State of the art
This chapter looks into the broader literature on international democracy promotion and authoritarian resistance, with a focus on the post-Soviet area. After a brief overview of the research puzzle presented by this thesis, two strands of literature that appear to be predominant in the research on the former Soviet Union, will be discussed in great detail: literature on Europeanization and the emerging studies on authoritarian resistance with a focus on Russia. The last section of the chapter identifies the existing gaps in the literature and discusses how this will be addressed by the current study. With regard to the role of the EU, it is argued that there have not been a sufficient number of empirical studies on the efficiency of political conditionality in the non-enlargement context in the literature. On the other hand, more emphasis is needed on the indirect impact of Russia on regime dynamics in its near abroad. Finally, the academic literature also lacks analytical and theoretical mechanisms to study the impact of the interaction between the two external actors on the democratization processes in their shared neighborhood.
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