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Comparative Politics and Crisis of Governance: The Russian Conundrum

Price : $44.75
ISBN # : 9789380177663
Author : Dr. Sudhir Kumar
pages: 180
Edition : Hardcover
Volumes : 1
Publisher : Vij Books
Published : 2011

Democracy as a political system, its creation and evolution and implications on the people and the states has been the dominant subject matter of the comparative politics in the last five decades. The litmus test of such explanations has been the societies undergoing political transition, switching over from authoritarian political systems to democratic ones. This book is an attempt to critically analyze the theories which have come up in the case of post-Soviet states political transition began after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The book argues that democratization should be seen as a broader phenomenon with the objective of building an equal and just social order. Secondly, the dilemma of explaining democracy in theory and in practice can be better explained with the analysis of the nature of state i.e. who governs and how. Thirdly, the nature of any state should be measured on the principles of democratic governance. Here three major indicators of democratic governance have been selected: participation, transparency, and accountability. Analysing Russia within this research framework the book argues that despite having all the capabilities to be a strong state the Russian state has been facing acute crisis of governance being reflected in violent separatist movements, violation of constitutional laws and increasing crime rate. A major reason behind the crisis of governance in Russia is the lack of application of principles of democratic governance at various levels of transition: from the constitution making process to implementation of welfare and other public policies.

Author Bio: Dr. Sudhir Kumar is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science, B B Ambedkar Central University, Lucknow. He wrote his PhD dissertation at the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi on State and Governance in the post-Soviet Russia. He specializes on comparative politics, democratization issues in the post-Soviet countries and governance problems in India. He has been associated with many government bodies of government of India like the Planning Commission, the National Institute for Administrative Research and the Finance Commission. Presently he is also actively involved in the problems of drought and underdevelopment in the Bundelkhand region of Central India.

Review 1: The book is a critical appraisal of the modern approaches to comparative politics, democratization and state building. Besides, it has also evaluated Russian politics from a post-colonial and governance perspective. Apart from dealing with the questions of institution building and elections, the book also focuses on the role of democratic methodology in constitution making, and its impact on the nature of state formation. An analysis of the outputs of the governance in terms of human development has been attempted. The book is a valuable contribution to the study of the theories of comparative politics as well as provides an insight into post-Soviet and Russian transition efforts.

Source: Professor Nirmala Joshi, Director, India-Central Asia Foundation, New Delhi, India

Review 2: The book is interesting for the readers of comparative politics as it begins with a critical review of the popular approaches in the discipline. It goes on to show how the democratic deficit in Russia has resulted into serious crisis of governance in Russia. Unlike the World Bank notion of good governance the book emphasizes on the issues of human development for understanding its impact on the people. The book is an excellent addition to the literature on democratization studies, comparative politics and Russian politics.

Source: Dr. Sanjay Kumar Pandey, Associate Professor, School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi, India

This book was added to South Asia bookstore on Tuesday 20 September, 2011.

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