In the twenty years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the fifteen new independent republics have embarked on unprecedented transitions from command economies into market-oriented economies.
Important motivating factors for their reform efforts included issues of geographic and economic proximity to Europe and the influence of the pre-Soviet era histories in those countries. In the Shadow of Russia builds upon the conceptual frameworks that include geography and policy choices about economic integration in an analysis of the reform efforts of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Blackmon's book addresses such central questions as: How and in what areas has a republic's previous level of integration with Soviet-era Russia influenced its present economic orientation? What are the contributing factors that explain the differences in how leaders ( of a similar regime type) developed economic reform policies? To answer these questions, the author utilizes information from both the economic and the political literature on post-communist transitions, as well from political speeches.