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Understanding Contemporary Russia, 2nd edition

Michael L. Bressler, editor
Understanding Contemporary Russia, 2nd edition
ISBN: 978-1-62637-711-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-752-3
2018/447 pages/LC: 2017054302
Understanding: Introductions to the States and Regions of the Contemporary World
Praise for the previous edition:

"A solid and insightful introduction to Russia.... thoughtful and balanced.... [It is] a valuable addition to Russian studies."—Walter G. Moss, The Russian Review

"A great background reader for those looking for a quick and fairly complete evaluation of the many sides of Russia."—Choice


Russia today is in many ways different from the country portrayed a decade ago in the first edition of Understanding Contemporary Russia. With an upsurge of both national pride—despite a struggling economy—and civil society activism, with a palpable tension between the support for democratic values and the intense desire for political stability, with an increased role in world politics that puts Putin in the headlines almost daily, contradictions and complexities abound.

These contradictions, complexities, and much more are captured in this new edition. The authors provide sophisticated yet accessible introductions to the country's history, domestic politics, economy, foreign policy, society, and culture. The result is a well-grounded exploration of the realities of contemporary Russia.


Michael L. Bressler is professor of political science at Furman University.


  • Introduction—M.L. Bressler.
  • Russia: A Geographic Preface—D.J.B. Shaw.
  • The Historical Context—S.G. Marks.
  • Politics—M.L. Bressler.
  • The Economy—W. Pyle.
  • International Relations—A.C. Lynch.
  • Ethnicity, National Identity, and Multiculturalism—K.E. Graney.
  • Population, Health, and Migration—T. Heleniak.
  • Russia's Environment and Environmental Movement—L.A. Henry.
  • Women in a Changing Context—S.L. Henderson.
  • Religion—O. Kazmina.
  • Literature and Film—A. Barker.
  • Concluding Thoughts—M.L. Bressler.