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Paths to Democracy of the Post-Soviet Republics: Attempt at Conceptualization

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From the perspective of fifteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is possible to distinguish live basic developmental paths the post-Soviet republics followed. The societies in which an independent civil revolution took place, enter the first developmental path. However, this path of development bifurcates into two further sub-variants. Namely, civil revolutions in the Baltic republics (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) resulted in their independence and stable democracies. On the other hand, civil revolutions in the Caucasus republics (Georgia, Armenia) proved only partially successful. Civil movements in these countries managed to gain independence, yet they were unable to build stable democracies. Countries such as Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine achieved sovereignty and followed the next developmental path, seceding from the Soviet Union. However, it was mainly local communist nomenclatures that initiated establishment of independent states. Democratization – characteristic of the first period of their independent existence – was counterbalanced by the subsequent emergence of autocratic tendencies that surfaced with different force and from different reasons. And again, this path of development bifurcates into two developmental variants. In the former, growth of power regulation was hampered by successful civil resistance (Ukraine), whereas in the latter, growth of power regulation did not encounter such strong civil reaction (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova). Finally, the countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) followed the fifth developmental path. In these societies, independence permitted to preserve dictatorship of local communist nomenclatures.

Therefore, naturally, a question arises how to identify social mechanisms leading to this developmental differentiation of the post- Soviet republics. It seems that an answer to this problem lies in the nature of real socialism in the Soviet version and the way of its collapse. This view will be systematically presented in this paper which is divided into five sections (including Introduction). In the second section, main theses of non-Marxian historical materialism, establishing a theoretical base for made analyses, are presented. This approach is extended in the third section. Political development of the post-Soviet republics is described in the fourth section. In the last section, the paper closes with a summary of presented conceptualization and concluding remarks that place this developmental differentiation of the post-Soviet countries in the global context.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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