Posts by Peter Rutland

Peter Rutland 08-19-2020
(TOL) The demonstrations in Belarus protesting the fraudulent 9 August elections are continuing into their second week, with no signs of abating. Yesterday, 16 August, saw dueling meetings of pro- and anti-government supporters – with 30,000 in the former and over 200,000 in the latter, according to the BBC. Most of the 7,000 or so people initially arrested have been released from detention, and the police have ceded control of many public spaces to the...
Peter Rutland 04-30-2020
(TOL) Amid the pandemic, Russia, China, and others find time to debate the timing of the beginning and end of World War II and other details of years long past.  The “memory wars” over World War II show no sign of abating. This month saw new developments in Moscow, Beijing, and Prague. Different countries have different stories. For China the war began in 1931, for Britain 1939, for Russia June 1941, and for the United States it was in December 1941....
Peter Rutland 04-17-2020
(Caucasus Survey) Abstract: The article analyzes the evolution of Russia’s policy in secessionist conflicts in the post-Soviet space in 1991–2018. The authors differentiate the patterns of Russian policy between the “first” and “second” generation of frozen conflicts. The “first generation” includes four conflicts of an ethno-linguistic nature that arose out of the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Pridnestrov’e and...
Peter Rutland 11-26-2019
(RAD) Russia is an ailing petrostate, but it is not clear if it is failing. It faces three sources of instability: shifts in international energy markets, the challenge of climate change, and the breakdown of the social contract at home. The country’s changing economic fortunes may ultimately lead to a new political model as well.  Read More | PDF © Russia Analytical Digest (RAD)
Peter Rutland 11-13-2019
(NYU Jordan Center) The Achilles Heel of all authoritarian regimes is the question of succession: what happens when the incumbent ruler leaves office. Dictators face a dilemma: pick a successor too early, and they may turn on the previous incumbent, blaming him for unresolved problems. Pick them too late, and the newcomer may lack the authority to take over the reins of power. Russia got lucky in 1999: they managed a relatively smooth transition from one...

About the author

Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, Government Department
Wesleyan University