Has regime transition in Russia generated a major cleavage in its elite structure and, if so, what is its nature? The concern of political scientists and reformers is that the presence of communist era elites in the post-Soviet regime, which have retained their core values and recirculated into positions of power, may be a significant obstacle to the consolidation of democracy and a market economy. While the communist system disintegrated with surprising rapidity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it is not clear whether the norms internalised by elites operating under the ‘command-administrative’ system have changed along with the political system or whether the values and assumptions of the old pattern of government continue to be influential.
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