Russia Democracy: Still Not a Lost Cause

Journal Article
21565 small washington quarterly

In the recent explosion of articles about "Who Lost Russia," analysts have focused almost exclusively on the trials and tribulations of Russia's economic reform and Western attempts to assist these reforms. Russia's financial collapse in August 1998 and recent accusations of money laundering through the Bank of New York are cited as evidence that Russia is lost. The logic of this analysis is flawed. It assumes that these setbacks to economic reform or the rule of law represent end points in Russian history. In fact, they may really just reflect the transitional consequences of Russia's ongoing revolution. Russia is midstream in one of the most far-reaching attempts in history to simultaneously transform an empire, a polity, and an economy. It is naive to expect this revolution to go smoothly all the way.

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