In recent years, as leading authoritarian countries such as China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela have become emboldened within the global arena, challenging the liberal international political order, the advanced democracies have retreated rather than responding to this threat.
Is the challenge of building and consolidating democracy under postcommunist conditions unique, or can one apply lessons learned from other new democracies? The essays collected in this volume explore these questions, while tracing how the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have fared in the decade following the fall of communism.
Taking advantage of broad global respect for regionalism, authoritarian regimes are using their own regional organizations to bolster fellow autocracies. These groupings offer a mechanism for lending legitimacy, redistributing resources, and insulating members from democratic influences.
Russia’s ruling elite have used corruption not only to line their own pockets, but also as a tool of domestic political control and global power projection.