entry into the diversity of Russia's religious communities. Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer's introduction to the volume illuminates major political, social, and cultural-anthropological trends. The book is organized by religious tradition or identity, with further thematic perspectives on each set of readings. The authors include ethnologists, sociologists, political analysts, and religious leaders from many regions of the Federation. They analyze the changing dynamics of religion and politics within each community and in the context of the current drive to recentralize both political and religious authority in Moscow. Topical coverage extends from reassertions of Russian Orthodoxy to activities of Christian and Muslim missionaries to the revival of many other religions, including indigenous shamanic ones.

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