Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 441
(PONARS Policy Memo) The oil- and gas-rich states of the Caspian Sea basin—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan—registered phenomenal growth throughout most of the 2000s. However, the heady days of resource-fueled development now appear to be over, and local governments are suddenly struggling to overcome massive budget deficits, devalued currencies, and overall economic stagnation. What led to the current economic crisis gripping the...
Policy Memo # 441
(PONARS Policy Memo) The oil- and gas-rich states of the Caspian Sea basin—Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan—registered phenomenal growth throughout most of the 2000s. However, the heady days of resource-fueled development now appear to be over, and local governments are suddenly struggling to overcome massive budget deficits, devalued currencies, and overall economic stagnation. What led to the current economic crisis gripping the...
Policy Memo # 440
Arkady Moshes 14 Sep 2016
(PONARS Policy Memo) In February 2016, the Council of the European Union lifted sanctions on Belarus. It had imposed them in 2010 in response to the regime’s brutal oppression of the opposition after that year’s presidential election. Since very little domestic political liberalization has occurred in Belarus since then, the decision must have been driven by geopolitical motivations. Most likely, the EU sought to reward Minsk for its...
Policy Memo # 439
Irina Kobrinskaya 06 Sep 2016
(PONARS Policy Memo) China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) initiative has been developing at a fast pace since its launch a few years ago. Stretching from China to Europe, the SREB encompasses a number of post-Soviet states and adjacent countries that are of strategic and economic importance to Russia. The SREB poses fundamental challenges to Russia’s regional and global posture. While opportunities for cooperation with Beijing exist,...
Policy Memo # 438
Regina Smyth 31 Aug 2016
(PONARS Policy Memo) In the wake of the For Fair Elections (FFE) protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle. Since the mid-2000’s, the Kremlin’s strategy has been to close the political opportunity structure for opposition organizations and undermine elite brokers. The logic of the strategy was...
Policy Memo # 437
Vladimir Gelman 30 Aug 2016
(PONARS Policy Memo) After Russia’s wave of protest during the 2011-2012 election cycle, the country’s authorities embarked on an effort to prevent anti-regime mass mobilization during subsequent election periods. They made a series of institutional changes and implemented a “politics of fear” to weaken the political opposition. Before the 2011-12 elections, the opposition had organized an effective negative campaign against...
Policy Memo # 436
Olexiy Haran, Oleksii Sydorchuk 29 Aug 2016
(PONARS Policy Memo) Two and a half years after the Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine represents a mixed story of improvements and setbacks. In April 2016, a new cabinet was formed under Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. So far, it is struggling to meet the expectations both of society and Ukraine’s foreign partners. The ongoing military conflict in the Donbas aside, popular demand for change remains high across Ukraine. A persistent energy...
Policy Memo # 435
Andrey Makarychev, Stefano Braghiroli 17 Aug 2016
(PONARS Policy Memo) The Ukraine conflict reinforced the desire of Kremlin policymakers to establish connections with a range of anti-status-quo groups in Europe. Moscow’s broad aim is to catalyze support for and legitimize Russian sovereignty (and hegemony) and, perhaps, even the dissolution of the European Union project. The Kremlin has made ties with a variety of Russia sympathizers (“understanders”) in Europe a priority, and...
Policy Memo # 434
Nigel Gould-Davies 20 Jul 2016
(PONARS Policy Memo) Economic problems are once again at the center of debates about Russia’s future. For the first time under the Putin presidency, the country faces a protracted decline in living standards. This will have important implications for domestic cohesion, and perhaps for the capacity to sustain a strongly assertive foreign policy. One important cause of these problems is Russia’s distinctive, ambitious, but failed strategy of...
Policy Memo # 433
Ayse Zarakol 18 Jul 2016
(PONARS Policy Memo) It seemed a normal Friday night, as much as one could speak of normalcy in Turkey these days, given the developments of the past year, from the numerous terror attacks by both ISIS and the PKK to the erratic turns in Turkish foreign policy. Just as most Turkish citizens were getting ready to draw in, around 10 pm, Turkish social media reported troops and tanks on both bridges in Istanbul shutting off traffic from Asia to Europe....

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