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Flawed Succession: Russia's Power Transfer Crises

Recorded on November 16, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In Flawed Succession, Professor Uri Ra'anan and his authoritative contributors analyze the state of Russia's power transfer crises through time. In four key successions - after Stalin's death, throughout Khrushchev's primacy, during the implosion of the USSR, and with Putin's ascent to power - they take aim at Russia's unpredictable leadership changes and consequent crises that result from the absence of a mechanism for legitimate succession. The uncertain and precarious nature of power transfer in Russia - and its lack of a transparent, consistently implemented, non-arbitrary mechanism for succession - has rendered incumbents unsure of the duration of their ascendancy, vulnerable to putative successors, and resistant to putting aside the politics of personal power in consideration of the long-term interests of the country. Shedding new light on Russia's systematic flaw and resulting instability, Flawed Succession is essential for practitioners and students of policy, especially as Russia reemerges as an international power and Putin shows disconcerting tendencies to revert to authoritarian and imperial habits.

In addition to Stephen Blank, contributors include Dr. Robert Conquest and Dr. John Dunlop (both of the Hoover Institution), and Professor Carl Linden (George Washington University). Copies of Flawed Succession: Russia's Power Transfer Crises will be available for purchase.