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.

 

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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.