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FALL 2001 LECTURE SERIES
Friday, December 7th, 2001, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

The World Policy Institute
at New School University
presents

RUSSIA’S DEMOCRATIC EXPERIMENT: ARMAGEDDON AVERTED

A Presentation by

STEPHEN KOTKIN
Director of Russian Studies at Princeton University and has written an acclaimed two-volume case study on the rise and fall of Soviet socialism, Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization and Steeltown; USSR: Soviet Society in the Gorbachev Era; and Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970-2000

With a commentary by

STEPHEN HOLMES
Professor of Law and Politics at the NYU School of Law, editor of the East European Constitutional Review and author of many books including Anatomy of Anti-Liberalism and Passions and Constrains: On the Theory of Liberal Democracy

Moderated by

NINA KHRUSHCHEVA
Senior Fellow, World Policy Institute

In 1991, the world looked in amazement at the collapse of the Soviet Union. But as Stephen Kotkin suggests, this downfall was neither sudden nor unexpected but rather inevitable. In his new book, Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2001), Kotkin illuminates the factors that led to the downfall of Communism and the USSR, following the global economic changes from the 1970s to the present day as his guide. Explaining the "stable mess" in post-Soviet Russia, Kotkin makes a compelling distinction between liberalism and democracy. He argues that even democratically elected leaders often behave like dictators unless they are constrained by the liberal order, the rule of law. Yeltsin’s Russia was all too eager to become a capitalistic democracy, which ignited the prompt removable of all institutional constraints beginning in 1991. But "liberalism," Kotkin reminds us, "entails not freedom from government but constant, rigorous officiating of the private sphere…[it] means not just representative government but effective government, a geopolitical imperative for prosperity in the hierarchical world economy." Stephen Holmes, also well-known for the argument that freedom requires rules, believes that liberalism’s basic principles provide a foundation for the development of democratic and regulatory politics. Using these concepts, he will address the institutional implications of the Soviet collapse and the prospects for liberalism for Russia’s future.

Friday, December 7th, 2001, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Room 510, 66 W. 12th St. (between 5th and 6th Avenues).
Admission is free

RSVP 212-229-5808 ext. 4272 to reserve seating or Email: wpi@newschool.edu . If you need special accommodations, please call at least five days before panel event.

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