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Political Studies AssociationThis is an interesting and well-argued book which is essential reading for anyone interested in the process of political change.
— Peter Calvert, University of Southampton
Most political regimes, whether authoritarian or democratic, are born in abrupt, brutal, and momentous crises. In this volume, a group of prominent scholars explores how these seminal events affect elites and shape regimes. Combining theoretical and case study chapters, the authors draw from a wide range of historical and contemporary examples to challenge mainstream developmental explanations of political change, which emphasize incremental changes and evolutions stretching over generations. Instead, the authors argue here, political leaders and elites possess significant autonomy and latitude for maneuver, especially in times of crisis. Elites' choices are frequently decisive in the making of regimes and the forging of national political histories. Providing a sustained comparative analysis of elites, their circulation, and behavior across times and countries, this lucid volume will be invaluable for scholars and students alike.
Part 1 Theoretical Chapter 2 Elites, Crises, and Regimes in Comparative Analysis Chapter 3 Historical and Theoretical Considerations Chapter 4 Political Crises and Elite Settlements Chapter 5 Mexico and Latin America in Comparative Perspective Part 6 Case Studies Chapter 7 The Soviet Union: Revolution and Transformation Chapter 8 Russia: Elite Continuity and Change Chapter 9 Hungary, Poland, and Russia: The Fate of Nomenklatura Elites Chapter 10 Germany: Twentieth-Century Turning Points Chapter 11 Japan: The Elite Legacies of Meiji and World War II Chapter 12 South Africa: From Apartheid to Democracy Chapter 13 Conclusion Chapter 14 Index