In post-Soviet Russia’s transition to new political and economic systems, few issues are as important as labor. Although the “worker’s paradise” may have been largely imaginary, the loss of job security and benefits that has accompanied marketization could well become a catalyst for yet another political upheaval. In this timely book, Walter Connor explores how the Yeltsin government attempted to avoid this pitfall of system change. Connor examines Russia’s emergent labor politics in the critical first years of the post-Soviet period, focusing on the problems Yeltsin encountered in attempting to adopt a “corporatist” solution to the conflicts of interest that have arisen between labor, employers, and the state. With many employers still heavily dependent on the state, while others are already beyond state control, the corporatist effort has been sabotaged, Connor contends, by the lack of distinct interest groups found in more mature market economies. He concludes with an analysis of what these recent developments may portend for Russian politics and government in the future.
Preface -- Slippery Surfaces: Conceptualizing Russia’s Political Transition -- Searching for Consensus: Corporatism’s “Shakedown Cruise,” 1992 -- Disunited Front: Trade Union Politics and Conflict -- Renewal or Exhaustion? Trilateralism and Conflict in 1993 -- Institutions and Conflict in the Russian Transition -- Epilogue: 1996