Russia Since 1980 recounts the epochal political, ecomic, and social changes that destroyed the Soviet Union, ushering in a perplexing new order. Two decades after Mikhail Gorbachev initiated regime-wrecking radical reforms, Russia has reemerged as a superpower. It has survived a hyperdepression, modernized, restored private property and business, adopted a liberal democratic persona, and asserted claims to global leadership. Many in the West perceive these developments as proof of a better globalized tomorrow, while others foresee a new cold war. Globalizers contend that Russia is speedily democratizing, marketizing, and humanizing, creating a regime based on the rule of law and respect for civil rights. Opponents counterclaim that Russia before and during the Soviet period was similarly misportrayed and insist that Medvedev's Russia is just ather variation of an authoritarian 'Muscovite' model that has prevailed for over five centuries. The cases for both positions are explored while chronicling events since 1980.
Steven Rosefielde is Professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Adjunct Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and Adjunct Professor of Defense and Strategic Studies, Center for Defense and Strategic Studies, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield. The author or editor of thirteen books on Russia and the Soviet Union, he has also published more than a hundred articles in journals such as the American Economic Review, European Economic Review, Economica, Soviet Studies, and Europe-Asia Studies. Professor Rosefielde is a member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and was a Fellow of the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 2000 to 2003. He has served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has also advised several directors of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute, Moscow for more than a quarter-century, and the Center for Defense and Foreign Policy, Moscow for more than a decade. Stefan Hedlund is Professor of East European Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. Before 1991, his research was centered on the Soviet economic system. Since then, he has been focusing on Russia's adaptation to post-Soviet realities. This has included research on the multiple challenges of economic transition as well as the importance of Russia's historical legacy for the country's reforms. His latest book, among 16 authored and coauthored titles in English and Swedish, is Russian Path Dependence (2005). Professor Hedlund received a master's degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his doctorate in economics from the University of Lund, Sweden.