Fish’s book focuses on the failure of Russia to democratise. He argues that the main causes have been the superabundance of natural resources, a deficit in economic liberalisation and a constitutional system which makes for a powerful presidency and a weak legislature. Fish proceeds by a comparative analysis of post-communist regimes. He employs the ‘logic of causal inference’ to test his hypothesis – using descriptive statistics and regression analysis. If this sounds too intimidating, readers are reassured that they can skip all the tables and still be able to ‘fully comprehend the book’s arguments and the evidence used to support them’ (p. 6).
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