Russia: A State of Uncertainty (Postcommunist States and by Neil Robinson

By Neil Robinson

Over the past hundred years, Russia has passed through a succession of failed initiatives of nation development - from Tzarist modernisation to Soviet nation socialism to liberal democratic industry capitalism. This new booklet introduces those enormously various initiatives and explains their failure so that it will light up the typical difficulties of balancing social and financial transformation with political balance that Russia's rulers have confronted through the 20th century.
Russia: A nation of Uncertainty lines Russia's complicated historic improvement within the final century, in addition to its contemporary political issues and financial misfortunes, and its position within the modern foreign procedure. supplying up to date info on Russian political advancements, together with the elections of 1999 and 2000, Robinson assesses the possibilities of destiny tasks of political and financial reconstruction. Written in a transparent and obtainable manner, this booklet could be a useful textual content for college kids studying approximately Russia for the 1st time, in addition to an individual attracted to the country and heritage of Russia.

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Extra info for Russia: A State of Uncertainty (Postcommunist States and Nations)

Sample text

Arguments that assert that the failure of the Russian state over the last century is explicable by reference to culture are not much better. The Russian state does not fail because it is Russian; past and present crises of political authority and state failure have not been caused by something intrinsic to ‘Russianness’ or the Russians. Certain common Russian traditions and attitudes have not helped state building in Russia. However, these traditions and attitudes are often themselves the result of state failure and can be amended by fresh state building projects, or serve as their basis or inspiration.

Many Russians prefer private life to the vicissitudes of public life and are loyal to family and networks of friends and kin rather than to the state. 1 This is not as surprising as it might seem at first glance. The brutality of Russia’s rulers has destroyed public institutions and eroded faith in public life to the point where the only body left that might act for the collective good is the state, or some part of it. Moreover, Russians are right to want action from the state since only a reconstructed state in Russia can provide the public goods (goods that all citizens share equally, that no one in a society can be excluded from enjoying) necessary for a decent, peaceful and prosperous life.

State autonomy and organizational integrity facilitate state capacity because the orders that emanate from the state are viewed as generally being legitimate and are implemented. Capacity is also constantly under review in a constitutional-bureaucratic state formation and what the state ‘does’ and what society ‘does’ is negotiated between them and by such things as elections changing what society asks the state to do through its elected politicians. The need for coercion is therefore low since the state does not generally demand more of its citizens than they are prepared to do.

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