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Explains why Russia does not dissolve into independent countries

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After the Deluge offers a new, provocative interpretation of Russia's struggle in the 1990s to construct a democratic system of government in the largest and most geographically divided country in the world. The Russian Federation that emerged from the Soviet Union faced dissolution as the leaders of Russia's constituent units in the early 1990s defied Moscow's authority, declared sovereign states on their territory, refused to remit taxes, and even adopted national constitutions, flags, and anthems.
Yet, by mid-decade, a fragile equilibrium had emerged out of the apparently chaotic brinkmanship of central and regional officials. Based on extensive statistical analysis of previously unpublished data as well as interviews with numerous central and regional policymakers, After the Deluge suggests an original and counterintuitive interpretation of this experience.
In most cases, confrontations between regions and Moscow constituted a functional kind of drama. Regional leaders signaled just how much they were willing to risk to secure particular benefits. With a policy of "selective fiscal appeasement," federal officials directed subsidies, tax breaks, and other benefits to the most protest-prone regions, which in turn engendered a shift in local public opinion. By buying off potential regional dissenters, Moscow halted what might have become an accelerating bandwagon.
Besides offering insight into Russia's emerging politics, After the Deluge suggests a range of parallels to other cases of territorially divided states and empires--from contemporary China to Ottoman Turkey. It should appeal to a broad audience of scholars in political science, economics, history, geography, and policy studies.
Daniel S. Treisman is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles.

Daniel S. Treisman is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles.

"With this study, Treisman has made an important contribution to the study of centre-regional relations in the crucial early period of independence."
—Neil Melvin, University of Leeds, International Affairs, April 2001

- Neil Melvin, University of Leeds

". . . meticulously researched, theoretically rigorous, methodologically versatile, elegantly organized, and lucidly written. . . . [A]n excellent book that will be useful to scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates alike. Replete with factual information, informed by theories of democratic transition, and enriched by analyses of conditions specific to Russia, this collection not only provides a snapshot of important institutional development during the El'tsin period but poses the provocative questions that will inform scholarship as Russia struggles to define itself in the future."
—Marcia A. Weigle, Bowdoin College, Slavic Review, Spring 2001

- Marcia A. Weigle, Bowdoin College

". . . Daniel Treisman performs an immensely valuable service not only for the study of Russia but also for the study of federalism and ethnicity more broadly. . . . Treisman brings politics back into the picture, an especially noteworthy achievement in a field that often attributes differential political outcomes to cultural proclivities or long historical trajectories."
—Charles King, World Politics, October 2000

- Charles King