Russian Politics: The Paradox of a Weak State
Hurst, May 2012
What has become of the Russian state twenty years after the collapse of Communism? Why have the rulers and the ruled turned away from democratic institutions and the rule of law? What explains the Putin regime’s often uncooperative policies towards Europe and its difficult relations with the rest of the world? These are among the key issues discussed in this essential book on contemporary Russia by Marie Mendras, France’s leading scholar on the subject.
Mendras provides an original and incisive analysis of Russia’s political system since Gorbachev’s perestroika. Contrary to conventional thinking, she contends that today the Russian state is weak and ineffective. Vladimir Putin has dismantled and undermined most public institutions, and has consolidated a patronage system of rule. The Medvedev presidency is but one chapter in the story. More information
‘A brilliantly textured portrait and fiercely argued exposé of the troubled and troubling political condition of Putin’s Russia. Paradoxically, as Mendras lucidly explains, the Russian state abuses its citizens precisely because it is too weak to control itself. … the most stimulating work yet published on the origins and evolution of post-communist Russian politics.’ — Stephen Holmes, Walter E. Meyer Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
Marie Mendras is a political scientist in the field of Russian and post-Soviet studies. She is a research fellow with the CNRS and CERI, and a professor at Sciences Po University’s School of International Affairs in Paris.
She is on the editorial board of journals Esprit (Paris) and Pro et Contra (Moscow) and is a member of the EU-Russia Centre in Brussels.