Search: Eidlin (5 materials)

Should democracy have the same meaning in every country?

An important prior question needs to be addressed before arriving at the question of whether democracy should have the same meaning in every country. We need to ask what is meant by "democracy?" If taken seriously, as meaning "rule by the people," democracy doesn't exist anywhere. In no modern state do the people actually rule themselves, or even play a substantial role in government. Everywhere, it is bureaucrats and elites that actually do the ruling or governing. The...

23.10.2014

How Russia’s ‘Sistema’ Leads To The ‘Modernization Trap’

Comment on Interview with Alena Ledeneva http://www.rferl.org/content/interview-russia-alena-ledeneva-sistema/24944910.html Ledeneva is one of the few to have confronted the reality that in order to reform Russia and the other post-Soviet republics, one has to understand the mechanisms underlying the system. Interestingly, it was Putin’s answer to her question about corruption that opened Ledeneva's eyes to the existence of “The System” and its importance. Many believe...

03.10.2014

Political decompression and Russia's emerging public

Russia's leaders have long recognized a need for competitive politics. They tried twice, in 1995 and in 2006, to create a two-party system from above. Most observers among those who even took note of these attempts ridiculed them. Both times, they stressed that the parties created from above were "pro-Kremlin," so the attempt to create a two-party system could not be serious. Such observers failed, and still fail to recognize that there are powerful reasons why the Kremlin needs...

24.09.2014

Russia and the West: The Treaty That Never Was

Mikhail Gorbachev was naive. Boris Yeltsin was obsessed by his power struggle with Gorbachev. As a result, Soviet citizens who overnight, without their consent found themselves living in foreign countries, were left without protection of vital rights and interests. As a result, the USSR and its successor state, the Russian Federation, were left without adequate security guarantees. Gorbachev naively thought that the West would be eternally grateful to the Soviet Union for having voluntarily dismantled...

19.09.2014

Political Leaders and "Iron Cages"

As events in Syria have been unfolding, a remark made several years ago by King Abdullah of Jordan sticks in my mind. Abdullah, an intelligent, enlightened monarch like his father King Hussein, was explaining why he was optimistic about the future of the Arab world. He spoke about a new generation of Arab leaders whose views were like his--for example, Bashar Al-Assad. Bashar Al-Assad!!! What!!? Nowadays, Assad hardly looks like an enlightened young leader. On the contrary, he looks like a ruthless...

19.09.2014

Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
 
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