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Shevtsova, Lilia (Fedorovna)

SHEVTSOVA, Lilia (Fedorovna)

PERSONAL:

Born in USSR (now Russia). Education: Institute of International Relations and Academy of Sciences (Russia), Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Journalist and scholar. Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, former deputy director of Institute of International Economy and Political Studies; Center of Political Studies, Moscow, former director; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC, currently senior associate of Russian and Eurasian program and co-chair of Russian domestic politics and political institutions project. Visiting professor, University of California, Berkeley, and Cornell University. Commentator for Russian television.

MEMBER:

Russian Political Science Association (member of council).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, fellow; Len Karpinsky Award, Russian Union of Journalists.

WRITINGS:

Soiuznicheskie partii v politicheskoi sisteme stran sotsializma, Nauka (Moscow, USSR), 1978.

Sotsializm i katolitsizm: vzaimootnosheniia gosudarstva i Katolicheskoi tserkvi v sotsialisticheskikh stranakh, Nauka (Moscow, USSR), 1982.

Politicheskaia sistema sotsializma: puti sovershenstovovaniia, Nauka (Moscow, USSR), 1987.

Rossia politicheskaia (title means "Political Russia"), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Moscow, Russia), 1991.

(With others) Rossiia—drama peremen, In-t Mezhdunar (Moscow, Russia), 1994.

Postkommunisticheskaia Rossiia: logika razvitiia i perspektivy, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Moscow, Russia), 1995.

Rezhim Borisa El'tsina, ROSSPEN (Moscow, Russia), 1999, translation published as Yeltsin's Russia: Myths and Reality, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington, DC), 1999.

(Editor with Archie Brown, and contributor) Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin: Political Leadership in Russia's Transition, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington, DC), 2001.

Putin's Russia, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington, DC), 2003.

Contributor to Washington Post and Moscow Times. Member of editorial board, Megapolis, Polis, and Demokratizatsiya.

SIDELIGHTS:

A senior associate at the Washington, D.C.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Lilia Shevtsova is also a journalist and the author of several books that focus on political leadership during the years following the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991 as the USSR made its transition into the Russian Republic. In 1999's Yeltsin's Russia: Myths and Reality she focuses on the regime of Russian president Boris Yeltsin, whose efforts to remain in office allowed him to weather the economic setbacks that hampered Russia's economy in the late 1990s.

While characterizing Yeltsin as a "heroic wrecker, a courageous breaker of discredited power structures and creeds outworn," an Economist contributor maintained that, following his rise to power, the leader evidenced the same "bumbling inertia .. that was the hallmark of his old-guard communist opponents." According to Shevtsova, it was this same ability to act as both "rebel and … adherent to the old system" that won Yeltsin the broad power base that allowed him to weather political upheaval.

In Choice, E. W. Webking praised her account of Russia between 1989 and 1998 as "well-written" and "comprehensive," while in Russian Review Barbara Ann Chotiner wrote that Shevtsova "raises important questions about political development away from the Soviet system, interrelationships between economics and politics, and the impact of individual leadership." While noting that Yeltsin's Russia contains "interesting details and some shrewd observations," Washington Post Book World critic Abraham Brumberg nonetheless commented that, "like so many of her Wester colleagues, Shevtsova seems to lack a sense of the absurd." Noting her lack of consideration of the economic disparities, Mafia-government connections, and "appalling health and environmental problems" that have troubled the fledgling Russian republic, Brumberg added that the author "is good at illuminating the Stalinist and even pre-Stalinist roots of some of the most odious features of the Yeltsin era."

In editing Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin: Political Leadership in Russia's Transition Shevtsova expands her focus to include the leaders in power before, during, and after the downfall of communism in Eastern Europe. Containing essays by both editors, as well as by scholars George Breslauer and Eugene Huskey, the book was praised by International Affairs contributor David Wedgewood-Benn as "relevant," while in Europe-Asia Studies Joel M. Ostrow described it as "of wide interest to experts."

Putin's Russia focuses upon former Soviet intelligence officer Vladimir Putin, a relative political unknown to whom Yeltsin relinquished power on December 31, 1999. Serving as what Booklist reviewer Gilbert Taylor termed a "scorecard" of the first two-and-a-half years of Putin's presidency, the book "offers many insights into Kremlin court politics, as well as Mr Putin and his foes," as an Economist critic noted. While noting that Shevtsova at first "fiercely castigates the elites, oligarches, Yeltsin hangers-on, society at large, and Putin himself," she later draws back from this combative position to present "an insightful, well-documented discussion" of the potential future of Russia. Describing her style as "blunt" and "often acerbic" Foreign Affairs reviewer Robert Legvold praised Putin's Russia as Shevtsova's "most Russian work, argued with scarcely subdued passion and the fell of someone caught up" in the consequences of Putin's authoritarian-style presidency.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2003, Gilbert Taylor, review of Putin's Russia, p. 1446.

Choice, April, 2000, E. W. Webking, review of Yeltsin's Russia: Myths and Reality, p. 1542.

Economist, September 18, 1999, review of Yeltsin's Russia, p. 4; May 10, 2003, review of Putin's Russia.

Europe-Asia Studies, December, 2002, Joel M. Ostrow, review of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin: Political Leadership in Russia's Transition, p. 1339.

Foreign Affairs, May-June, 2003, Robert Legvold, review of Putin's Russia.

International Affairs, January, 2000, Paul Kubicek, review of Yeltsin's Russia, p. 183; October, 2002, David Wedgewood-Benn, review of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin, pp. 927-928.

Library Journal, April 1, 2003, Harry Willems, review of Putin's Russia, p. 115.

Nation, January 3, 2000, Robert V. Daniels, "Was Communism Reformable?," p. 25.

Russian Life, October, 1999, Paul Richardson, review of Yeltsin's Russia, p. 59.

Russian Review, July, 2000, Barbara Ann Chotiner, review of Yeltsin's Russia, pp. 477-478.

Washington Post Book World, November 14, 1999, Abraham Brumberg, review of Yeltsin's Russia, pp. 6-7.

ONLINE

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Web site,http://www.ceip.org/ (April 15, 2004), "Lilia Shevtsova."*

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