In a remarkable book, The Tragedy of Russia’s Reforms: Market Bolshevism against Democracy, American political scientist Peter Reddaway and Russian scholar Dmitri Glinski capture one’s attention by introducing a socio–political lexicon to clarify [a] new period [in Russia]. Instead of a Western–style political and civic nation–state, today’s Russian state has become something we haven’t seen before: ‘an exclusive corporate entity, the property of the state apparatus, competing against similar but much weaker entities in an attempt to monopolize the coercion and protection market.
The Tragedy of Russia’s Reforms presents a boldly original analysis of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the birth of the Russian state. The keys to understanding these events, the authors argue, are the prescriptions of Western “transitologists,” the International Monetary Fund, and advocates of economic “shock therapy.” These prescriptions allowed the nomenklatura and the financial “oligarchs” to acquire Russia’s industrial and natural resources and to heavily influence the country’s political destiny. In this long-awaited, sweeping interpretation, the authors skillfully place the contemporary Russian experience in the context of history, political theory, and Russia’s place in the international system.
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