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Democracy in a Russian Mirror
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Book description

What can we learn about democracy from the experience of post-Soviet Russia? What can we learn about the prospects for democracy in Russia from the experience of 'really existing democracies'? Must some 'pre-requisites', cultural or material, be fulfilled for democracy to become possible? This book examines the current state of Russia and the prospects for democracy, posing several challenges to our understanding of democracy. Thirteen contributors expand the debate over these questions, offering a variety of insights, interpretations, and conclusions vital to understanding the conditions of emergence and survival of successful democracies.


'Reading Democracy in a Russian Mirror is like listening in on a salon with a dozen or so distinguished thinkers from Russia and the West as they explore the implications of Russia’s post-communist evolution for democratic theory. Although a common thread runs through the conversation - whether democracy presupposes a competent state - the contributors sometimes branch off to address related questions: How democratic in fact are Western democracies? Are Western concepts of democracy universal? Has Putin in fact strengthened Russian statehood? The volume is testimony to the difficulty, and necessity, of finding a common language to discuss the meaning of democracy.'

Thomas F. Remington - Emory University, Atlanta

'In a series of linked essays, Democracy in a Russian Mirror reflects on Russia’s lessons for democracy and powerfully demonstrates the value of democratic theory in explaining contemporary Russian politics. This engaging and distinctive work will surely garner a wide audience among scholars of comparative politics and of democratic transitions, as well as among political theorists studying democratic institutions.'

Melissa Schwartzberg - New York University

'This edited volume examines contemporary Russia in light of democratic theory and democratic theory in light of the Russian experience. It brings together a top-notch group of scholars of democracy and a well-known group of experts on Russian politics from Russia. Their contributions are helpful in understanding how democracy and its individual elements work and illuminate the limits and contradictions of modern democratic countries.'

Timothy Frye - Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy, Columbia University

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  • 4 - Color Revolutions and Russia
    pp 78-94
    • By Valery Solovei, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University)


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