The connection between Soviet authoritarianism and human rights violations once seemed unassailable, as did the belief that a transition away from communist rule would lead to better protection of human rights. Challenging these assumptions, Jonathan Weiler argues that the tumultuous processes associated with political and economic reform have, in important instances, eroded human rights in post-Soviet Russia. Weiler argues that, while Russia has moved rapidly toward a market-based economy, the social and legal elements of democratization have lagged behind. Examining the country's human rights record since 1991, he finds that the victims have changed - to the socially disadvantaged rather than the politically suspect - but the realities of life for the most vulnerable have in fact become worse. His work draws much-needed attention to this darker side of the post-Soviet transition.
Introduction: Democratization, Economic Reform, and Human Rights, Protecting Human Rights in Weak States. Prisoners. Women. Orphans. Racially-based Persecution. Military Conscripts. Human Rights Violations in Chechnya. Conclusions.