Presents an overview of the book's main themes: the variety of federal approaches, the risks of conceptual confusion and path‐dependency from previous state systems, the influence of regional political agendas, and the added complexities that confront multi‐ethnic and multi‐lingual states. These issues are explored at several stages of Soviet and post‐Soviet Russian political history. This book combines insights from the fields of Russian area studies, comparative law, and comparative politics. The author's methodology is presented, key terms are defined, geography and political divisions are explained (with maps), and followed by an outline of the book's chapters.
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