Fragmented diplomacy : the impact of Russian governing institutions on foreign policy, 1991-1996
This is a study of foreign policy formulation in the Soviet Union and Russia starting in the Soviet era and continuing through the end of Boris Yeltsin's first term as president. Whereas during the period of rule under Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko the bureaucratic politics model could be applied with some success (albeit differently than in the United States), the institutional breakdown of the Gorbachev era saw a deterioration of the model's explanatory power which continued in independent Russia. For the Gorbachev period and policy formulation in the Russian Federation, an alternative model provides a more illuminating explanation of the process. The transition model emphasizes the particular characteristics of democratizing states. By taking into account the excessive accumulation of power by the executive, the prevalence of winner-take-all solutions, the contested and relative nature of laws, the instability or absence of procedures, and the influence of the military on the political process, the transition model offers a better explanation than the bureaucratic politics model for the way in which policy was formulated in Russia in the period 1991-1996. Given the hurdles Russia still faces in its democratic development, and the frequency with which institutions, individuals, and procedures change in the upper echelons of the political elite, it appears that the transition model will retain significant explanatory power for many years to come.