This book summarizes leadership and general political developments in the Soviet Union since the onset of the reforms. It explores new developments and old continuities in elite politics in the Russian Federation and other post-Soviet states during the period of transition and consolidation.
Introduction -- Post-Soviet Leadership and Change -- Political Elites Under Gorbachev and Yeltsin in the Early Period of Transition: A Reputational and Analytical Study -- Boris Yeltsin, Russia's All-Thumbs Democrat -- Ruslan Khasbulatov, Aleksandr Rutskoi, and Intraelite Conflict in Postcommunist Russia, 1991–1994 -- The Conceptual President: Leonid Kravchuk and the Politics of Surrealism -- Post-Soviet Political Leadership in Lithuania -- Elite Transformation in Late-Soviet and Post-Soviet Transcaucasia, or What Happens When the Ruling Class Can't Rule? -- Nursultan Nazarbaev and the Balancing Act of State Building in Kazakhstan -- Islam Karimov and Uzbekistan: Back to the Future? -- Leadership in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan: The Views of the Led -- Conclusion