With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, fifteen newly independent states emerged from the imperial wreckage, some more ready than others to grasp their new found independence. This book tackles the seminal question related to these broader developments: why did some states choose to align with Russia, despite Moscow's overwhelming power advantage and recurrent neo-imperial ambitions? Eric A. Miller develops and tests a theoretical framework that extends traditional realist alignment theories to include domestic level political and economic variables critical to the study of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Specifically, Miller argues that internal political threats to CIS leaders and the extent of a country's economic dependence on Russia were the most influential factors in determining alignments. The volume is designed to meet the need for a thorough theoretical and scholarly assessment of the international and domestic politics of CIS countries.
'This book represents a significant contribution to the balance of power literature, and offers a novel interpretation of the political and security dimensions of relations between Russia and the former Soviet Republics. Rarely does one see such an excellent use of theory to illuminate political relations and vice versa. This is must reading for balance of power theorists as well as for thinkers interested in the former Soviet Republics.' Steve A. Yetiv, Old Dominion University, UK 'Students, scholars and members of the policy community can all benefit from reading this book.' Slavic Review
Contents: Introduction; Threats, dependence, and alignment patterns; Uzbek-Russian security relations and alignment patterns; Islam Karimov and internal threats; Uzbekistan and economic dependence on Russia; Ukrainian-Russian security relations and alignment patterns; Ukrainian leaders and internal threats; Ukraine and economic dependence on Russia; Conclusions; Bibliography; Index.