How the Past Shapes Democracy in Russia’s Regions: The Effect of pre-Communist Literacy and Communist Party Recruitment Patterns

Monday, November 23, 2015
Room 1201 International Affairs Building (420 West 118th St.)
Please join the Harriman Institute's Program on U.S.-Russia Relations for a talk with Tomila Lankina, Associate Professor, International Relations Department, London School of Economics.
Twenty-five years after the collapse of communism in Europe, few scholars disagree that the past continues to shape post-communist states’ democratic trajectories. Scholars have found that pre-communist education levels have ostensibly helped to foster resistance to communism. To explain varying degrees of democracy in Russia's regions, Lankina proposes a different causal mechanism. Her project highlights the Leninist regimes’ successful appropriation of the literate strata of the Tsarist-era, through recruitment into the communist party in Russia’s regions. Party saturation had a dampening effect on the otherwise positive effects of pre-communist education on post-communist democracy.