Item description for State-Building: A Comparative Study of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia by Verena Fritz...
Looks at the process of state-building in Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia from a political economy and institutional perspective. Explains state weakness and distortions that are widely recognized key obstacles to economic success and democratic consolidation. Focuses on the extraction and expenditure systems which are a central pillar of state capacity and also a central link between citizens and the state. The book also sheds light on how Ukraine's potential 'second transition' currently under way will have an impact on its institutional system.
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Studio: Central European University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 8.75" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Feb 28, 2008
Publisher Central European University Press
ISBN 9637326995 ISBN13 9789637326998
Reviews - What do customers think about State-Building: A Comparative Study of Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia?
Gives great insight but skip the first 4 chapters! May 11, 2008
To start with the conclusion - for anyone that wants insight into the political and economical development i Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Belarus or the Former Soviet republics in general, this is a very interesting and useful book to read. Be aware that the book's main focus is on Ukraine (102 pages), While the other countries is given from 30-41 pages each. The comparable approach also makes it useful for getting an introduction to the difference between the former Baltic states and the other former Soviet republics and the similarities and differences in the 3 new Eastern Slavonic nations.
One important weekness of the book is that it spends 78 pages in the introduction to go through a theoretical framework that is hardly interesting, hardly necesary to to read the rest of the book and hardly gives any crucial insights. The poublisher has failed in their role as an editor by not interfering on this point. My advice to the reader is to simply skip theese first 4 chapters and begin on chapter 5. Othervise the risk is great that you will stop reading beofre the real interesting stuff begins.
If you want to be critical one can ask, why the book have picked theese 4 former Soviet republics instead of analysing all 15 of them. As the result of this chice of sample is quite successsful there is hardly any need for it though. I can even imagine that for instance adding the 3rd Baltic republic to the analysis of the 2 former, would give limited new insights to the *comparative* study that is the aim of the book and that the reader might would find himself repeating many of the same information 3 times. Another possible approach could be to compare Moldova and Romania or Poland with Western Belarus and Western Ukraine in order to analyze different trajectories of development of something that historically have been the same country (Romania and Poland respectively). The author have successfully chosen to do otherwise though.
The author has included a comprehensive statistical material in the appendix in the book. One thing that have kept me awake at night is that the performance for some of the Central Asian countries looks too good to be true. Can it really be the case that the economical growth of Uzbekistan since 1989 (115 i 2004, if 1989 is 100) is better than Estinia's (112) while Turkmenistan's growth compared to 1989 is of 112, the same as Estonia?
The inflation-problem colud probably be covered in more depth. The appendix should definately have included a table with inflation rates. Further, former Russian Prime minister Gaydar in a seminar at Carnegie once put the inflation in Russia in the 90s into perspective by comparing to the last time Europe saw inflation of this propotions - in Germany in the 30s, where Adolf Hitler came to power by democratic means with what would follow - also about 15 years since democracy was introduced. The economic situation in the 90s - and the inflation in particular - is crucial for interpreting the political situation and statebuilding in particulary Russia and Ukraine. In this context it also appears that thing have turned out quite ok, compared to the Germany scenario.
Theese comments explains why I have given 4 and not 5 stars.