This collection of essays is the result of a conference convened at Princeton University marking the ten year anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some of the best minds in post-Soviet studies focused on the task of identifying in what ways the post-communist experience with transition has confirmed or confounded conventional theories of political and economic development. The result is a rich array of essays examining vital aspects of the transitional decade following the Soviet collapse and the comparative lessons learned. These essays explicitly tally the gains and losses to post-Soviet countries of the last ten years as well as comparing the post-Soviet experience implicitly and explicitly with that of other developing countries. Each essay blends political science theory with fresh empirical analysis.
"Michael McFaul and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss have edited a stimulating volume in which leading political scientists working on the former Soviet Union demonstrate the utilit of a sophisticated combination of post-Communist area expertise and comparative social science methods. Although the editors describe the book as a 'sampler' of cutting-edge work by top researchers, the volume in fact coheres very nicely around two central themes: state building and regime transition." Political Science Quarterly, Henry E. Hale, George Washington University "As a concise and stimulating overview of the theoretical opportunities opened up by the collapse of Communism...this book succeeds admirably." - The Russian Review, Conor O'Dwyer, University of Florida "Exceptionally rich collection of essays...this volume embodies political science research at its best, both theoretically and methodologically aware, and sensitive to the cases and their problems." The Slavic Review Neil Robinson, University of Limerick, Ireland