Stubborn Structures

Reconceptualizing Post-Communist Regimes
ISBN: 
978-963-386-214-8
paperback
$60.00 / €50.00 / £45.00
With an introduction by Henry E. Hale
Publication date: 
2019
712 pages

The editor of this book has brought together contributions designed to capture the essence of post-communist politics in East-Central Europe and Eurasia. Rather than on the surface structures of nominal democracies, the nineteen essays focus on the informal, often intentionally hidden, disguised and illicit understandings and arrangements that penetrate formal institutions. These phenomena often escape even the best-trained outside observers, familiar with the concepts of established democracies. Contributors to this book share the view that understanding post-communist politics is best served by a framework that builds from the ground up, proceeding from a fundamental social context.

The book aims at facilitating a lexical convergence; in the absence of a robust vocabulary for describing and discussing these often highly complex informal phenomena, the authors wish to advance a new terminology of post-communist regimes. Instead of a finite dictionary, a kind of conceptual cornucopia is offered. The resulting variety reflects a larger harmony of purpose that can significantly expand the understanding the “real politics” of post-communist regimes.

Countries analyzed from a variety of aspects, comparatively or as single case studies, include Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.

List of Figures 
List of Tables 
Editor’s Preface 
I. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS
Henry E. Hale: Freeing Post-Soviet Regimes from the Procrustean Bed of Democracy Theory
János Kornai: The System Paradigm Revisited: Clarification and Additions in the Light Of Experiences in the Post-Communist Region 
Oleksandr Fisun: Neopatrimonialism in Post-Soviet Eurasia 
Bálint Magyar: Towards a Terminology for Post-communist Regimes


II. ACTORS OF POWER
Nikolay Petrov: Putin’s Neo-Nomenklatura System and its Evolution
Mikhail Minakov: Republic of Clans: The Evolution of the Ukrainian Political System
Uladzimir Rouda: Is Belarus a Classic Post-Communist Mafia State?
László Nándor Magyari: The Romanian Patronal System of Public Corruption

 
III. TECHNIQUES AND TOOLS
Zoltán Sz. Bíró: The Russian Party System 
Andrei Kazakevich: The Belarusian Non-Party Political System: Government, Trust and Institutions, 1990–2015 
Miklós Haraszti: Illiberal State Censorship: A Must-have Accessory for Any Mafia State 
Dumitru Minzarari: Disarming Public Protests in Russia: Transforming Public Goods into Private Goods 


IV. WEALTH AND OWNERSHIP
Andrey Ryabov: The Institution of Power and Ownership in the Former U.S.S.R: Origin, Diversity of Forms, and Influence on Transformation Processes
Ilja Viktorov: Russia’s Network State and Reiderstvo Practices: The Roots to Weak Property Rights Protection after the post-Communist Transition 
Bálint Magyar: From Free Market Corruption Risk to the Certainty of a State-Run Criminal Organization (using Hungary as an example) 


V. CONTRASTS AND CONNECTIONS
Alexei Pikulik: Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine as Post-Soviet Rent-Seeking Regimes 
Sarah Chayes: The Structure of Corruption: A Systemic Analysis 
Kálmán Mizsei: The New East European Patronal States and the Rule-of-Law
Bálint Magyar: Parallel System Narratives—Polish and Hungarian Regime Formations Compared


List of Contributors 
Index 
Appendix 

"All in all, this is a wonderful collection of essays, a fertile marriage between Hale and Magyar with many splendid applications of their theories to many interesting countries and far-reaching implications for countries beyond the former USSR and East European post-communist world, and not only for China, but also for the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the emergent trend to limit the separation of branches of power even in countries we normally label as liberal democracies (like Trump’s vision of the United States)."
"The Hungarian sociologist Bálint Magyar, who created the concept of the 'post-Communist mafia state,' has just finished editing a new collection of articles called 'Stubborn Structures: Reconceptualizing Post-Communist Regimes' (to be published by C.E.U. Press early this year). In one of his own pieces in the collection, using Russia as an example, Magyar describes the Mafia state as one run by a 'patron' and his 'court'—put another way, the boss and his clan—who appropriate public resources and the institutions of the state for their private use and profit."

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