This book is concerned with two major issues: the role of the economic bourgeoisie in the emergence of democracy, and the nature and role of the new class of businessmen that has emerged in post-Soviet Russia. Through extensive analysis of the emergence and role of a new business class in Britain, France, Germany, and the USA at the time of their respective ‘industrial revolutions’ (with a brief comparative look at the pre-Soviet tsarist bourgeoisie), it explores the assumptions and conclusions of the major theories linking class and democratisation. The historical experiences of these classes is compared with that of the post-Soviet business class, and the implications for Russian politics explored. Thus, the book comprises a comprehensive analysis of the origins and development of a business class in these five countries, with Russia treated in the greatest depth. The patterns of bourgeois integration into the political structure are explored, showing that the new class of businessmen is not a clear proponent of democracy, but is content to fit in to the sort of arrangements that best enables it to exploit the state.