CENTRAL ASIA: POLITICAL LEGITIMATION MODELS
Konstantin Truevtsev, Ph.D. (Philos.), associate professor, division of applied political science, Department of Applied Political Studies, State University—Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia)
In his bookThe Grand Failurethat appeared in 1989, Zbigniew Brzezinski offered two major conclusions: the Soviet Union would inevitably fall apart to be replaced, nearly everywhere, with authoritarian regimes.
The democratic euphoria of the time distorted these conclusions in shocking and fantastic inventions. They were not, however, pulled out of thin air: they were products of an analysis of the political processes underway in the Soviet Union.
Today, the first statement looks like a banality.
The second statement is not as unambiguous.
The national states that sprang into being on the Soviet Union’s detritus can be divided into several groups.
The first includes the countries in which the political opposition prevailed and followed the road of revolutionary changes, which included, among other things, nearly total replacement of the Soviet structures with alternative political constructs. This happened in the Baltic countries and Russia, which acquired, as a result, the most stable political systems and institutions of representative democracy across the post-Soviet expanse.
The second group went through a period of revolutionary upheavals much more intensive and much more violent than those that fell to the first group’s lot. The civil, ethnic, and clan wars, however, did not, as a rule, call to life any deep-cutting political changes: no Soviet structures were destroyed to make room for political institutions adequate to the current context and……………………