This book adopts a novel analytical approach to understanding how Russia's stalled democratisation is related to the incomplete liberalisation of the economy. Based on extensive original comparative study of Russia’s regions, the book explores the precise channels of interaction that create the mutuality of property rights, entrepreneurship, rule of law, norms of citizenship and liberal democracy. It demonstrates that the extent of democratisation varies across regions, and that this variation is connected to the extent of liberalisation of the economy. Moreover, it argues that the key factor in producing this linkage is the relative prominence of small business owners and their supporters in articulating their interests vis-à-vis regional and local administrations, especially through the institutionalisation of networks and business associations. The book develops its key theses by means of detailed analysis of the experiences of four case study regions. Overall, the book provides a major contribution to understanding the path of democratisation in Russia.
“Impressive … excellent … original … addresses large and profound issues, in a sophisticated way … could well have an appeal beyond the Russian studies audience.” - Philip Hanson, Chatham House and University of Birmingham, UK.
"This fascinating study, of Putnam-esque ambition, brings a fresh perspective to the forces shaping Russia’s trajectory over the past generation. Focusing on the nascent small business community in four different regions, O’Neal’s richly textured analysis highlights post-communism’s complex interplay of politics, economics and history." - William Pyle, Middlebury College, USA.
'O’Neal’s approach offers a refreshing alternative and focus on influential regional actors… O’Neal’s book raises major questions about the uneven pattern of democracy and development in Russia. Her fieldwork in the Russian provinces is outstanding.' - Raymond Taras, Tulane University
1. Small Business Owners and Regional Democracy 2. Small Business and Regional Democracy: Quantitative Analysis 3. Elaborated Process Mapping and Case Selection 4. The Samara Region: a Tale of Two Cities 5. The Smolensk Region: Small Business and the Uses of Adversity 6. The Rostov Region: Limits of Patrimonial Exchange 7. Fathers and Sons: Entrepreneurship and Elite Transformation in the Perm Region 8. Concluding Arguments