Cover Osteuropa 8/2014

In Osteuropa 8/2014
Teil des Dossiers Zentralasien

King of the Hill
Stability and Fragility of Post-Soviet Regimes

Andrei Melville

Deutsche Fassung


Unlike democracies, autocracies can be stable only if they satisfy the population’s material expectations. To that end, they need effective state institutions. This confronts an autocratic ruler with a dilemma: such institutions endanger the non-transparent distribution of resources to the powerful elites, who support the regime. Therefore, autocracies are also extremely vulnerable to upheavals in the global economy. In crisis situations, they can respond by partially opening the regime to larger circles of elites. If they try to preserve the status quo, they risk stagnation and decay or an open dictatorship.

(Osteuropa 8/2014, pp. 121–130)