Russian Politics and Society  book cover
5th Edition

Russian Politics and Society

ISBN 9780415538480
Published August 17, 2020 by Routledge
730 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Fully revised and updated to reflect the considerable changes in Russia over the last decade, the fifth edition of this classic text builds on the strengths of previous editions to provide a comprehensive and sophisticated analysis of Russian politics and society.

The new edition incorporates the latest debates about Russian politics, analysing recent institutional and political developments, and examines the electoral cycle and prospects of the president elected at the end of the process.

New to this edition:

  • an evaluation of Putin’s leadership and the country's political performance under him;
  • updated election results and demographic, social, ethnic/national statistics to include results of the 2010 census;
  • changes in the party system, to electoral legislation and to the composition of parliament as well as the relationship between the executive and legislature;
  • coverage of the constitutional changes and governmental appointments under the various prime ministers;
  • more analysis of economic performance including discussion of the energy sector and pipeline politics;
  • changes in Russian foreign policy since EU enlargement, its relationship with NATO since the ‘reset’, as well as its relations with post-Soviet states;
  • assessment of the military reforms and security and defence policy;
  • debates over the question of democracy in Russia today, the nature of the system, and its future prospects.

Written in an accessible and lively style, this book is packed with detailed information on the central debates and issues in Russia’s difficult transformation. An unrivalled textbook on the subject it is essential reading for all those concerned with the fate of Russia, and with the future of international society.

Table of Contents

1. Approaches to Russian Politics

2. Soviet Communism and its Dissolution

3. The Disintegration of the USSR

4. Phoney Democracy, 1991-1993

5. Constitutionalism and the Law

6. Crime, Corruption and Security

7. The Executive

8. Party Development

9. Electoral Politics

10. The Legislature

11. National Identity and Nation Building

12. State Building and Ethno-federalism

13. Federalism and Segmented Regionalism

14. Russian Capitalism

15. Society and Social Movements

16. Cultural Transformation

17. Post-Soviet Eurasia between Fragmentation and Integration

18. Foreign Policy

19. Defence and Security Policy

20. Politics in Russia

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Richard Sakwa is Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent, UK.


"Richard Sakwa is one of the most perceptive observers of the Russian scene. He not only presents the facts in a comprehensive and engaging fashion but embeds these in lucidly elaborated theory that enables us to make sense of what he is explaining. This fifth edition is a welcome update of what has become the standard textbook on contemporary Russian politics."

Graeme Gill, University of Sydney, Australia.

"In this new edition of his classic study, Professor Sakwa has once again provided us with the definitive textbook on Russian Politics. This impressive text which covers all the key areas of Russian domestic and foreign policy, has been thoroughly revised and updated, and it now has a stronger focus on the Putin era. It will be essential reading for all teachers and students of Russian Politics."

Cameron Ross, University of Dundee, UK.

"The latest edition of Russian Politics and Society is not simply updated but is notably up-to-date; it sets out the latest information and insights across its broad field. Beyond the provision of facts, its academic analysis takes the reader deeper than the snap-shots prevalent in much discussion of Russia today, as befits an author steeped in decades of studying Russia. Sakwa convincingly argues that today’s Russia remains a country still in a state of post-Soviet transition."

Edwin Bacon, University of Lincoln, UK.