The Three Regions of the Old Soviet Bloc

Issue Date January 2017
Volume 28
Issue 1
Page Numbers 89-101
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The 21 former Soviet-bloc countries fall into three classes of political systems representing a good equilibrium, a bad equilibrium, and a final group that teeters between the two. The nine Central and East European countries that have become EU members represent a good equilibrium: they retain democratic political systems and have corruption under reasonable control. Seven post-Soviet countries compose a bad equilibrium; their polities are all under authoritarian rule, and their economies captured by corrupt interests. Meanwhile, the five intermediate post-Soviet countries—Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Ukraine—are in the unstable state. These are the countries upon which Western assistance should concentrate.