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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The collapse of the Soviet Union left behind a group of generally weak states in Eurasia, including the main successor state, Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to rebuild the Russian state has led to contradictory assessments of the transformation of the Russian state. Scholars disagree both about the success of Putin’s state-building project and the ability of leaders to affect stateness, given structural conditions. This chapter assesses this debate and uses it as a lens into more general themes in the statist literature about how to conceptualize, measure, and explain state development. One area of general agreement emerges in the scholarly literature about the contemporary Russian state—the persistence of bad governance.

Keywords: Russia, state-building, state development, Vladimir Putin, state transformation, governance, agent-structure debate

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