Why do new, democratizing states often find it so difficult to actually govern? Why do they so often fail to provide their beleaguered populations with better access to public goods and services? Using original and unusual data, this book uses post-communist Russia as a case in examining what the author calls this broader 'weak state syndrome' in many developing countries. Through interviews with over 800 Russian bureaucrats in 72 of Russia's 89 provinces, and a highly original database on patterns of regional government non-compliance to federal law and policy, the book demonstrates that resistance to Russian central authority not so much ethnically based (as others have argued) as much as generated by the will of powerful and wealthy regional political and economic actors seeking to protect assets they had acquired through Russia's troubled transition out of communism.
• Highly unusual and original data • Broadly appealing to students of political and economic development • Emphasis not so much on democracy as on state capacity and governance - a big issue in development economics and politics as well as in the international policy community
1. W(h)ither the Russian State?; 2. Apparatchiki into 'Entrepreneurchiki': the sources of Russia's weak central state; 3. Governing Russia: patterns of regional resistance; 4. Inside the Russian State: assessing infrastructural power in the provinces; 5. Retrenchment over reform: obstacles to the central state in the periphery; 6. Weak party system, weak central state; 7. The comparative implications of Russia's weak state syndrome.
'This is a serious research monograph, which anyone wanting to examine the realities of power in post-Soviet Russia, and the reasons for these, should read.' Europe-Asia Studies
'The book is a must-read for scholars of nationalism wishing to broaden their understanding of Russian federalism.' Ab Imperio