chapter  1
9 Pages

The Impact of the International Environment

Theoretical and Methodological Considerations
WithGeorge W. Breslauer

The subject of external influences on the post-communist transitions is vast. This chapter presents an overview for some of the key concepts discussed in subsequent chapters of the book. The book details and evaluates the nature of forces within the international environments of Russia and the newly independent states. It explores claims about the direct impact of some of these forces on aspects of transformation and amelioration. The book also provides valuable analytical and methodological tools for building upon these results. Many of newly independent states of the former Soviet Union are facing a plenitude of challenges, each of which may be affected differentially by international influences. These countries face the challenges of constructing new national identities and infusing these in their populations (nation building), of building state administrations that reliably coordinate public affairs (state building), of demilitarizing and restructuring (not just marketizing and privatizing) their economies, and of redefining their places in the international political and economic orders.