ABOUT THIS BOOK
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 Based on extensive statistical analysis of previously unpublished data as well as interviews with numerous central and regional policymakers, After the Deluge suggests an original and counterintuitive interpretation of this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.