'You know just how serious a problem alcoholism has become for our country.
Frankly speaking, it has taken on the proportions of a national disaster.' So spoke Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2009 as the government launched its 'anti-alcohol campaign'.
This has subsequently been presented in simplistic terms as a top-down implementation of policy, imposed in the national interest and to preserve the nation's health in face of the ravages inflicted by widespread alcohol abuse.
In the first English-language book on Russian alcohol policy in the post-Soviet period, Anna Bailey challenges this widely accepted narrative.
Bailey shows how policy more commonly results from the competitive interactions of stakeholders with vested interests, with the state itself divided.