November 16, 2020
85 tables, 50 figures, 42 text boxes, numerous QR codes
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210.00 Inches (US)
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v2.1 Reference
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February 15, 2021
270.00 Inches (US)
210.00 Inches (US)
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v2.1 Reference

The Anatomy of Post-Communist Regimes

A Conceptual Framework

Offering a single, coherent framework of the political, economic, and social phenomena that characterize post-communist regimes, this is the most comprehensive work on post-communist regimes to date. Beyond cataloguing the actors, institutions, and dynamics of post-communist democracies, autocracies, and dictatorships, Magyar and Madlovics also conceptualize everything as building blocks to a larger, coherent structure: a new language for post-communist regimes.The analysis embraces the color revolutions of civil resistance (as in Georgia and in Ukraine) and the defensive mechanisms of democracy and autocracy; the evolution of corruption and the workings of "relational economy"; an analysis of China as "market-exploiting dictatorship"; the sociology of "clientage society"; and the instrumental use of ideology, with an emphasis on populism.While being the most definitive book on the topic, the book is nevertheless written in an accessible style suitable for both beginners who wish to understand the logic of post-communism and scholars who are interested in original contributions to comparative regime theory.

About the Authors

Bálint Magyar is a Research Fellow at the CEU Democracy Institute , Budapest (since 2020), holding a University Doctoral degree in Political Economy (1980) from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. He has published and edited numerous books on post-communist mafia states since 2013.

Bálint Madlovics (*1993) is a political scientist and economist. He holds MA in Political Science (2018) from Central European University in Budapest, and BA in Applied Economics (2016) from Corvinus University of Budapest. He contributed a chapter to one of Bálint Magyar's volumes on the post-communist mafia state of Hungary, and has co-authored past and upcoming publications since 2015. He was a Research fellow of Financial Research Institute in Budapest (2018-2019).


"Magyar's new book, co-authored with Bálint Madlovics, is 'The Anatomy of Post-Communist Regimes: A Conceptual Framework.' It contains, among other insights, a critique of how we usually talk about and measure corruption. Magyar and Madlovics write that the problem with measurements used by, say, Transparency International, which produces an annual index of perceived corruption, is that the index assumes that corruption represents a departure from a norm: 'They understand the state by its formal identity: as dominantly an institution of the public good, with some subordinates who deviate from that purpose and abuse their position by requesting or accepting bribes and appointing cronies without a legitimate basis.' This view of corruption fails when confronted with a government to which corruption is central, or in which corruption is not voluntary but coercive—where the corrupt relationship is forced by one partner upon the other."—New Yorker


"Reading this book feels like having the curtains opened, letting the bright light come in. Everything becomes visible and clear. The experience of living in mushy political reality gives way to unsparing, exact analysis. What comes into focus may not be pretty, but having it illuminated, ordered, and explained is incomparable."—Masha Gessen

"This ambitious book provides not only a better vocabulary, but a whole new grammar for describing the political regimes that emerged in communism's wake. Exposing how conventional frameworks continually mislead, Magyar and Madlovics demonstrate the potential for innovative theory to yield piercing new insights into the reality of politics in the postcommunist world and, indeed, beyond."—Henry Hale

"The authors adopt a structuralist approach, driven by language. They tackle complexity and multidimensionality of post-communist regimes not simply by cataloguing existing concepts but by relating them to each other and constructing a broader, overarching framework: a new language for post-communist regimes. () The conceptual, methodological and semantical innovations will undoubtedly produce an abundance of reactions among scholars, students and readers yearning for orientation in the complex world of post-communist realities."—Alena Ledeneva

"Many social scientists and historians have been puzzled by what is now often called a 'global democratic recession'. This conceptually highly innovative analysis provides terms and theories that are crucial for making sense of our historical moment."—Jan-Werner Mueller

"I have been in the business of 'varieties of post-communist countries' since the early 1990s. Nevertheless this book is better and more important than anything I have done during the past 30 years in two important respects: 1) it carries a far greater number of countries with the most impressive empirical knowledge of their changes of the past decades; 2) it has a far more sophisticated theoretical framework than anything I could develop."—Iván Szelényi
Central European University Press

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820 Pages
$125.00 USD
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834 Pages
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Other Titles by Bálint Magyar

Stubborn Structures

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Twenty-Five Sides of a Post-Communist Mafia State

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Post-Communist Mafia State

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Feb 2016 - Central European University Press
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