At the Crossroads of Post-Communist Modernisation: Russia by C. Pursiainen

By C. Pursiainen

This quantity takes a comparative method of comprehend basic trends in post-Communist transition in Russia and China. Bringing together perspectives from Political technological know-how, Sociology and IR, it analyses three arenas of social change: socio-economic structures, political structures, and overseas regulations.

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Extra info for At the Crossroads of Post-Communist Modernisation: Russia and China in Comparative Perspective

Sample text

In a sense it was a social reaction against an uncontrolled and too rapid economic modernisation that happened without 28 Christer Pursiainen commensurate changes to the political system. 8 Top-down efforts to isolate Russia ideologically had failed. While the conservative strand of zapadnik thought approximated official Russian ideology, late nineteenth-century liberal zapadnik ideas provided the roots for revolutionary movements in Russia. This leftist movement drew explicitly upon West European political radicalism: first on French socialist ideas and later, Marxism.

Yet, while surely an era of political and economic stagnation, the “1970s were a period of major social and socio-psychological shifts” with far-reaching consequences in terms of modernisation. ”31 As a whole, however, Soviet development proved to be unbalanced, in many ways merely continuing the imperial model. The Soviet Union’s dependence on the export of raw materials and the import of Western technology, as well as the need to preserve the military balance of power, led to a structural crisis in the economy.

The vast majority of Chinese felt that China was on the right track. Economic modernisation was progressing rapidly. In addition, the havoc of the Cultural Revolution was still vivid in everyone’s memory. Neither the reformist bureaucrats nor the majority of the intellectual community wanted to risk luan – chaos. Analysts often cite this fear of chaos as an essential component of the traditional Chinese worldview. China’s history abounds with periods of rebellion, civil war, A Short History of Catching Up 39 and instability.

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