Russia’s Inevitable Democratization

Twenty years ago, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, the Soviet Union ended, and Russia began an imperfect transition to democratic capitalism. And yet the recent protests – somewhat similar to those that preceded the Soviet collapse – provide grounds for cautious optimism about the future.

MOSCOW – Twenty years ago, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned, the Soviet Union ended, and Russia began an imperfect transition to democratic capitalism – a transition that has proven to be far more difficult than expected. And yet the recent protests – somewhat similar to those that preceded the end of the Soviet Union – provide grounds for cautious optimism about the future.

So, what lessons can we draw from the successes and failures of Russia’s last two decades of post-Soviet transition? And what lies ahead?

The first lesson is that market competition, responsible macroeconomic policy, and private enterprise generally work. Market reforms eventually resulted in historically high growth rates. While high commodity prices played a part, privatized and new enterprises were the fastest-growing part of Russia’s post-communist economy, and the government played an important role by ensuring macroeconomic stability, maintaining a balanced budget, and using oil revenues to create significant foreign-currency reserves.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/gqn923G;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.