Traces the politics of Soviet transition in the late 1980s and early 1990s from its origins to its uncertain post-communist futureTraces the politics of Soviet transition in the late 1980s and early 1990s from its origins to its uncertain post-communist futureRead Less
Publishers Weekly, 1993-08-30 Three Sovietologists collaborate on a detailed look at the transformation and ultimate dissolution of the Soviet Union, concentrating on the years 1988-1991. Though the book suffers somewhat from its general avoidance of the Yeltsin era and the struggles of newly independent republics, it is an informative academic resource, drawing significantly on the newly vigorous Soviet press. Exploring the decline of Marxism, the authors note that, due to a rapidly declining living standard, Russians were far less optimistic than their Eastern European counterparts that a post-communist economic system would help them materially. The authors analyze the Soviet electoral system, including innovative proposals to make elections more competitive, such as proportional representation of ethnic minorities, and trace the burgeoning civil and political society, including trade unions, popular fronts and new attention to public opinion. The authors warn that ``democracy from above,'' created by legislative enactment, cannot succeed until the entire society grows a new democratic culture of politics. White teaches at the University of Glasgow, Gill at the University of Sydney and Slider at the University of South Florida. (Oct.)
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