Has the Russian state managed to lay the institutional groundwork for long-term stability and democratic governance? In Building the Russian State, Valerie Sperling assembles a group of cutting-edge scholars to critically assess the crises in Russia's transitional institutions. Part I of the book shows that Russia's political elites are less focused on serving public interests than on enriching themselves, and examines how these elites are ruling Russia. Part II focuses on the growth of organized crime, the decay of the military, the precariousness of the Russian Federation, the weakness of the labor movement, the corruption of the courts, the challenges facing international reformers, and the authoritarianism of the super-presidential political system. By focusing on the challenges, failures, and occasional successes of the Russian political system, this volume offers upper-level undergraduates and other scholars valuable insight into post-Soviet politics, state-building, and transitions to democracy.