Gill, Graeme 1947–
Gill, Graeme 1947–
PERSONAL: Born December 10, 1947, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; son of Joseph Harold Francis (a storekeeper) and Gwyneth Florence Mary (a homemaker; maiden name, Sherriff) Gill; married Heather Pomroy (a teacher), January 8, 1972; children: Fiona Jane, Lachlan David. Education: Monash University, Victoria, Australia, B.A. (with first class honors), 1970, M.A., 1973; London School of Economics and Political Science, Ph.D., 1976. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, music, and sports.
CAREER: University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, tutor, 1976–77, lecturer, 1978–81; University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, began as lecturer, became senior lecturer, 1981–88, associate professor, 1988–90, professor of government and public administration, 1990–, has also served as associate dean of the faculty of economics, deputy chair of the Academic Board, and acting pro vice-chancellor (research), and head of the School of Economics and Political Science. Served as visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and the Moscow State University.
MEMBER: Australasian Political Studies Association, Australian Association for the Study of Socialist Countries, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.
AWARDS, HONORS: Academy of Social Sciences fellow; Australian Research Council grantee, 1989–93, 1994–96, 1997–99, and 1999–2000.
Twentieth-Century Russia, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1987.
Stalinism, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1990.
(With Stephen White and Darrell Slider) The Politics of Transition: Shaping a Post-Soviet Future, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1993.
The Collapse of a Single-Party System: The Disintegration of CPSU, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Power in the Party: The Organization of Power and Central-Republican Relations in the CPSU, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor and contributor) Elites and Leadership in Russian Politics, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.
The Dynamics of Democratization: Elites, Civil Society, and the Transition Process, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Roger D. Markwick) Russia's Stillborn Democracy?: From Gorbachev to Yeltsin, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Democracy and Post-Communism: Political Change in the Post-Communist World, Routledge (New York, NY), 2002.
The Nature and Development of the Modern State, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2003.
Member of editorial board, Journal of Communist Politics and Transition Studies and Current Affairs Bulletin.
Contributor to numerous professional journals, including Perspectives on European Politics and Society, Acta Politica, Government and Opposition, and World Politics.
SIDELIGHTS: Graeme Gill has written widely about politics and communism. In his book Stalinism, Gill looks at the twenty-five-year dictatorship of Joseph Stalin and delves into how the system he created led to numerous abuses and horrors. The author explores what he considers to be the four primary components of Stalinism, that is, its economic, cultural, social, and political sides. Writing in Demokratizatsiya, Desiree R. Hopkins called the book "remarkably comprehensive, considering its brevity" and also noted: "Gill's overall analysis is certainly extremely valuable."
Gill collaborated with Stephen White and Darrell Slider to write The Politics of Transition: Shaping a Post-Soviet Future. The 1993 book examines the Soviet Union with a focus on the years between 1988–1991 and discusses its future political landscape and chances for democracy. The authors draw extensively on various Soviet news sources and write about such issues as the need for representation of ethnic minorities, trade unions, and public opinion. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the book "an informative academic resource."
Gill examines the fall of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in his book The Collapse of a Single-Party System: The Disintegration of CPSU. The book focuses primarily on the internal processes within the CPSU that led to its loss of power. Writing in Europe-Asia Studies, E.A. Rees noted that the book "is intended as a contribution to our understanding of the collapse of communism in the USSR," adding that the book has "significant merits." John P. Wilerton, writing in the American Political Science Review, commented that the author's "especially detailed analysis of Gorbachevian institutional reforms, combined with a more selective treatment of the changing political leadership and evolving policy debates, yields a useful illumination of late Soviet period political causes for the collapse of the USSR."
Gill also served as editor of Elites and Leadership in Russian Politics. The book is primarily a collection of papers presented at the 1995 Fifth World Congress of Central and East European Studies. Commenting on Gill's own contribution, Europe-Asia Studies contributor David Lane noted that Gill "addresses the important question of elite conflict and consensus in Russia." The reviewer went on to note that "there are important articles in this collection and many of the chapters could usefully be used in teaching contemporary Russian politics."
In Russia's Stillborn Democracy?: From Gorbachev to Yeltsin, Gill and coauthor Roger D. Markwick write about their belief that democracy has little real life in Russia and identify the reasons for this belief with a focus primarily on the issue of civil society forces, groups that are dedicated to political and social issues. "Russia's 'stillborn democracy' is explained not by the importation of inappropriate models of economic and political development from abroad but by the very nature of Russian society—its incapacity to absorb democratic change and to curb the ambitions of elites and leaders, largely due to the unitarist, bureaucratic character of the Soviet polity and the ways in which subsequent leaders built upon this legacy," wrote Mark R. Beissinger in the American Political Science Review. Beissinger also commented that the authors "provide a useful chronicle of the momentous changes in Russia." Europe-Asia Studies contributor Catherine J. Danks wrote that they "provide a forceful and coherent argument to support their contention that Russia's democracy has been stillborn."
Democracy and Post-Communism: Political Change in the Post-Communist World examines the differences between the various post-communist states and how these differences helped some to achieve a stable democracy following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Focusing on twenty-six countries, the author writes that while some have achieved democracies, others have only put on the façade of a democratic system, while still others have essentially rejected democracy. "The book's central argument that the strength of civil society and the role it played at the time of regime crisis determines whether a country will become a democracy is plausible and compelling," wrote Oxana Shevel in the Political Science Quarterly. Writing in Choice, E. Pascal noted that the author "makes a significant contribution to the literature on postcommunism."
Gill told CA: "I have been interested in Russia and the USSR since I was a child. This interest was strengthened at university in Australia and consolidated in the United Kingdom, where I studied under the late Professor Leonard Schapiro. I have visited the country numerous times, both the USSR and independent Russia. I am fascinated by how such a political system as the Soviet could emerge, develop, and ultimately collapse. This involves not just an interest in the last seventy years, but both the historical antecedents of the state and the more basic question of why people adopt particular sorts of political structures to rule themselves."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Political Science Review, March, 1996, John P. Willerton, review of The Collapse of a Single-Party System: The Disintegration of CPSU, p. 215; September, 1999, Thomas F. Remington, review of Democracy and Post-Communism: Political Change in the Post-Communist World, p. 729; June, 2001, Mark R. Beissinger, review of Russia's Stillborn Democracy?: From Gorbachev to Yeltsin, p. 494.
Choice, May, 1995, R. J. Mitchell, review of The Collapse of a Single-Party System, p. 1519; May, 2001, P. Rutland, review of Russia's Stillborn Democracy?, p. 1688; November, 2002, E. Pascal, review of Democracy and Post-Communism, p. 545.
Demokratizatsiya, summer, 1999, Desiree R. Hopkins, review of Stalinism, p. 453.
Europe-Asia Studies, July, 1995, E.A. Rees, review of The Collapse of the Single-Party System, p. 897; December, 1998, review of Stalinism, p. 1513; March, 1999, David Lane, review of Elites and Leadership in Russian Politics, p. 353; January, 2001, Catherine J. Danks, review of Russia's Stillborn Democracy?, p. 171; June, 2001, Mark R. Beissinger, review of Russia's Stillborn Democracy?, p. 494.
Political Science Quarterly, fall, 2003, Oxana Shevel, review of Democracy and Post-Communism, p. 513.
Publishers Weekly, August 30, 1993, review of The Politics of Transition: Shaping a Post-Soviet Future, p. 88.
University of Sydney Faculty of Economics and Business Web site, http://www.econ.usyd.edu.au/ (October 6, 2005), faculty profile of author.