Leading lights in post-Soviet studies examine Vladimir Putin as a leader, which is a venerable tradition in the field and a soft underlying theme tying this volume together. The other is the central and overarching question, leading toward what? and the subordinate question, how? The contributors deal with all angles: Putin and the parliament, Putin and the regions, Putin and corruption, Putin and the public, Putin and the oligarchs, Putin and cadres, Putin and foreign policy, and Putin and history. Nearly all agree that he is not leading toward Jeffersonian democracy, and Lilia Shevtsova argues that he is not even leading toward one of the qualified forms (managed, electoral, facade), but is leading toward "bureaucratic authoritarianism." This is a significant book and a nice tribute to Oxford's Archie Brown, long a distinguished student of Soviet leadership.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.
More Reviews on Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics From This Issue