Democratic Changes and Authoritarian Reactions in Russia, by Karen Dawisha, Bruce Parrott

By Karen Dawisha, Bruce Parrott

This quantity comprises chapters on Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, plus 3 chapters on Russia's local politics, its political events, and the final technique of democratization. The ebook presents an in-depth research of the asymmetric development of political switch in those 4 international locations.

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On the other hand, to codify and make even these norms controllable by specialists, an organization can be established, as in the eighteenth century German ‘friendship alliances’ (Freundschaftsbünde). Thus an institutional mechanism can be sustained as mere conventions, requiring a social base but not a permanent organization,70 as was the case with the Siberian Cossack Personenverbände. Such a notion provides a possible resolution of recent controversies about the form of Muscovite government in the seventeenth century.

While the latter presumption cannot be denied, treating distance as a given parameter misses the main point. Over the centuries, Russians have shown often enough that they disregarded distance to a degree difficult to imagine in most European environments. This disregard of distance depended on the institutional environment. What counted was that the focal points of the trading network, the central markets, the trading posts and fortresses were organized by common institutions. On their way to or from Moscow, Siberian Cossacks did not ask for the ‘essence’ of institutions, or which social structure deserved the name institution.

121 As shown in Chapter 1, Siberian Cossacks grasped this reality. It is these co-ordinating services the tsars provided that historians have underestimated. 123 Power was generated from a torrent of information collected, documented and compared in the chancelleries. Yet, unlike the stern and brutal reactions to Cossack and peasant rebellions on the western side of the Urals,124 town rebellions in Siberia were much more difficult to suppress. Any concentration of troops was too expensive to supply, and of necessity would have depleted the fur resources, which were paramount in any consideration of Siberian politics.

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