Russia 2010 and what it means for the world

Daniel Yergin - Thane Gustafson

overzicht

Yergin and Gustafson present a series of three conceivable roads of reform along which Russia may travel between 1994 and 2010. The first scenario, "Muddling Down," which precedes all other roads in their model, is described as "the scenario that extends the present" (pg. 140). It is characterized by a weak central government and a lack of legal infrastructure. The three roads from this point are "Two-Headed Eagle" (the return of a strong state composed of both new and old elites), "Time of Troubles" (chaos and unprecedented decentralization inevitably leading to restrictive nationalism with overtones), and "Chudo" (the economic miracle, compared with both Germany during the 1950's and with Alice in Wonderland). Regardless of the path taken, the authors believe that the outcome will be the same: by 2010 "a capitalist Russia seems almost certain" (pg. 300).
 9781857880557 /  Nicholas Brealey /  1993 /  1st editie /  328p. /  pb / 

Russia 2010 and what it means for the world

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Yergin and Gustafson present a series of three conceivable roads of reform along which Russia may travel between 1994 and 2010. The first scenario, "Muddling Down," which precedes all other roads in their model, is described as "the scenario that extends the present" (pg. 140). It is characterized by a weak central government and a lack of legal infrastructure. The three roads from this point are "Two-Headed Eagle" (the return of a strong state composed of both new and old elites), "Time of Troubles" (chaos and unprecedented decentralization inevitably leading to restrictive nationalism with overtones), and "Chudo" (the economic miracle, compared with both Germany during the 1950's and with Alice in Wonderland).

Regardless of the path taken, the authors believe that the outcome will be the same: by 2010 "a capitalist Russia seems almost certain" (pg. 300). As I write this review, Russia is now six years further along its path than it was when the authors penned their book. Naturally, the material in this book is dated. The authors could have done a better job in making this book more accessible to a future audience -- especially that of a future in which none of these scenarios seem to be taking shape as expected. I would not rule out the possibility that some of the events discussed could still come to pass, but not within the timeframe proposed.

For example, in one scenario, Yeltsin steps down in 1996 due to poor health. Looking back, he remained in power for another four years after that, despite heart surgery and repeated ailments. Could that particular scenario still be valid in the future? That depends on many other factors, of course.

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