Has Democracy Failed Russia?

The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union was immediately taken as vindication of Western values and proof of the superiority of both market economics and a democratic system of government.

Issue: Winter 1994-1995

The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union was immediately taken as vindication of Western values and proof of the superiority of both market economics and a democratic system of government. America had won the Cold War, and "market democracy" (to use President Clinton's concise term) would spread from Belgrade to Bishkek. No one stopped to question the teleological assumption that events in Russia could be understood in terms of a transition from point "A" (a state-socialist political system with a command economy) to point "B" (a democratic polity with a market economy).

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