Russia: A Long View

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It is not so easy to take the long view of socioeconomic history when you are participating in a revolution. For that reason, Russian economist Yegor Gaidar put aside an early version of this work to take up a series of government positions—as Minister of Finance and as Boris Yeltsin's acting Prime Minister—in the early 1990s. In government, Gaidar shepherded Russia through its transition to a market economy after years of socialism. Once out of government, Gaidar turned again to his consideration of Russia's economic history and long-term economic and political challenges. This book, revised and updated shortly before his death in 2009, is the result. Its transition complete, Russia is once again becoming part of the modern world. Gaidar's account of long-term socioeconomic trends puts his country in historical context and outlines problems faced by Russia (and other developing economies) that more developed countries have already encountered: aging populations, migration, evolution of the system of social protection, changes in the armed forces, and balancing stability and flexibility in democratic institutions. Topics of discussion in this astonishingly erudite work range from the phenomenon of modern economic growth to agrarian societies to Russia's development trajectory. The book features an epilogue written by Gaidar for this English-language edition.

This is not a memoir, but, Gaidar points out,neither is it "written from the position of a man who spent his entire life in a research institute." Gaidar's "long view" is inevitably informed and enriched by his experience in government at a watershed moment in history.

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Editorial Reviews

Edward Lucas
The causes of modern economic growth are one great mystery, the sources of Russia's plight another. Only someone with the intellectual ambition of Yegor Gaidar would try to penetrate both mysteries in a single volume.
From the Publisher
The analysis is remarkably sharp and succinct, devoid of self-exculpation, and informed by an astonishing array of Russian and Western sources. Readers with little knowledge of Russia will be stimulated by the book's ambitious scope, and students of Russian history will be treated to a fresh perspective on critical issues, including an arresting explanation of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262017411
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 11/2/2012
  • Pages: 568
  • Sales rank: 1,386,250
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Yegor Gaidar (1956—2009) was a Russian economist and politician and a key architect of economic reforms in Russia's transition to a market economy.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Anders Åslund vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

Part 1 Modern Economic Growth 1

1 Modern Economic Growth 3

2 Economic Determinism and the Twentieth-Century Experience 23

3 The General and the Particular in Modern Economic Growth 43

Part 2 Agrarian Societies and Capitalism 67

4 Traditional Agrarian Society 69

5 A Different Path 93

6 The Phenomenon of Antiquity 103

7 Capitalism and the Rise of Europe 121

Part 3 The Trajectory of Russia's Development 143

8 Particular Features of Russia's Economic Development 145

9 The Collapse of an Empire 181

Part 4 Major Issues of the Postindustrial World 205

10 The Postsocialist Crisis and Recovery Growth 207

11 The Dynamics of Population and International Migration 235

12 The State Burden on the Economy 269

13 The Formation and Crisis of Systems of Social Safeguards 287

14 The Evolution of Education and Healthcare Systems 311

15 The Transformation of the System for Manning the Armed Forces 337

16 On the Stability and Flexibility of Political Systems 353

Epilogue 367

Notes 379

Index 527

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