While the Soviet Union imploded in the midst of its attempt to reform itself, more than a decade later China stands as a testament to the resilience of Communist rule. I suggest that one reason China has been able to stave off a regime collapse is that Chinese leaders have sought to learn from the collapse of the Soviet Union and are seeking to adjust their policies to buttress their political power. I present evidence in support of this position including statements of political leaders and party insiders, internal government documents, and Chinese scholarshipon the Soviet collapse.
The two basic objectives of this study are to determine whether or not Russia has stocks of social capital upon which to draw as it seeks to democratize, and to examine the nature of the relationship between social capital and democracy in Russia. I present both qualitative and quantitative evidence that social capital exists in many parts of Russia. After a quantitative analysis of social capital and democratization, which identifies a strong positive relationship, I suggest that if the center is able to sustain democracy, Russia should be able to consolidate democratic rule.