Politics and Legitimacy in Post-Soviet Eurasia

New Publication


Political legitimacy has become a scarce resource in Russia and other post-Soviet states in Eurasia. Their capacity to deliver prosperity has suffered from economic crisis, the conflict in Ukraine and the ensuing confrontation with the West. Will nationalism and repression enable political regimes to survive?

This book investigates the politics of legitimation in post-Soviet countries, focusing on how political and intellectual elites exploit different modes of legitimation. Combining cross-national comparisons and country case studies, it addresses state-economy relations, pro-presidential parties, courts, ideas of nationhood, historical and literary narratives.

Weak economic performance, evidence of electoral fraud, unresponsive governments and the waning authority of presidents continue to jeopardize institutional legitimacy. Whilst incumbent elites have been able to shift between legitimation modes, this collection argues that shifts towards nationalism, artificial charisma and traditionalism will not be sufficient in the long term to keep elites in power.

Martin Brusis, Joachim Ahrens and Martin Schulze Wessel (eds.): Politics and Legitimacy in Post-Soviet Eurasia, Palgrave Macmillan, London 2015.

Table of contents and my introductory chapter: Book_sample

Advance Praise for ‘Politics and Legitimacy in Post-Soviet Eurasia’

‘The authors have assembled a stimulating collection of studies on political legitimation in the CIS. The chapters combine a variety of perspectives and case studies on the challenges regimes face after the economic crises of 2008-10 and the Crimean crisis of 2014. Many chapters are important stand-alone studies.’

Richard Pomfret, University of Adelaide, Australia, and The Johns Hopkins University, Bologna, Italy

‘This is the remarkable outcome of an inter-disciplinary research network touching upon the fundamentals of Eurasian post-communist states: the different aspects of their politics of legitimation and legitimacy. The volume will be a leading scientific tool for international scholars of post-Soviet countries and their realities.’

Jutta Scherrer, Professor of Russian History, L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, France

‘This inter-disciplinary collection explores the legitimation strategies adopted by ruling elites in post-soviet Eurasia. Combining a Weberian conceptual framework with detailed country case studies, this will be a valuable addition to the debate over the political stability of the post-soviet states in the face of widespread corruption and sluggish economic performance.’

Peter Rutland, Professor of Government, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA