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Marlene Laruelle 05-27-2015
(CGI paper) The concept of the “Russian World” (russkii mir) has a long history rooted in the 1990s, but it was propelled under the media spotlight in 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin used it to justify Russia’s interference in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. The Kremlin’s actions in its so-called “Near Abroad” — a reference to the post-Soviet space — are motivated mainly by its perception...
PONARS Eurasia 05-20-2015
(EPC/SAM) Lying at the crossroads between East and West and South and North, the South Caucasus is situated at the intersection of Eurasia's major energy and transport corridors. An important geostrategic region, for centuries it has been the theatre of competition between regional powers, including the Persian, Russian, and Ottoman Empires. While these empires may have disappeared, their successor states continue to jostle for influence along...
Vladimir Gelman 05-15-2015
Russia today represents one of the major examples of the phenomenon of “electoral authoritarianism” which is characterized by adopting the trappings of democratic institutions (such as elections, political parties, and a legislature) and enlisting the service of the country’s essentially authoritarian rulers. Why and how has the electoral authoritarian regime been consolidated in Russia? What are the mechanisms of its maintenance, and...
Tags: Gelman, Russia
PONARS Eurasia 05-13-2015
(Steppe Dispatches) The perceived “East-West” conflict revolving around Russia’s incursions into Ukraine has had the effect of pushing Moscow east. The two landmark Sino-Russian gas deals, each of which totaling hundreds of billions of dollars, made China Russia’s most significant trade partner, though only China’s tenth most significant partner, as of early 2015. How would you characterize the importance of strengthening...
Tags: Laruelle
Henry E. Hale 05-11-2015
(Co-authored with Mikhail Alexseev) How did the dramatic events of 2014, including the annexation of Crimea and the onset of violent armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, transform the opinion of Russians regarding their ethnic identity, nation, and state? Some have seen these events as sparking a dramatic upsurge in xenophobia and Russian nationalism, marking a new chapter in Russian identity politics. Others have questioned how much change has actually...
Nicu Popescu 05-07-2015
(ISS Brief) The public debate around the effectiveness of sanctions is divided between those who believe that sanctions do not work; a more diffuse camp of lukewarm supporters arguing that sanctions are either a necessary evil or a way to preserve the credibility of the EU and US; and a smaller group of true believers who are convinced of their political and symbolic worth.  This debate is centred on a few key questions. Can sanctions change Russian...
Tags: Popescu
PONARS Eurasia 05-06-2015
Professor Alexander Cooley, chair of the political science department and a leading authority on Central Asia, has been named the new director of Columbia University's Harriman Institute, one of the world’s leading academic institutions for the study of Russia, Eurasia, and East Central Europe. His appointment begins July 1, 2015. Professor Cooley has played an active role at the Harriman Institute throughout his career. Over the past...
Tags: Cooley
PONARS Eurasia 05-01-2015
(Problems of Post-Communism) As Peter Gourevitch wrote, “If nations have choices, we need theories and research that explains how countries make these choices.” This special issue of Problems of Post-Communism responds to Gourevitch’s plea with regard to contemporary Russian foreign policy. The articles in this issue scrutinize, develop, and/or test theories of foreign policy making that go beyond analysis of systemic imperatives....

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