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Democratic Breakdown and the Decline of the Russian Military
Zoltan Barany

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"Among the many merits of this book is its clear, transparent, and economical style. Barany accomplishes what few in the profession have done. Namely, he is able to use sophisticated theoretical concepts from political science in ways that not only illuminate actual politics but which are readable and enhance the reader's understanding of the issues at stake."--Stephen J. Blank, Parameters

"It is perhaps the ultimate compliment to suggest that Russia's greatest writer would very much have agreed with Barany's depiction of the Russian military--and that his approach is a superior one for understanding Russian military politics."--John P Moran, Perspectives on Politics


"The collapse of the Red Army was one of the most spectacular in human history, and also one of the most mysterious. Neither Soviet nor Russian armed forces suffered catastrophic losses on the battlefield, while Russian soldiers became more involved, not less, in politics in post-Soviet Russia. Through a sophisticated application of institutional theory to a rich collection of data, Zoltan Barany unravels this mystery in a compelling and masterful way. This book will become a classic on Russian civil-military relations, while also adding much to our understanding of Russian politics more generally."--Michael McFaul, Stanford University

"Zoltan Barany is one of the most wide-ranging and thoughtful scholars writing on postcommunist politics today. Here, he provides a fascinating look at one of the most important issues in contemporary Russia. The link Barany makes between the condition of the military and the character of the postcommunist political regime is especially interesting. This book will appeal to policymakers and observers of Russian politics both inside and outside academia."--M. Steven Fish, University of California, Berkeley, and author of Democracy Derailed in Russia

"This book marks a new approach to the study of civil-military relations in Russia. It does something no one has done to date--it explains why Russian civil-military relations are not only not democratic, but are moving in the opposite direction. It also highlights the incredibly important roles that Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin have played in the evolution of such relations."--Dale Herspring, Kansas State University

"This is political science at its best: a lucid explanation of an important puzzle, systematically approached but mindful of the crucial role of human interaction. Barany makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the Russian military, the state of Russian democracy, and to the larger issue of civil-military relations and democracy in general."--Thomas Nichols, United States Naval War College

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File created: 4/21/2017

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