Special Double Issue: The Foreign Policy Attitudes of Russian Elites, 1993–2016 [Lussier, Gel'man, Tucker, Hale]

PONARS Eurasia
18 Nov 2019

(Post-Soviet Affairs) Although a vibrant literature on mass public opinion in Russia emerged in the wake of communism’s collapse in the USSR, the systematic investigation of elite attitudes using survey research has lagged conspicuously behind. This gap is particularly noticeable in the realm of foreign policy. Scholars have made strides in analyzing how the country’s key decision-maker, Vladimir Putin, views the world (e.g., Taylor 2018), yet there is a paucity of research on what shapes the foreign policy attitudes of officials who occupy positions a rung or two down from Putin – much less of those who possess elite status in the economic, military, media, and education spheres. We know precious little about how these individuals arrive at their opinions of the outside world, what ideological and informational factors constrain and shape their foreign policy views, and whether and why their attitudes diverge from those of the mass public. Designed to fill this gap in our knowledge, this special double issue of Post-Soviet Affairs examines the attitudes of Russian elites toward a wide range of foreign policy matters based on a unique survey research project spanning more than two decades. [...]

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Introduction: new directions in survey research on Russian elites

 By Sharon Werning Rivera & William Zimmerman

Staring at the West through Kremlin-tinted glasses: Russian mass and elite divergence in attitudes toward the United States, European Union, and Ukraine before and after Crimea

 By Noah Buckley & Joshua A. Tucker

Digital media and perceptions of the United States among the Russian elite, 2004–2016

 By Olesya Tkacheva

Moscow elites and the use of coercive foreign policy

 By Elena Bashkirova, Tamara Litikova & Dina Smeltz