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Showing papers in "Communist and Post-communist Studies in 2012"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The main question on which this article focuses is this: What conditions determine whether a group carrying out protests in Russia is more likely to be successful in attracting support by recruiting people to participate in its activities and gaining sympathy from many members of the population as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The main question on which this article focuses is this: What conditions determine whether a group carrying out protests in Russia is more likely to be successful in attracting support by recruiting people to participate in its activities and gaining sympathy from many members of the population? There is strong agreement among experts on Russian society and politics that protests in defense of abstract, general rights do not appeal to most citizens This article focuses on groups using protest tactics that have been more successful in gaining support, such as the Defenders of the Khimki Forest The evidence that is presented in this article suggests that Russians are more likely to take part in protests by an organized group if it seeks remedies for concrete problems that directly affect them and their families The appeal to felt needs that are grounded in everyday experiences also seems to be an important factor that helps a group to evoke a favorable response toward its actions among broad circles of the general public For those doing scholarly research, to interpret the development of civil society in Russia mainly in terms of the struggles of human rights groups and political opposition movements would lead the researchers to neglect the activities of most social organizations in Russia

53 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the double identity narrative, civic and ethnic, of Akayev's regime, followed by the transformation toward a more ethno-centered Kyrgyz patriotism under Bakiyev, the growing role of the theme of imperiled sovereignty, and how nationalism is today becoming a key element of the political agenda and the public scene.
Abstract: In Kyrgyzstan, nationalism combines a narrative on the titular ethnic group and its relation to a civic, state-based, identity, feelings of imperiled sovereignty, and a rising electorate agenda for political forces. Nationalism has therefore become the engine of an interpretative framework for Kyrgyzstan’s failures and enables the society indirectly to formulate its perception of threat, both on the Uzbek and Kyrgyz sides. To this end, this article first analyzes the double identity narrative, civic and ethnic, of Akayev’s regime, followed by the transformation toward a more ethno-centered Kyrgyz patriotism under Bakiyev, the growing role of the theme of imperiled sovereignty—which culminated with the events in Osh—and how nationalism is today becoming a key element of the political agenda and the public scene.

52 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined the development of democracy in Nagorno-Karabakh against a checklist of factors assumed to be relevant: cultural homogeneity, size, existential threats, role of the diaspora, and the consequences of continued non-recognition.
Abstract: De facto states are often dismissed as ‘failing states’. However, in Freedom House rankings of political rights and civil liberties, they sometimes perform better than their parent states – as has been the case with Nagorno-Karabakh. This article examines the development of democracy in Nagorno-Karabakh against a checklist of factors assumed to be relevant: cultural homogeneity, size, existential threats, role of the diaspora, and the consequences of continued non-recognition. Drawing on fieldwork and interviews with central actors, the authors conclude that, contrary to what might be expected, non-recognition has played a main role in the democratization process.

46 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors describe the remarkable willingness of the main political actors to compromise and assess to what extent Abkhazia's democratic credentials are sustainable, based on interviews with key players.
Abstract: Presidential and parliamentary elections in Abkhazia are pluralistic and competitive. They have led to the transfer of power from government to opposition forces. This in itself is a remarkable fact in the post-Soviet context, where the outcome of elections very often is determined in advance by the ruling elite. The article explains how and why this form of electoral democracy could occur in Abkhazia, arguably the most ethnically heterogeneous of all post-Soviet de facto states. Drawing on a wide variety of primary sources and data from within Abkhazia, particularly interviews with key players, the author describes the remarkable willingness of the main political actors to compromise and assesses to what extent Abkhazia's democratic credentials are sustainable

45 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Serhiy Kudelia1
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the evolution of the state in Ukraine from an object of elite predation in early 1990s into a dominant actor in relations with non-state actors under Kuchma, an instrument of elite struggles for power and rents under Yushchenko and a return to a centralized state authority under Yanukovych.
Abstract: This article examines the evolution of the state in Ukraine from an object of elite predation in early 1990s into a dominant actor in relations with non-state actors under Kuchma, an instrument of elite struggles for power and rents under Yushchenko and a return to a centralized state authority under Yanukovych. Despite its different transformations the state in Ukraine has been continuously characterized by the prevalence of informal levers of power and the absence of strong formal institutional foundations. As a result, after twenty years it still lacks the prerequisites of effective governance in a modern state – an impersonal bureaucracy, rule of law and mechanisms of accountability. This institutional void produces Ukraine’s vicious cycling between hybrid types of authoritarianism and democracy leaving the state dysfunctional and incomplete.

41 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigate the factors attracting FDI into highly diversified Russian regions during the phase of transition, and verify the impact of transition experience on the current FDI inflow.
Abstract: We investigate the factors attracting FDI into highly diversified Russian regions during the phase of transition, and verify the impact of transition experience on the current FDI inflow. Using cross-sectional and panel data, we demonstrate that the highly inhomogeneous investment pattern is explained, in addition to classical demand factors, by specific economic and socio-institutional regional characteristics. Russia appears as an idiosyncratic country where foreign investors seek a stable social and institutional context. Using recent FDI data we show that transition experiences influence current FDI inflow, particularly when the strength of the institutional environment and availability of infrastructures are taken into account.

36 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Laura A. Henry1
TL;DR: The political significance of complaints made to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation is examined in this article, where the authors consider how complaint-making, as a variety of political participation, may contribute either to authoritarian resilience or to political liberalization.
Abstract: Prior to December 2011, instances of widespread collective mobilization were relatively rare in contemporary Russia. Russian citizens are more likely to engage in a different means of airing grievances: making an official complaint to the authorities. This article considers how complaint-making, as a variety of political participation, may contribute either to authoritarian resilience or to political liberalization. The political significance of complaints made to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Russian Federation is examined. Since it is the broader political context that shapes the significance of complaints, in the absence of meaningful elections individualized appeals to the state are unlikely to promote democratic change, although they may allow for redress of individual rights violations.

35 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present an analysis of Ukraine two decades after it became an independent state through ten factors that have remained constant features of Ukrainian life, including low public trust in state institutions and the wide gulf between elites and state on the one hand and the public on the other.
Abstract: This main focus of the article is an analysis of Ukraine two decades after it became an independent state through ten factors that have remained constant features of Ukrainian life. The first factor is low public trust in state institutions and the wide gulf between elites and state on the one hand and the public on the other. A second factor is the striving by political forces to monopolize political and economic power for the sake of power and selfenrichment – not for the conducting of reforms. The third factor is threats to democracy under eastern Ukrainian Presidents Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yanukovych. The fourth factor is the low quality and ideological amorphousness of political parties. The fifth factor is the absence of political will and re-occurrence of missed opportunities; a prominent example of which is the Viktor Yushchenko presidency. The sixth factor is the domination of elite greed and rapaciousness over pursuit of the national interest and national security. The most egregious example of this corruption is in the energy sector which western Ukrainians have dominated (It’s a Gas: Funny business in the Turkmen-Ukraine Gas Trade, 2006). A seventh constant factor is the prevalence of virtual over actual policies and the non-fulfillment of domestic obligations which leads to low public trust in state institutions. The eighth factor is an imitation of integration into Euro-Atlantic structures because virtual policies lead to inconsistent and multi-vector foreign policies. Virtual policies make it difficult for European and American governments to engage with the Ukrainian authorities because they rarely fulfill their obligations. The ninth factor is eastern Ukrainian naivety about Russia, regardless of whether it is democratic or authoritarian, that pursues hard-nosed geopolitical goals, a naivety that applies to Kuchma in 1994 as much as to Yanukovych in 2010. The tenth factor, the Russia factor, is Russia’s inability to accept Ukraine’s sovereignty or territorial integrity. Both eastern and western Ukrainian have been unable to fashion responsive policies to deal with Russia’s un-acceptance of Ukraine and its hard-nosed geopolitical goals.

31 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine historical roots of competing identities in Ukraine, their essence and impact on two different visions of Ukrainian past, future, and "Ukrainianness" itself.
Abstract: The paper argues that the profound identity split strongly influences Ukraine's postcommunist development, precluding effectively consolidation of any political system – either democratic or authoritarian. In most cases, the identity issue supersedes all other issues on the agendas of political parties and largely determines the character and results of electoral rivalry, and the way in which both domestic and international politics is viewed and articulated. The paper examines historical roots of competing identities in Ukraine, their essence and impact on two different visions of Ukrainian past, future, and “Ukrainianness” itself. The use and misuse of identity issues by Ukrainian authorities is a special concern of the paper that stresses the need of alternative policy aimed at a national reconciliation.

29 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors analyze the scale and dynamics of the Russian brain drain, one of the most politicized and hotly debated aspects of the post-Soviet migration, and conclude that a more effective policy could be based on the use of diverse forms of cooperation with the Russian academics abroad, both with or without their permanent relocation to the country, providing for the inclusion of Russian science into the international academic networks.
Abstract: The paper analyzes the scale and dynamics of the Russian brain drain, one of the most politicized and hotly debated aspects of the post-Soviet migration. The major issues under consideration include the durability of the intellectual migration flow, its structural characteristics, and territorial orientation. Relying on the Russian State Committee on Statistics data, the research indicates that the real scale of intellectual migration is significantly smaller than is usually expected, even though in some regions and particular fields of Basic Sciences, including Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry, and a limited number of research centers, brain drain has indeed acquired a magnitude threatening the existence of the established academic schools. At the same time, huge disparities in terms of the ability of specialists from different branches of science to find adequate jobs abroad are evident. Many academic subfields, including Humanities and Social Sciences, and most of the Russian regions show extremely low levels of intellectual migration and engagement in the international academic exchanges. The result is the practical exclusion of many branches of science and the majority of the Russian regions from the international academic system. Hence the goal of the Russian policy should be not limiting the intellectual migration, but rather capitalizing on such of its positive aspects as the establishment of long term international academic contacts and the formation of the Russian elite diasporas abroad, actively engaged in cooperation with the RF academic institutions. Of special interest for the authors are the recent attempts by the RF leadership to encourage the return of the Russian academics. The authors conclude that a more effective policy could be based on the use of diverse forms of cooperation with the Russian academics abroad, both with or without their permanent relocation to the country, providing for the inclusion of the Russian science into the international academic networks.

27 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present an analysis of informal institutionalization in post-Communist Russia in theoretical and comparative perspective, and present a critical analysis of existing explanations of the dominance of subversive institutions, that is, those rules, norms and practices that at first sight partly resemble institutions of modern democracy, good governance and rule of law, but in fact inhibit them.
Abstract: The article presents an analysis of “informal institutionalization” in post-Communist Russia in theoretical and comparative perspective. It is devoted to critical analysis of existing explanations of the dominance of subversive institutions – that is, those rules, norms, and practices that at first sight partly resemble institutions of modern democracy, good governance and rule of law, but in fact inhibit them. While “pessimists” focus on cultural and historical embeddedness of subversive institutions in Russia, “optimists” draw their attention to patterns of post-Communist state-building, and “realists” point out the major role of special interests groups in turning growing pains of informal governance in Russia into its chronic deceases.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the revision of former agreements has allowed the national players, government and the state oil company, to extend rent-seeking, but that the changes have not been deep enough to attain national oil empowerment.
Abstract: Kazakhstan became a petro-state in the 1990s, after signing important oil production agreements with several transnational companies. In recent years, Kazakhstan's government has imposed the revision of former agreements on these corporations. This article contends that said revision has allowed the national players, government and the state oil company, to extend rent-seeking, but that the changes have not been deep enough to attain national oil empowerment. This means that national players do not control the oil cycle – from upstream to export trade – and are unable to secure continued expansion in the oil sector. Both key issues remain in the hands of the foreign companies, although their prominence has diversified following the entry of large Chinese and Russian companies.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors address the question of why in some de facto states something like dominant party politics has emerged, whereas in others there at least appears some form of real political competition.
Abstract: In this paper, we address the question of why in some de facto states something like “dominant party” politics has emerged, whereas in others there at least appears some form of real political competition. We empirically assess some of the commonly cited factors that affect the character of politics within de facto states (the wealth of the entity, the militarization of society, the level of ethnic homogeneity, and political institutional features). Using Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA), a method developed specifically to deal with the “small N problem” in empirical inquiry, we apply this framework to 13 post-secessionist unrecognized states.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors look at the interdependences between the democratization processes in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh and the management of the Karabakh conflict, focussing on the EU's democracy promotion policies.
Abstract: This article looks at the interdependences between the democratisation processes in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh and the management of the Karabakh conflict, focussing on the EU’s democracy promotion policies. The article argues that the EU’s normative foreign policy in the South Caucasus has been limited by the permanence of the protracted conflicts, in two interrelated ways. First, by not addressing the conflicts the EU focused on long-term goals but failed to provide short-term incentives towards peace. Second, by allowing only a limited involvement in the protracted conflicts, especially inside Karabakh, the EU was perceived as a reluctant partner, undermining its normative credentials.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines the ways in which various Russian NGOs, involved in litigation at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), have worked to advocate for improved domestic implementation of rulings made by the Court.
Abstract: This article examines the ways in which various Russian NGOs, involved in litigation at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), have worked to advocate for improved domestic implementation of rulings made by the Court. The paper traces these advocacy activities in four key problem areas for Russia's implementation of the Convention: (1) domestic judges' knowledge and citation of the European Convention or ECtHR case law; (2) the execution of domestic court judgments by Russian state bureaucratic bodies; (3) extrajudicial disappearances and killings in anti-terrorist military operations in the North Caucasus; and (4) torture or inhumane treatment in police detention. The author finds that the impact Russian NGOs can have upon domestic implementation depends greatly upon the professional cultures and incentives of the actors involved as well as whether or not prevention of violations is compatible with other high-level Russian government agendas.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors evaluate the several overlapping organizations promoted by Moscow to bring the ex-Soviet republics closer together, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC), and finally the hope for a Eurasian Union.
Abstract: As the kick-off to his presidential campaign, newly elected Russian President Vladimir Putin published an article calling for a Eurasian Union among the states of the former Soviet Union. Using this as a jumping off point, this article evaluates the several overlapping organizations promoted by Moscow to bring the ex-Soviet republics closer together. It looks specifically at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Community, and finally the hopes for a Eurasian Union. The article analyzes the multipronged approach, combining military cooperation through the CSTO and the hoped-for Customs Union and broader Eurasian Union. Using energy politics as a case study to explore the extent and limitations of Russia’s influence over the policies of the other states, the article illustrates how resources and domestic politics create either strengths or vulnerabilities for them. Finally, the author argues that despite Moscow’s wishes, each of the states is more or less able to defend its sovereignty and independence, thus limiting Russia’s sway over the territory of the “former Soviet space.”

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a systematic empirical assessment of party and party system homogeneity or heterogeneity in post-communist Eastern Europe and discuss some major macro-ociological and institutional factors determining the degree of nationalization such as the political consequences of social diversity and political cleavages.
Abstract: Party system nationalization is a crucial aspect of political competition. The territories of Eastern Europe have often been characterized by outstanding levels of territorial heterogeneity. However, during and after World War II ethnic cleansing and forced migration resulted in more homogeneous nation states, and these trends were significantly reinforced by bureaucratic, centralized communist rule. I present a systematic empirical assessment of party and party system homogeneity or heterogeneity in post-communist Eastern Europe and will discuss some major macrosociological and institutional factors determining the degree of party and party system nationalization such as the political consequences of social diversity and political cleavages, legacies of the communist regimes, electoral systems, and federalism.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examined the construction of a hybrid political regime in the most populous of post-Soviet de facto states, Transnistra, and analyzes secessionist elites' strategies of maintaining power and sources of domestic pressures to democratize political institutions.
Abstract: Post-Soviet de facto states are presented in the social science literature, first of all, as a by-product of research on secession, nationalism, and conflict resolution. The paper focuses instead on issues of institution-building and governance in de facto states. It examines the construction of a hybrid political regime in the most populous of post-Soviet de facto states, Transnistra. The paper analyzes secessionist elites' strategies of maintaining power and sources of domestic pressures to democratize political institutions of the de facto state. The evolution of the Transnistrian regime, it is argued, provides interesting ground for exploring the mechanisms of democratization under an unfavorable choice of institutions and problematic external environment.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that it is high time to have a closer look at the developments inside these de facto states for several reasons: first, in order to understand whether there is mutual dependence between internal political structures and processes and the chances of international recognition.
Abstract: The four state-like entities on the territory of the former Soviet Union that emerged about twenty years ago have successfully defended their precarious independence until today. However, we still know very little about the internal political developments in these de facto states, because so far most research has focused on the regional and international dimensions of the now “frozen” secessionist conflicts which brought them into being. The authors of this issue argue that it is high time to have a closer look at the developments inside these de facto states for several reasons. First, in order to understand whether there is mutual dependence between internal political structures and processes and the chances of international recognition. Second, the post-Soviet de facto states are model cases for internal transformation or even democratization efforts as a strategy of internal and/or external legitimacy building. Finally, the issue proves that the reluctance of academia to analyze the political systems of these entities for fear of legitimizing regimes that do not deserve it is not reasonable: the post-Soviet de facto states are fully grown states for all but international recognition – they are not supposed to disappear because we refuse to admit this fact.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors analyzes why formation of policy networks, which is an effective tool of European policy in different spheres, have lost significant part of its positive functions from the point of view of guaranteeing European energy security in case of European-Russian gas policy networks.
Abstract: This paper analyzes why formation of policy networks, which is an effective tool of European policy in different spheres, have lost significant part of its positive functions from the point of view of guaranteeing European energy security in case of European–Russian gas policy networks. This can be explained by the absence of effective international regime in gas trade as well as by failed transition to democracy, market economy and rule of law in Russia. As a result of this, German, Italian and French leaders involved into European–Russian gas policy networks face serious moral, legal and political dilemmas.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors of the special issue "Institutions, Networks and Trust in European-Russian relations" analyze the role of common interests, shared values, communications, interpersonal contacts and trust in overcoming conflicts.
Abstract: The paper presents the materials of the special issue “Institutions, Networks and Trust in European–Russian relations” offering various interdisciplinary perspectives on EU–Russia relations The positions of the authors of the special edition are analysed in the context of both Western and Russian literature on EU–Russia relations This analysis is conducted within the framework of close to Constructivism “security community” approach that stresses the role of common interests, shared values, communications, interpersonal contacts and trust in overcoming conflicts In this context, the emergence of new ‘dividing lines’ in Europe is considered as the result of crisis of trust and institutional crisis in EU–Russia relations From this point of view the recent literature on the roots of European–Russian conflict, on connections between Russian domestic and foreign policy, on value-interest dilemma in Western–Russian relations, on the new Cold War/Cold Peace theory, on the structure of EU policy towards Russia and internal splits inside EU is reviewed

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors analyze political rule in an entity affected by violent conflict and reveal that persistent violent conflict constitutes a significant factor that helps to account for the specific character of political rule.
Abstract: The article analyzes political rule in an entity affected by violent conflict. Aiming at contributing to the study of the South Caucasus ‘de-facto states’, it is argued that so far insufficient attention has been paid to the influence the persistent violent conflicts have had on political processes inside these entities. To substantiate the argument three elections in the de-facto state of Nagorno-Karabakh are scrutinized. The analysis reveals that contrary to prevalent classifications the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not frozen, but that indeed the persistent violent conflict constitutes a significant factor that helps us account for the specific character of political rule in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The findings of the Political Ideas of Russian Society project realized by the Laboratory for Political Studies since 2008 have been published in this paper, where they conducted about 1000 in-depth interviews with respondents of various age cohorts and various social-economic statuses.
Abstract: This article is based on the findings of the Political Ideas of Russian Society project realized by the Laboratory for Political Studies since 2008. The Laboratory has already conducted about 1000 in-depth interviews with respondents of various age cohorts and various social–economic statuses. All respondents demonstrated the Great Power pathos formed by two basic components — Russia is a great power and/or nostalgia of the lost Soviet might — serves the leitmotiv of authoritarian sentiments.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the early years of independence, Ukraine's crucial accomplishment was the establishment a degree of sovereignty and independence that few thought possible as discussed by the authors. But despite attempts of various internal leaders to adopt decisive policies, and despite significant external pressure, Ukraine has done very little.
Abstract: In the early years of independence, Ukraine's crucial accomplishment was the establishment a degree of sovereignty and independence that few thought possible. Since that time, Ukrainian foreign policy has largely stagnated. Despite attempts of various internal leaders to adopt decisive policies, and despite significant external pressure, Ukraine has done very little. This paper reviews the first 20 years of Ukrainian foreign policy and accounts for the inertia that has developed. Ukraine's foreign policy passivity results from three uneasy balances: an external balance between the pulls of Russia and the West; an internal balance between Ukraine's regions, and an internal balance between forces of democracy and authoritarianism. These balances mean that while few are happy with Ukraine's policy, no one has been able to decisively change it. While Ukraine's domestic regional division is unlikely to change, change in the balance between domestic political forces or that between international forces could reduce the inertia in Ukrainian foreign politics, most likely leading to a drift toward Russia.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the implications of current debates in international relations for Russian foreign policy and discuss the way Russian policy is fractured along the dimensions of security, economics and cultural identity, each corresponding to a different geopolitical vector.
Abstract: This article examines some of the implications of current debates in international relations for Russian foreign policy. The focus is on Russian foreign policy analysis and not the international relations debates per se. The article begins by discussing the way Russian policy is fractured along the dimensions of security, economics and cultural identity – each corresponding to a different geopolitical vector. The second half discusses how recent developments in international security impact on Russian foreign policy debates.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The existence and effective utilization of opportunity structures by the Gagauz and Pridnestrovian elites between 1989 and 1991 enabled them to successfully mobilize wide parts of the population, take control of the administration and build parallel state structures out of the control of both Chisinau and Moscow as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The existence and the effective utilization of opportunity structures by the Gagauz and Pridnestrovian elites between 1989 and 1991 enabled them to successfully mobilize wide parts of the population, take control of the administration and build parallel state structures out of the control of both Chisinau and Moscow. The Pridnestrovian elites were more successful in the effective utilization of such opportunity structures than their Gagauz counterparts. Access to vast economic and political resources, political unity, and strong organizational skills combined with a creative interpretation of the right to self-determination enabled the former to pursue their secession policy with greater efficiency.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors found that the relationship between regime types and conflicts is a lot more complex than is often argued in the literature, and that the Karabakh peace process has been undermined by the worst of two worlds: intense elite competition, but without the restraint and widened participation that democratisation could provide.
Abstract: The lack of democratisation in Armenia and Azerbaijan is by many observers argued to constitute a key obstacle to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, but other observers contend that the problem is that the respective leaderships are not sufficiently secure to agree to a difficult compromise. This article, however, finds that the relationship between regime types and conflicts is a lot more complex than is often argued in the literature, and that the Karabakh peace process has been undermined by the worst of two worlds: intense elite competition, but without the restraint and widened participation that democratisation could provide.

Journal ArticleDOI
Richard Sakwa1
TL;DR: An international regime is emerging in response to Russian aspirations for some sort of "greater European community, the European Union's complex pattern of external governance, and the need to integrate third parties (notably Turkey) into an extended network of relations that falls short of full-scale accession but gives form to aspirations for pan-European unity as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: On a range of structural and ideological issues Russia and Europe are increasingly mutually dependent, as in the energy sector, as well as in security matters and a number of other issues, but this has not generated ‘interdependence’ – the term popular from the 1970s to denote a qualitative transformation of the relationship, as described by Keohane and Nye and others. The paper asks why this has been the case, providing historical and theoretical context, but above all it looks at some of the ideas now advanced that could transcend the present impasse. An ‘international regime’ is emerging in response to Russian aspirations for some sort of ‘greater European’ community, the European Union's complex pattern of ‘external governance’, and the need to integrate third parties (notably Turkey) into an extended network of relations that falls short of full-scale accession but gives form to aspirations for pan-European unity.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In terms of strategic significance, Putin's regime will most certainly unravel in the foreseeable perspective as discussed by the authors, but it is hard to predict what consequences this will have: the system's disintegration and even collapse of the state, growing rot and atrophy, or the last grasp in the life of personalized power and transformation that will set Russia on a new foundation.
Abstract: December 2011 protests in Russia, the largest after the collapse of the Soviet Union, shattered the status quo that had taken shape over the last decade and signaled that Russia is entering turbulent waters. Russia found itself caught in a trap: the 2011–2012 elections perpetuate a personalized power system that became the source of decay. The top-down rule and its “personificator” – Vladimir Putin – are already rejected by the most dynamic and educated urban population. However, no clear political alternative with a broad social support has yet emerged to replace the old Russian matrix. In terms of strategic significance, Putin's regime will most certainly unravel in the foreseeable perspective. But it is hard to predict what consequences this will have: the system's disintegration and even collapse of the state, growing rot and atrophy, or the last grasp in the life of personalized power and transformation that will set Russia on a new foundation. One thing is apparent: transformation will not happen in the form of reform from above and within, and if it does occur, it will be the result of the deepening crisis and society's pressure.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The empirical case studies of this special issue not only provide an illuminating insight into the dynamic of political processes within the post-Soviet de facto states, but also contribute to the discussion of possible links between different strategies of state-building and the success or failure of democratization as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The empirical case studies of this special issue not only provide an illuminating insight into the dynamic of political processes within the post-Soviet de facto states, they also contribute to the discussion of possible links between different strategies of state-building and the success or failure of democratization Summing up the main findings of the issue, this article carves out the similarities and the differences in the internal political trajectories of the non-recognized but quite stable entities under analysis Despite sometimes contradicting empirical evidence, one central outcome is clear: the established theoretical assumption that uncontested external sovereignty is a necessary precondition for internal democratization needs to be reconsidered