It is not unreasonable to ask why this book focuses on the concept of “pluralism” rather than “democracy.” Of course, democracy is the desirable end product, at least as far as the non-“Islamic” republics of the former Soviet Union are concerned. (In the Middle Eastern Islamic environment, for example, in Algeria, experience has demonstrated that democratization may result in a decidedly antidemocratic product, to wit: potential access to power of fundamentalist movements with evident totalitarian tendencies.) In Russia, unfortunately, as in almost all former Soviet republics (with the possible exception of the Baltic states), a free and open political culture resulting from a continuous democratic experience of some duration is simply lacking. The baby steps of the Duma at the beginning of the century and the all-too-brief experience of the provisional government of 1917 could not suffice to serve as a springboard for democratization.
KeywordsCivil Society Soviet Republic Totalitarian Regime Fundamentalist Movement Secret Police
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