Description - Russia's Road To Deeper Democracy by Tom Bjorkman
It has become conventional wisdom that Russia is in the midst of a well-entrenched and lengthy retreat from democracy - a reaction to the turbulence of the 1990s and the hardships of the economic decline that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet public opinion surveys suggest widespread support in Russian society for stronger democratic institutions and dissatisfaction with the degree of democracy provided by Russia's contemporary political institutions. In this volume, Tom Bjorkman argues that the recent pattern of retreat from democratic values reflects the self-interest of a small segment of Russia's elite that stands to lose from vigorous pluralism and stronger democratic institutions whose outcomes they cannot control. While acknowledging that Russian citizens must determine their own path to deeper democracy, Bjorkman insists that the US can help create forward movement by drawing Russia into Western institutions and insisting that Russia's leaders adhere to common standards of democratic practice. By doing so, Bjorkman argues, the US can strengthen the hand of those elements within the elite who promote policies that would move Russia toward greater democracy.
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Publisher: Brookings Institution
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Author Biography - Tom Bjorkman
Tom Bjorkman is a federal executive fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution. He is a former deputy chief and managing editor of the President's Daily Brief and former research director for the Office of Russian and Eurasian Analysis at the CIA, and a former special advisor to the ambassador-at-large for the New Independent States at the U.S. Department of State.