Foreign Policy Blogs

How Post-Imperial Democracies Die: A Comparison of Weimar Germany and Post-Soviet Russia | CPCS 52(2). With S. Kailitz

How post-imperial democracies die: A comparison of #WeimarGermany and post-Soviet #Russia.

With Steffen Kailitz of the HAIT @TUDresden_DE and @DVPW_Vergleich in @Elsevier‘s “#Communist and Post-Communist Studies” #politics#politicalscience#democratization link link link

While socioeconomic crisis – like in Germany after World War I and in Russia after the Cold War – is a necessary precondition for democratic erosion resulting in a breakdown of democracy, it is not a sufficient condition. We identify, in the cases of Weimar Germany and post-Soviet Russia, a post-imperial syndrome that includes nationalist irredentism and an ambition to return to the status quo ante of a “great power” as a main reason why democratization faces specific and enormous challenges for former “great powers.” A slide back to authoritarianism in post-imperial democracies takes a high toll. It is facilitated by international political conflicts, including annexation and wars, with new neighbouring states that harbor territories perceived as external national homelands like the Sudetenland or Crimea.





Andreas Umland
Andreas Umland

Andreas Umland, Dr.Phil. (FU Berlin), Ph.D. (Cambridge), has been a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation at Kyiv, since 2014. He has held fellow- or lectureships at Stanford, Harvard, Oxford, Urals State University, Shevchenko University of Kyiv, Catholic University of Eichstaett, and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He is also General Editor of the book series "Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society" ( and on the Boards of Directors of the International Association for Comparative Fascist Studies ( as well as German-Ukrainian NGO "Kyiv Dialogue" (

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