Author: Padma Desai
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0-19-569011-7
This book provides an invaluable guide to today’s Russia for specialists and non-specialists alike. Padma Desai, a leading scholar on Russia both during and after Communism, interviews seventeen key Russian and American policymakers and analysts, among them Anatoly Chubais, Yegor Gaidar, Strobe Talbott, George Soros, and Jack Matlock Jr., who tell the inside story of the dramatic unfolding of Russia’s troubled transition to a liberal order.
The insights offered in the interviews are pulled together in an in-depth introduction in which Desai considers questions such as why the Soviet Union dissolved under Gorbachev, what went wrong with economic reforms under Yeltsin, whether the privatization of Russian assets could have been managed differently, and what the prospects are for the Russian economy in the near future.
The interviewees suggest that Russia’s progress towards a liberal political order will continue, at times, to appear endangered by the standards of the advanced American norms. And while Russia will eventually embrace liberal values and gain economic stability, it will, however, have geopolitical interests along its southern borders and in the Far East. Sorting out these geopolitical issues with a reconstructed Russia will keep the US leadership fully engaged in demanding win-lose dialogues and ‘verify-but-trust’ decision making.
This volume will be useful to researchers and students in developmental economics, political economy, and Soviet studies. It will also appeal to informed general audience interested in Russia.
PART I REFORM MAXIMALISTS:
Boris Yeltsin: The Wrecking ball
Anatoly Chubais: The "Neo-Bolshevik" Privatizer
Yegor Gaidar: The Shock Therapist
Boris Nemotsov: The Political Activist
Mikhail Kasyanov: The Pro-Market Prime Minister
Strobe Talbott: Bill Clinton’s "Russia Hand"
PART II REFORM GRADUALISTS
Grigory Yavlinsky: The permanent Oppositionist
Sergei Rogov: In search of Checks and Balances at Home and Abroad
Nodari Simonia: The Pro-Putin Vote
George Soros: The Active Philanthropist
PART III FIVE POLICY PERSPECTIVES
Sergei Dubinin: Monopoly Sector Reform in Progress
Oleg Vyugin: Monetary Policy in Action
Boris Jordan: Media Man and Investor
Anatoly Vishnevsky: Demographic Dilemmas
Jack Matlock Jr.: The Road Ahead
PART IV THE ROLE OF HISTORY
Martin Malia: History Lessons
Richards Pipes: The Past in the Present