Stubborn Structures

Reconceptualizing Post-Communist Regimes
$50.95 / €42.95 / £36.95
With an introduction by Henry E. Hale
Publication date: 
712 pages, 31 tables and 45 figures

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 
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

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

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 

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) 

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 

"All contributors, apart from Hale, come from post-communist countries, making this edited volume a forum for scholars with a deep personal knowledge of the region and an eye for details that may well escape an outside observer. A significant attempt to advance the understanding of post-communist regimes and an ambitious step towards a new conceptual framework to better describe countries increasingly thought to be no longer in transition to democracy." - Levan Kakhishvili
"Auf der politischen Ebene diskutiert der Band die Genese und die Funktionsweisen au-toritärer Herrschaft im Postkommunismus. Die Wege führten nach 1989/91 nicht in die Demokratie, aber es ging doch weiter in Richtung Divergenz. Die Uniformität der kommunistischen Ära ist in unserer autoritären Epoche passé. Dennoch sind die politischen Systeme der Region auf unterschiedliche Weise durch patrimoniale Strukturen, regionale „Clans“ und fehlende Rechtsstaatlichkeit geprägt. Die enge Steue-rung politischer Parteien, die Kontrolle von Wahlen und die Zensur treten als weitere Merkmale hervor. Ein weiterer Schwerpunkt des Bandes liegt in der Analyse postkommunistischer Wirt-schaftsstrukturen. Wiederum zeigt sich das Erbe der Vergangenheit: einerseits in der Kon-tinuität der Eliten und andererseits in der engmaschigen Verknüpfung zwischen Macht und (prekärem) Eigentum. Als Gemeinsamkeit lässt sich die Entstehung von Rentenökonomien beobachten, deren Erträge insbesondere der politischen... more
"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."
"This volume is a refreshing break from the standing body of literature in several respects. First, it is disciplined by Henry Hale’s 'patronal' theory, which in some ways—while mainly within political science—breaks the politics-economics divide. Second, the 'patronal' concept creates space for cross-national comparison: to what extent the system 'patronal' present is different in various post-communist systems (acknowledging that some degree of 'patronal' system is present in all actually existing—even in liberal democratic capitalist—societies). This is a non-trivial achievement. 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,... more
"Свою главную задачу продвижения новой аналитической рамки для изучения посткоммунистических режимов книга, безусловно, выполняет. Предлагаемый коллективом авторов подход, в центре которого стоит изучение неформальных структур и практик лично мне кажется достаточно продуктивным. Действительно было бы наивно пытаться некритически применять западные концепты для анализа постсоветской политики. Вполне можно согласиться с Г. Хейлом в том, что рецензируемый сборник «углубляет наше понимание посткоммунистических политик», а значит, он может быть смело рекомендован для прочтения всем, интересующимся проблемами посткоммунизма."