Democracy and Post-Communism: Political Change in the Post-Communist World

Democracy and Post-Communism: Political Change in the Post-Communist World

Democracy and Post-Communism: Political Change in the Post-Communist World

Democracy and Post-Communism: Political Change in the Post-Communist World

Synopsis

The collapse of communism was widely heralded as the dawn of democracy across the former Soviet region. However, the political outcome has been much less uniform. The post-communist states have developed political systems from democracy to dictatorship. Using examples and empirical data collected from twenty-six former Soviet states, Graeme Gill provides a detailed comparative analysis of the core issues of regime change, the creation of civil society, economic reform and the changing nature of post-communism. Within these individual cases, it becomes clear that political outcomes have not been arbitrary, but directly reflect the circumstances surrounding the birth of independence. Students of Comparative Politics, International Relations and Russian and Post-Soviet Studies should find this book essential reading.

Excerpt

This book looks at the most momentous political change in the international community since the end of the second world war. the transformation of what formerly had been called the communist bloc brought about a wholesale restructuring not just of the lives of many of the citizens of the countries undergoing it, but of the structure and processes of world politics. But this transformation has not been a simple process, nor has it taken the same form in all states. Some are entering the twenty-first century as democracies while others, the majority, have adopted political forms which fail the democratic test. With a broadly similar time of starting and, at least in terms of formal political institutions, point of departure, the diversity of political outcomes has been a surprise for many. This book attempts to explain this divergence of political trajectory. the substantive analysis goes up until the end of 2000, although in one case the analysis has been extended into 2001.

Many debts, both institutional and personal, have been incurred whilst working on this book. I was fortunate in enjoying visiting attachments in the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies in the European University Institute in Florence, St Antony's College, Oxford, and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow. in Sydney, the former Department of Government and Public Administration, now part of the School of Economics and Political Science, has been a stimulating place to work. in particular, I would like to single out Rod Tiffen, Roger Markwick, Linda Weiss and Tim Rowse, all of whom made comments at various times which dissuaded me from barren paths. For research assistance, I would like to thank especially John Brookfield who ferreted out much of use for the argument, and Aleksei Popyrin. and finally, to Heather, without whom this book could never have been completed.

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