In The Reincarnation of Russia, John Löwenhardt presents the first in-depth analysis of the initial and crucial stages of Russia’s new statehood. He examines Russia’s recent turbulent history—beginning with the explosive Declaration of State Sovereignty in June 1990, through the adoption of the Yeltsin constitution in the elections of December 1993 and concluding with the early months of 1994. His analysis of Russia’s struggle with the vestige of Soviet Communism and the attempt to create a more democratic form of government offers crucial insight into one of the critical turning points in contemporary history.
Building on analysis of the failure of the Soviet system, Löwenhardt compares the emergence of Russia as a newborn state with other countries that have undergone transitions from authoritarianism toward democracy. Although it is often claimed that Russia is a unique case, the author argues that the lessons of other nations are relevant to the Russian situation. In conjunction with this comparative analysis and with consideration of the significance of the communist and Russian past, Löwenhardt discusses political and economic developments—including both foreign and domestic policy concerns—in Russia over the last four years. He provides a better understanding of the Russian condition and a guarded optimism regarding the ongoing process taking place in Russia today.
The Reincarnation of Russia will be welcomed by scholars with specialized interests in the democratization of Russia, political leaders, journalists, and general readers concerned with the global impact of Russia’s changing status.