Between Dictatorship and Democracy. Russian post-communist political reform

Publication date
Saturday, 06.03.2004

Michael McFaul Nikolai Petrov Andrei Ryabov



Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Michael McFaul, Nikolai Petrov, and Andrei Ryabov

2. Elections, Michael McFaul and Nikolai Petrov

3. The Constitution, Viktor Sheinis

4. Legislative-Executive Relations, Andrei Ryabov

5. Political Parties, Michael McFaul

6. Civil Society, Michael McFaul and Elina Treyger

7. The Mass Media, Andrei Ryabov

8. The Rule of Law, Mikhail Krasnov

9. Federalism, Nikolai Petrov

10. Regional Models of Democratic Development, Nikolai Petrov

11. Public Attitudes About Democracy, Vladimir Petukhov and Andrei Ryabov

12. Postscript: The 2003 Parliamentary Elections and the Future of
Russian Democracy, Michael McFaul, Nikolai Petrov, and Andrei Ryabov


About the Book
For hundreds of years, dictators have ruled Russia. Do they still? In the late 1980s, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev launched a series of political reforms that eventually allowed for competitive elections, the emergence of an independent press, the formation of political parties, and the sprouting of civil society. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, these proto-democratic institutions endured in an independent Russia.

But did the processes unleashed by Gorbachev and continued under Russian President Boris Yeltsin lead eventually to liberal democracy in Russia? If not, what kind of political regime did take hold in post-Soviet Russia? And how has Vladimir Putin's rise to power influenced the course of democratic consolidation or the lack thereof? Between Dictatorship and Democracy seeks to give a comprehensive answer to these fundamental questions about the nature of Russian politics.

This book reflects the unique collaboration of Russian and American scholars. Additional contributors include: Viktor Sheinis, Mikhail Krasnov, Vladimir Petukhov, and Elina Treyger.

Topics Covered:

Separation of Powers
Regional Governance Practices
Civil Society
Rule of Law


Political Parties
The Media
Public Attitudes about Democracy and Dictatorship


About the Authors
Michael McFaul
is senior associate in the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment and associate professor of political science at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of Russia's Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin.

Nikolai Petrov and Andrei Ryabov are co-chairs of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center.


Advance Praise

"There are simply no better scholars of Russian democracy writing today than Michael McFaul, Nikolai Petrov, and Andrei Ryabov. Did the poet say you can't understand Russia by reason alone? Their cool and rigorous analyses will convince you otherwise."
—Steven Sestanovich, Council on Foreign Relations and former Ambassador at Large for the New Independent States

"Michael McFaul, Nikolai Petrov, Andrei Raybov and their collaborators have written a thoroughly comprehensive book on one of the most important questions facing Russia today. The future of Russia's democracy may be the last lingering question from the revolutionary process launched almost two decades ago. To understand why Russia's political transition has been so long and protracted, there is no better place to start than "Between Dictatorship and Democracy."
—Yegor Gaidar, Director of the Institute for the Economy in Transition and former Prime Minister of Russia, 1991-92

"This volume presents a comprehensive, rich, and insightful overview of the major trends in Russian democratization since the Gorbachev era. The coverage of nearly every conceivable institutional theme related to the democratization process…makes the collection particularly valuable for students of Russian politics and society. The fact that the authors are among the best-known Western and Russian experts on the subject …will surely guarantee the book a wide audience, both among academic specialists and students at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels."
—Stephen Hanson, University of Washington

"Many thought a decade ago that Russia had irreversibly crossed the boundary separating dictatorship from democracy. We now see discouraging evidence of an authoritarian revival that places Russia back in the gray zone between regimes. This collection of empirically rich and theoretically informed essays by Russian and American specialists shows why the backsliding has occurred, with what results, and with what implications for the future."
—Timothy J. Colton, Director of Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University



Paperback, 366 pp.
ISBN: 0-87003-206-2
Pub. Date: March 2004

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