Articles and Essays

McFaul in the Quad

The following are selected academic articles and policy essays.

March 26, 2007

Constructing Self-Enforcing Federalism in the Early United States and Modern Russia

Publius: A Journal of Federalism

All federal systems face the two fundamental dilemmas of federalism: too strong a center risks overawing the subnational units; and too weak a center risks free-riding that makes the system fall apart. Resolving the two dilemmas is problematic because mitigating one dilemma exacerbates the other. We develop a model of federal institutions that shows the circumstances under which both dilemmas can be solved so that federal institutions are self-enforcing. We apply our approach to modern Russia where we suggest that when the center is too strong, its ability to extract rents increases and the

October 1, 2005

Chinese Dreams, Persian Realities

Journal of Democracy

The mid-2005 election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as Iran's new president left those committed to democratic change in the country feeling shocked and disappointed. At first glance, his victory seemed to signal not only the consolidation of Iran's ruling Islamist autocracy, but also the rejection in principle of democracy and the revival of the ideas and goals of the revolutionary Islamic Republic. While few had thought that another "reformist" would replace outgoing two-term president Mohammad Khatami, just as few had forecast that a "conservative" with Ahmedinejad's hard-line credentials would

July 1, 2005

Transitions from Postcommunism

Journal of Democracy

The years since 2000 have seen a surprising new wave of democratic breakthroughs in the postcommunist countries of Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. This article compares and contrasts these three cases, naming seven common factors which made the breakthroughs in these countries possible: 1) a semi-autocratic rather than fully autocratic regime; 2) an unpopular incumbent; 3) a united and organized opposition; 4) an ability quickly to drive home the point that voting results were falsified, 5) enough independent media to inform citizens about the falsified vote, 6) a political opposition capable of

April 1, 2002

The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the Purpose of American Power

Policy Review

THE IMMEDIATE RESPONSE of President Bush and his administration to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States was superb, both purposeful and principled -- a military, political, and diplomatic success. But what comes next? In his State of the Union address, Bush suggested specific targets of future phases of the war -- the "axis of evil" of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. But what has been missing in the discussion of the second stage (and perhaps the third, fourth, and fifth stages) of the war on terrorism is an articulation of the general principles that will guide

January 1, 2002

The Fourth Wave of Democracy and Dictatorship: Noncooperative Transitions in the Postcommunist World

World Politics
March 1, 2000

Yeltsin's Legacy

The Wilson Quarterly

Spring 2000

March 1, 1999

Institutional Design, Uncertainty, and Path Dependency during Transitions: Cases from Russia

Constitutional Political Economy

During transitional moments, new leaders must design political institutions. Some of these designs succeed in establishing lasting rules of the game. Others do not. This paper analyzes those factors which either facilitate or undermine institutional persistence during transitions, focusing particularly on the role that uncertainty and path dependency play in these processes. The empirical section of the paper examines three cases of institutional design in the Soviet/Russian transition—the creation of the Russian presidency, the emergence of electoral law for Russia's lower house of parliament

March 1, 1999

Lessons from Russia's Protracted Transition from Communist Rule

Political Science Quarterly

Spring 1999

June 1, 1998

Russia's "Privatized' State as an Impediment to Democratic Consolidation (Part II)

Security Dialogue

Summer 1998

March 1, 1998

Russia's "Privatized" State as an Impediment to Democratic Consolidation (Part I)

Security Dialogue

Spring 1998