Chapter 3: Trajectories of Political Development in the Post-Soviet States

  • Graeme GillEmail author


Some 25 years after the collapse of the USSR, most successor states are ruled by non-democratic regimes. This chapter explores why this is so. After looking at some arguments about culture, the chapter turns to an argument about the circumstances of these countries’ emergence from the USSR, and especially the role of mass-based civil society forces in that process. Most of the post-Soviet countries experienced an overwhelmingly elite-based transition in which the populace played only a subsidiary part. The result was the creation of political systems that were semi-closed, in the sense of providing little scope for real popular participation. Politics was overwhelmingly an elite phenomenon, and those elites acted to maintain the semi-closed nature of their polities.


European Union Communist Party Regime Change Authoritarian Regime Former Soviet Union 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Government and International Relations,University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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