Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin: Political Leadership in Russia's Transition

Lilia Shevtsova Book September 24, 2001 Washington
Focusing on Russia's three top leaders since 1985, this book examines their goals, evolving ideas, styles of rule, institution-building, and impacts on policy.
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Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin analyzes leadership politics in Russia over the past sixteen years. Its authors demonstrate the crucial difference new leaders can make in a system that both before and after the fall of communism concentrated great power and authority at the top of the political hierarchy. Focusing on Russia's three top leaders since 1985, the authors examine their goals, evolving ideas, style of rule, institution-building, and impact in different areas of policy. This fascinating and informative volume provides readers with a feel for all the tension and drama of Russia's transformation under three very different leaders.

Archie Brown is Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford and author of The Gorbachev Factor. Lilia Shevtsova is senior associate in the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment and author of numerous books, including Yeltsin's Russia: Myths and Reality.

Reviews for this publication

"Four thoughtful academics have given us a very readable guide through the thicket of modern Russian politics. This is one of those books that helps its readers think about a complicated problem by giving them clear, intelligent cues and directions."
—Robert G. Kaiser, author of Russia: The People and the Power and Why Gorbachev Happened

"Indispensable reading for those interested in the transition from Soviet to Russian politics. Students of leadership will be particularly interested in analyses provided by experts with a special sensitivity to the issues of leadership and followership as embedded in the Russian context."
—Barbara Kellerman, Executive Director, Center for Public Leadership, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

"Seldom do readers have the good fortune to encounter such informative and well-documented assessments of a major country's leaders. The comparison between Gorbachev and Yeltsin is magisterial. On Putin, the authors succeed in identifying some of the most promising as well as the most worrying of his policies."
—Alfred Stepan
Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government, Columbia University

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End of document

About the Russia and Eurasia Program

The Carnegie Russia and Eurasia Program has, since the end of the Cold War, led the field of Eurasian security, including strategic nuclear weapons and nonproliferation, development, economic and social issues, governance, and the rule of law.

Source http://carnegieendowment.orghttp://carnegie.ru/2001/09/24/gorbachev-yeltsin-and-putin-political-leadership-in-russia-s-transition/ctel

In Fact



of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.


of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.


charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.


thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.


of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.


trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.


of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.


of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.


of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.


of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.


U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.


of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.


million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.


of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.


of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.


of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.


of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.


of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.


of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.


million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3


now needs urgent assistance.


political parties

contested India’s last national elections.


of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.


of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.


of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.


of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.


billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.


billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.


increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.


billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.


of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.



were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

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