Exploring the dynamics of state-society relations in post-Soviet Russia, noted scholars examine the nature of authority patterns within and between state and society. The authors explain congruence theory and employ it to interpret contemporary Russian politics. They assess the relative merits of state- and society-centered approaches to the study of democratic transitions and consider the value of survey research in identifying authority patterns; the nexus of mass and elite political attitudes; and the role of social, political, and economic institutions. Weighing the importance of political inclusion, the book evaluates the role of elites and the public in the transition and possible consolidation phases of Russian democratization. With its strong theoretical orientation, this pathbreaking volume raises new issues in the study of post-communist politics and, from the unifying perspective of congruence theory, provides a range of views on these hotly contested issues.
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Harry Eckstein is professor emeritus of political science, the University of California, Irvine. Frederic J. Fleron, Jr., is professor of political science, State University of New York, Buffalo. Erik P. Hoffmann is professor of political science, State University of New York, Albany. William M. Reisinger is professor of political science, University of Iowa.Review:
Altogether a splendid contribution to Russian studies and an invaluable text for advanced courses on contemporary and recent Russia. (Robert C. Tucker)
It is not often that social science theories stand up so well thirty years on in circumstances unimaginable at their birth. The power of congruence theory is remarkable. (Robert Putnam)
An ambitious but persuasive study of political culture in post-communist Russia, rooted in the comparative literature. It is only now that we are able to take stock of the dramatic changes—but also some stubborn continuities—in Russia and Eastern Europe, and this set of related papers by a group of leading scholars in the field is the best attempt that has so far been made to do so. I will be directing my students to this book, and using it a lot myself. (Stephen White)
Combines theoretical and technical sophistication and area depth with a patient recognition of the magnitude and complexity of the undertaking. The authors have won the strongest claim among contemporary scholars to a 'watching brief' of the historic Russian democratization drama. They have turned it into an 'experiment' promising to yield significant knowledge, insofar as human ingenuity is capable of drawing lawful observations from the study of human affairs. (Almond, Gabriel A.)
All of the contributors do an excellent job of intergrating theory with current transition process in Russia. (K. Brennan Choice November 1998)
An unusually thoughtful and well-integrated collection of essays on regime change in present-day Russia. Slices through the usual boundary between state-centered and society-centered interpretations of post-authoritarian transitions. (Colton, Timothy J.)
The theoretical framework presented in the bulk of this fine book is well constructed and persuasive. (Jeffrey W. Hahn Slavic Review)
The course of work that begins with Can Democracy Take Root in Post-Soviet Russia? will illuminate many interesting questions. Indeed, it already has since the book contains engaging enquiries into aspects of Russian political culture (Bova), the use of opinion surveys to study Russia (Ahl & Fleron, Reisinger), and the twists and turns of state-society relations in Russia (Hoffmann). (Neil Robinson Europe-Asia Studies)
This book is the of a projected quatrain....If the first volume is any judge, we are in for a treat. This is American political science at its very best. (Sakwa, Richard The Slavonic And East European Review)
A welcome attempt to marry comparative politics and the study of post-soviet Russia. (Stoner-Weiss, Kathryn The Russian Review)
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