After the Deluge offers a new, provocative interpretation of Russia's struggle in the 1990s to construct a democratic system of government in the largest and most geographically divided country in the world. The Russian Federation that emerged from the Soviet Union faced dissolution as the leaders of Russia's constituent units in the early 1990s defied Moscow's authority, declared sovereign states on their territory, refused to remit taxes, and even adopted national constitutions, flags, and anthems.
Yet, by mid-decade, a fragile equilibrium had emerged out of the apparently chaotic brinkmanship of central and regional officials. Based on extensive statistical analysis of previously unpublished data as well as interviews with numerous central and regional policymakers, After the Deluge suggests an original and counterintuitive interpretation of this experience.
In most cases, confrontations between regions and Moscow constituted a functional kind of drama. Regional leaders signaled just how much they were willing to risk to secure particular benefits. With a policy of "selective fiscal appeasement," federal officials directed subsidies, tax breaks, and other benefits to the most protest-prone regions, which in turn engendered a shift in local public opinion. By buying off potential regional dissenters, Moscow halted what might have become an accelerating bandwagon.
Besides offering insight into Russia's emerging politics, After the Deluge suggests a range of parallels to other cases of territorially divided states and empires--from contemporary China to Ottoman Turkey. It should appeal to a broad audience of scholars in political science, economics, history, geography, and policy studies.
Daniel S. Treisman is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles.
This book brings together for the first time in English the major writings of Mikhail Epstein, one of post-Soviet Russia's most prominent theoreticians of cultural studies and postmodernism. Written from a non-Western point of view yet informed by a familiarity with Western literary theory, it offers a fresh, lucid perspective on the post-communist literary scene as well as a practical and theoretical introduction to the new discipline of Russian "culturology."
During Stalin's Great Terror, more than a million Soviet citizens were arrested or killed for political crimes they did not commit. Who carried out these purges, and what motivated them? Alexander Vatlin opens up the world of the Soviet perpetrators using detailed evidence from one Moscow suburb. Spurred by ambition or fear, local secret police rushed to fulfill quotas for arresting "enemies of the people"—even when it meant fabricating evidence. Vatlin confronts head-on issues of historical agency and moral responsibility in Stalin-era crimes.
A comprehensive, original, and innovative analysis of the social, economic, and political factors affecting contemporary Russian reform, the book is organized around the central question of the role of the state and its effect on the course of Russian agrarian reform. In the wake of the collapse of the USSR, contemporary conventional wisdom holds the the Russian state is “weak.” Stephen Wegren feels that the traditional approach to the weak/strong state suffers from measurement and circular logic problems, believing that the Russian state, thought weaker than in its Soviet past, is still relatively stronger than other actors. The state’s strength allows it to intervene in the rural sector in ways that other power contender cannot.
Specifically, as a measure of state intervention, Wegren analyzes how the state has influenced urban-rural relations, rural-rural relations, and the nonstate (private) agricultural sector. Several dilemmas arose that have complicated successful agrarian reform as a result of the nature of state interventions, how reform policies were defined, and the incentives rhar arose from state-sponsored policies. During contemporary Russian agrarian reform, urban-rural differences have widened, marked by a deterioration in rural standards of living and increased alienation of rural political groups from urban alliances. At the same time, within the rural sector, reform failed to reverse rural egalitarianism. In addition, the nature of state interventions has undermined attempts to create a vibrant, productive private rural sector based on private farming.
Wegren’s research is based upon extensive field work, interviews, archival documents, and published and unpublished source material conducted over a six-year period, and he demonstrates the link between agrarian reform and the success of overall reform in Russia. This learned and often controversial volume will interest political scientists, policy makers, and scholars and students of contemporary Russia.
On the eve of World War II, the national interests of Japan, the United States, and the Soviet Union collided in the North Pacific.
Alaska's Hidden Wars tells the story of the war in the North Pacific, a story of savage weather, isolation, and sacrifice.
Two island chains, the Aleutians and the Kuriles, became the focus of a series of major campaigns that pitted the Americans against the Japanese. Alaska's Hidden Wars chronicles the role of Japanese-American intelligence specialists and reveals a Japanese eyewitness account of the defense of Attu. Two virtually unknown aspects of the North Pacific war are also exposed: the brutal North Pacific weather and the imprisonment of American airmen in Kamchatka.
In 1942, the Japanese raided Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands and occupied the islands of Kiska and Attu. The Americans mounted a vigorous campaign, and the Japanese retreated to the Kuriles. For the next two years, the Americans launched air raids and fleet bombardments, while American soldiers maintained lonely outposts along Aleutian coasts. But in 1945, when Japan finally surrendered, the Kuriles were taken, not by the waiting Americans, but by the Soviets.
Alaska's Hidden Wars is a fast-moving history that brings declassified archival sources to light and draws the reader into the lonely, bitter war fought in the North Pacific.
Released in 2002, Russian Ark drew astonished praise for its technique: shot with a Steadicam in one ninety-six-minute take, it presented a dazzling whirl of movement as it followed the Marquis de Custine as he wandered through the vast Winter Palace in St. Petersburg—and through three hundred years of Russian history.
This companion to Russian Ark addresses all key aspects of the film, beginning with a comprehensive synopsis, an in-depth analysis, and an account of the production history. Birgit Beumers goes on from there to discuss the work that went into the now-legendary Steadicam shot—which required two thousand actors and three orchestras—and she also offers an account of the film’s critical and public reception, showing how it helped to establish director Aleksandr Sokurov as perhaps the leading filmmaker in Russia today.
During the last Ice Age, a thousand-mile-wide land bridge connected Siberia and Alaska, creating the region known as Beringia. Over twelve thousand years ago, a procession of large mammals and the humans who hunted them crossed this bridge to America. Much of the Russian evidence for this migration has until now remained largely inaccessible to American scholars. American Beginnings brings together for the first time in one volume the most up-to-date archaeological and palaeoecological evidence on Beringia from both Russia and America.
"An invaluable resource. . . . It will no doubt remain the key reference book for Beringia for many years to come."—Steven Mithen, Journal of Human Evolution
"Extraordinary. The fifty-six contributors . . . represent the most prominent American and Russian researchers in the region."—Choice
"Publication of this well-illustrated compendium is a great service to early American and especially Siberian Upper Paleolithic archaeology."—Nicholas Saunders, New Scientist
"This is a great book . . . perhaps the greatest contribution to the archaeology of Beringia that has yet been published. . . . This is the kind of book to which archaeology should aspire."—Herbert D.G. Maschner, Antiquity
The traditional narrative of the Russian Civil War is one of revolution against counterrevolution, Bolshevik Reds against Tsarist Whites. Liudmila Novikova convincingly demonstrates, however, that the struggle was not between a Communist future and a Tsarist past; instead, it was a bloody fight among diverse factions of a modernizing postrevolutionary state. Focusing on the sparsely populated Arkhangelsk region in Northern Russia, she shows that the anti-Bolshevik government there, which held out from 1918 to early 1920, was a revolutionary alternative bolstered by broad popular support.
Novikova draws on declassified archives and sources in both Russia and the West to reveal the White movement in the North as a complex social and political phenomenon with a distinct regional context. She documents the politics of the Northern Government and its relations with the British and American forces who had occupied the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk at the end of World War I. As the civil war continued, the increasing involvement of the local population transformed the conflict into a ferocious "people's war" until remaining White forces under General Evgenii Miller evacuated the region in February 1920.
Evgeniya Tur Northwestern University Press, 1996 Library of Congress PG3418.T75A8513 1996 | Dewey Decimal 891.733
Patterned on the novels of the Brontë sisters, Antonina is a poignant account of a young Russian whose life is shaped by the cruel neglect of her stepparents, the financial ruin of her father and husband, and—the centerpiece of the novel—her failed love affair with a sensitive but weak young man.
Russia today represents one of the major examples of the phenomenon of “electoral authoritarianism” which is characterized by adopting the trappings of democratic institutions (such as elections, political parties, and a legislature) and enlisting the service of the country’s essentially authoritarian rulers. Why and how has the electoral authoritarian regime been consolidated in Russia? What are the mechanisms of its maintenance, and what is its likely future course? This book attempts to answer these basic questions.
Vladimir Gel’man examines regime change in Russia from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the present day, systematically presenting theoretical and comparative perspectives of the factors that affected regime changes and the authoritarian drift of the country. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia’s national political elites aimed to achieve their goals by creating and enforcing of favorable “rules of the game” for themselves and maintaining informal winning coalitions of cliques around individual rulers. In the 1990s, these moves were only partially successful given the weakness of the Russian state and troubled post-socialist economy. In the 2000s, however, Vladimir Putin rescued the system thanks to the combination of economic growth and the revival of the state capacity he was able to implement by imposing a series of non-democratic reforms. In the 2010s, changing conditions in the country have presented new risks and challenges for the Putin regime that will play themselves out in the years to come.