25 Years After the USSR: What’s Gone Wrong?

Issue Date July 2016
Volume 27
Issue 3
Page Numbers 24-35
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A quarter century after the USSR’s breakup, the region it occupied has become more rather than less authoritarian on average. The rise has been neither steep nor steady, however, and the dominant regional pattern has been regime cycling, with movement both toward and away from authoritarianism at different points in time. Key causes are the tenacious pre-Soviet legacy of patronalism, the prevalence of presidentialist constitutions, and strong leadership popularity without the strong Western linkage and leverage that has often mitigated similar authoritarian tendencies in places like Africa and Latin America.

About the Author

Henry E. Hale is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. He is the author of Patronal Politics: Eurasian Regime Dynamics in Comparative Perspective (2015). His research focuses on political regimes, ethnic politics, and public opinion, especially in post-Soviet countries.

View all work by Henry E. Hale