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Revolutionary Origins of Soviet Durability

September 21, 2016 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

On September 21st, 2016, please join us for a talk with Lucan Way, Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto on “Revolutionary Origins of Soviet Durability”.

The twentieth century saw the emergence of a number of authoritarian regimes – China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, the USSR – that have both challenged the global order and persisted in the face of massive external pressure and catastrophic economic downturns. Drawing on statistical analysis and in-depth case studies, Lucan Way argues that the threat and resilience of such regimes can be traced to their origins in violent revolutionary conflict. A history of violent revolutionary struggle encourages external aggression but also inoculates regimes against major causes of authoritarian breakdown such as military coups and mass protest. Professor Way’s talk will focus on the impact the Soviet Union’s revolutionary origins on its durability in the face of repeated crises (famine, foreign invasion) in the twentieth century.

Lucan Way received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. Way’s research focuses on democratization and authoritarianism in the former Soviet Union and the developing world. His most recent book, Pluralism by Default: Weak Autocrats and the Rise of Competitive Politics (Johns Hopkins, 2015), examines the sources political competition in the former Soviet Union. His book, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War (with Steven Levitsky), was published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press. Way’s book and articles on competitive authoritarianism have been cited thousands of times and helped stimulate new and wide-ranging research into the dynamics of hybrid democratic-authoritarian rule.

Way has also published articles in Comparative Politics, Journal of Democracy, Perspectives on Politics, Politics & Society, Slavic Review, Studies in Comparative and International Development, World Politics, as well as in a number of area studies journals and edited volumes. His article in World Politics was awarded the Best Article Award in the ‘Comparative Democratization’ section of the American Political Science Association in 2006. Together with Steven Levitsky, Professor Way is currently writing a book, under contract with Princeton University Press, on the durability of authoritarian regimes founded in violent revolutionary struggle. He is Co-Director of the Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine and is Co-Chair of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Democracy.


This event is co-sponsored by the NYU Program in International Relations.


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September 21, 2016
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia
(212) 992-6575
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NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia
19 University Place, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10003 United States
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