Over the last decade the "transition paradigm", which is based on the conviction that authoritarian political systems would over time necessarily develop into democracies, has been subjected to serious criticism. The complex political and societal developments in the post-Soviet region in particular have exposed flaws in the claim that a shift from authoritarianism to democracy is inevitable. Using case studies from the post-Soviet region, a broad range of international contributors present an original and innovative contribution to the debate. They explore the character of post-Soviet regimes and review the political transformations they have experienced since the end of the Cold War. Through a combination of theoretical approaches and detailed, empirical analysis the authors highlight the difficulties and benefits of applying the concepts of hybrid regimes, competitive authoritarianism and neopatrimonialism to the countries of the post-Soviet space. Through this in-depth approach the authors demonstrate how "Presidents, Oligarchs and Bureaucrats" in the region lead their countries, examine the sources of their legitimacy and their relationship to the societies they govern and advance the general theoretical debate on regime change and transition paths.
'20 years after the collapse of the USSR, this volume takes stock of our understanding of the political regimes in the post-Soviet space, throwing new light on many complexities and nuances of these regimes. Focussed and ambitious in its analysis, the volume will be a valuable companion to any student of post-Soviet politics.' Kataryna Wolczuk, University of Birmingham, UK 'The idea behind this book is a good one. Many claims have been made about the nature of post-Soviet regimes but there has been little by way of a consolidated review of the subject. This volume brings together theoretical discussions and case studies, with editorial synthesis in the introduction and the conclusion... this volume is still a very useful and commendable addition to the literature.' Political Studies Review 'This collection provides a useful snapshot of the character of a range of post-Soviet states and how their political systems have developed in the twenty years since they emerged as independent states. The analysis and application of neopatrimonial, competitive authoritarian and hybrid regime-types lays the ground for further consideration of the applicability of these classifications. This collection will be of interest to researchers familiar with the region and those interested in gaining insights into the applicability of these three important classifications of regime-type.' Journal of Contemporary European Studies '... this excellent volume is a major contribution to post-Soviet studies: it provides an exciting debate with diverse and dissenting views on the enigma of the political trajectories in the area.' Europe-Asia Studies