Ed A Hewett Book Prize

2014 Citation Recipient

Dinissa Duvanova

The Ed A Hewett Book Prize, established in 1994 and sponsored by the University of Michigan Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, is awarded annually for an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe, published in the previous year.

Winner: Dinissa Duvanova
Title: Building Business in Post-Communist Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia (Cambridge University Press)

Dinissa Duvanova’s Building Business in Post-Communist Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia explains the development of business associations in post-communist countries. Using a combination of cross-national statistical data from 26 former communist countries and four carefully researched case studies based on extensive field research in Russian, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Croatia, Duvanova argues that post-communist business associations were promoted neither by the desire to lobby politicians nor by the existence of abusive regulatory regimes. Instead, she shows that such associations tend to thrive in contexts where poor regulatory enforcement allows the associations to act as regulatory substitutes and provide their members with important assistance in navigating the vicissitudes of arbitrary state regulation. Duvanova’s book makes an outstanding contribution to a better understanding of the important but understudied role of business associations in the post-communist transition and more broadly to the development of civil society in former Leninist regimes.

Honorable Mention: Lawrence P. Markowitz
Title: State Erosion: Unlootable Resources and Unruly Elites in Central Asia (Cornell University Press)

Lawrence Markowitz’s State Erosion: Unlootable Resources and Unruly Elites in Central Asia explores state-building in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan after the collapse of communism in the early 1990s. He uses the latter’s “descent into violence,” which began and grew from the periphery, to illustrate the competitive predation that emerges from a state without a strong nexus of regional authorities, security forces, and central government officials. By contrast, in Uzbekistan, where cash crops, such as cotton and cereals, had created in the Soviet era a much stronger nexus of security forces and local elites, the security forces and central authorities were able more effectively to hold together a weakened state. This is a major work on the political economy of the post-Soviet era. It exhaustively documents the cooptation of political elites in one case, and, elsewhere, their fragmentation, and brings this evidence to bear on a question of considerable current interest, state failure.