Russian Bureaucracy: Power and Pathology

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9780847695027: Russian Bureaucracy: Power and Pathology
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Government bureaucracies are now among the most important political institutions worldwide. This original study provides the first fully documented analysis of the behavior of Russian bureaucrats from tsarist times to the present, shedding invaluable light on the relatively neglected topic of Russia's public administration. The author traces the development of the bureaucracy, the culture and work style of the bureaucrats, continuities from regime to regime, and the bureaucracy's remarkable ability to resist change. The book concludes with a discussion of the immense barriers the bureaucracy poses to Russian normalization and democratization, as well as prospects for significant reform under Putin.

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About the Author:

Karl Ryavec is emeritus professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Review:

Years of study, travel, and practical experience in U.S. government dealings with Russian arms control admirably equip Karl Ryavec to undertake the first truly comprehensive examination of continuities in Tsarist and Soviet bureaucracy. The resulting book will be indispensable both as a guide and a caution for those dealing with Russian officialdom. (John Armstrong)

Karl Ryavec traces in a richly documented and lively narrative how Russia's powerful, self-interested, and corrupt bureaucracy has persisted and flourished in Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia. (Peter Juviler)

As Ryavec vividly conveys . . . the Russian state is its bureaucracy with all of its flaws and inadequacies. As such, Russia's bureaucracy warrants the close attention Ryavec gives it. . . . An evocative but disheartening portrayal of the state of Russia. . . . Recommended. (Choice)

Ryavec succeeds in providing a comprehensive and incisive analysis of this key to understanding Russian social life....Like so much else in contemporary Russian society, the slow but inexorable process of generational change and the development of civil society together offer up the best chances for a more normal Russian bureaucracy. In his significant contribution to our understanding of this bedrock Russian phenomenon, Ryavec more than anyone else has provided for us the signposts for any such change. (Slavic Review)

The first book on the Russian bureaucracy to range so widely and with such ambition across the country's recent history. Ryavec includes wonderfully illustrative vignettes and convincing assessments of bureaucratic behavior. (Eugene Huskey)

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