The Strong State in Russia: Development and Crisis

ISBN : 9780199336210

Andrei P. Tsygankov
272 Pages
161 x 236 mm
Pub date
Jan 2014
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This book provides a succinct account of the major periods in evolution of Russia's 'strong state' construct by reviewing the external and internal contexts of its emergence, progression, and fall in Muscovy, St. Petersburg, Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Russia, with an emphasis on the last two decades. Each time a combination of these contexts was distinct, thereby producing different political outcomes in Russia. The book argues that a perspective on Russia from a Western viewpoint is limited and that there has been an alternative way of thinking about the nation and its problems. While focusing on contemporary developments of the Russian state, the book situates them in a broader historical context and highlights that the roots of these developments are in the Tsar's autocratic system. Russia's strong state has evolved and survived throughout centuries and that alone suggests its historical vitality and possible future revival. From this perspective, the central scholarly question is not whether Russia will recreate a strong state, but, rather, what kind of a strong state it will be and under which circumstances it is likely to function.


1. Russia from Two Perspectives
2. The Roots of the Russian State: Autocracy
A Brief History
3. Emergence and Development
4. Decline and Revolution
5. The Soviet State
The Transition
6. The Soviet Breakup
7. The Smuta of the 1990s
The Revival
8. Putin's System
9. State-Led Capitalism
10. Managed Democracy
11. a Normal Great Power
The Crisis
12. Protest
13. Ethno-Nationalism
14. Corruption
15. Tensions with the West
16. Whither the Russian State?

About the author: 

Andrei P. Tsygankov is Professor of International Relations and Political Science at San Francisco State University. A Russian native, he is a contributor to both Western and Russian academia. His latest books are Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin (Cambridge, 2012) and Traditions of Russian Political Thought (Moscow, 2013).

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