Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia

When Vladimir Putin first took power in 1999, he was a little-known figure ruling a country that was reeling from a decade and a half of crisis. In the years since, he has reestablished Russia as a great power. How did he do it? What principles have guided Putin’s economic policies? What patterns can be discerned? This book examines Russia's economic policy and the tools Russia’s elite have used to achieve its goals.

Explaining the economic policies that underwrote Putin’s two-decades-long rule, the book shows how, at every juncture, Putinomics has served Putin’s needs by guaranteeing economic stability and supporting his accumulation of power, even in the face of Western financial sanctions and low oil prices.

Putinomics was reviewed in publications such as the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and the Times Literary Supplement.

 Reviews for Putinomics

In his comprehensive, balanced, and persuasive account of the rise of Putinomics, Chris Miller explains how Vladimir Putin has successfully crafted an economic system whose main accomplishment has been the preservation of state power and authority and its projection abroad. But he questions the future adequacy of this highly personalized system, where informal rules predominate over formal institutions, arguing that unless Russia commits itself to the modernization of the state and of the economy it will become a twenty-first century laggard. This book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Putin's Russia today.

— Angela Stent, Georgetown University

In this lively, accessible, and well-sourced analysis, Miller puts forth a convincing and somewhat unorthodox argument: that contrary to conventional Western opinion, Russian economic policy under Putin has in large part been well designed and well executed.

— Philip Hanson, associate fellow of Chatham House

Putinomics provides a careful, comprehensive, and analytic assessment of the economic policies that have sustained Vladimir Putin in power in Russia over the last two decades. Professor Miller argues persuasively that some of Putin's fiscal and monetary policies have fostered economic stability and growth, while other politically-motivated policies have stifled investment and long-term development. Explaining these complicated dynamics between politics and economics in Putin's Russia is the great strength of this must-read book.

— Michael McFaul, Stanford University

 
 

The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy

For half a century the Soviet economy was inefficient but stable. In the late 1980s, to the surprise of nearly everyone, it suddenly collapsed. Why did this happen? And what role did Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's economic reforms play in the country's dissolution? The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy shows that Gorbachev and his allies tried to learn from the great success story of transitions from socialism to capitalism, Deng Xiaoping's China. Why, then, were efforts to revitalize Soviet socialism so much less successful than in China?

Making use of never-before-studied documents from the Soviet politburo and other archives, The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy argues that the difference between the Soviet Union and China—and the ultimate cause of the Soviet collapse—was not economics but politics. The Soviet government was divided by bitter conflict, and Gorbachev, the ostensible Soviet autocrat, was unable to outmaneuver the interest groups that were threatened by his economic reforms.

Reviews for The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy

Miller brings together politics, ideology, and, most importantly, economics to explain one of the most dramatic and consequential developments in recent history--the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of China. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in not only the history of the Cold War, but also the future of the world that awaits us.

— Serhii Plokhii, author of The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union

While there are plenty of works on Gorbachev and perestroika, none tackle the intellectual and political debates surrounding economic reform the way Miller does in this book. Miller's innovative outlook shows us how the history of reform in the late USSR is entangled with the broader story of contemporary economic transformation in China and beyond.

— Artemy M. Kalinovsky, University of Amsterdam

The Soviet collapse was the unexpected denouement of the 'short 20th century,' but Miller shows that it was not something willed by Mikhail Gorbachev alone. Rather, the powerful vested interests that resisted fiscal reform--the military and the KGB, the collective farm lobby, and the energy industry--were the real causes of the Russian Katastrophe. This is a meticulous autopsy on homo sovieticus.

— Niall Ferguson, author of The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West

We should be grateful to Miller for providing this account on the factors behind the great divergence of Russian and Chinese economic performance. It is a subject about which we know much too little.

— Paul R. Gregory, Stanford University