Policy Memos | Аналитические записки

Policy Memo # 634
Vladimir Gelman, Margarita Zavadskaya 30 Jan 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Why are some countries governed worse than others? In particular, why is contemporary Russia governed so much worse than one would expect given its degree of socio-economic development? As demonstrated in numerous recent assessments, Russia exhibits many major features of bad governance, including lack and/or perversion of the rule of law, rent-seeking, corruption, poor quality of state regulation, widespread abuse of public...
Policy Memo # 633
Adam Stulberg, Jonathan Darsey 02 Jan 2020
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Western sanctions on Russia have failed demonstratively to secure Moscow’s formal compliance with stated objectives. Both sides seem worlds apart in their expectations and approaches; expert communities and policymakers have embraced fundamentally different understandings of the meaning, objectives, processes, and legitimacy of sanctions-related behavior. This reinforces asymmetrical preferences, muddles threats, rationalizes...
Policy Memo # 632
Volodymyr Kulyk 16 Dec 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) How have academics named and framed the conflict in the Donbas and what are the implications of their studies on Western policy toward Ukraine and Russia? In order to understand these subtleties, I examined English-language, academic journal articles covering the Donbas conflict and the geopolitical dynamics between Ukraine, Russia, and the West. This study included a systematic analysis of articles published between...
Policy Memo # 631
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The drawing of administrative borders between Chechnya and Ingushetia caused protests in Ingushetia that began in October 2018, continued until March 2019, and culminated in the resignation of Ingushetia’s leader two months later. These protests reflect a persistent but largely unnoticed trend, the politicization of ethnicity in the eastern part of the North Caucasus (and also elsewhere in Russia). This policy memo looks...
Policy Memo # 630
Eric McGlinchey 04 Dec 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Analysts have devoted considerable attention to the rise of Sinophobia in Central Asia.[1] Chinese loans, we are told, are forcing Central Asian states into ever-growing dependency on Beijing. Chinese companies setting up shop in Central Asia crowd out local industry and employ Chinese nationals rather than local residents. And to add insult to economic injury, China threatens Central Asians’ ethnonational future....
Policy Memo # 629
Ivan Gomza 03 Dec 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Although often perceived as a country with a horrendous state of justice, Ukraine in fact, is making some progress in this domain. According to the World Justice Project, the country advanced upward four ranks in 2019 in the Rule of Law Index and is now comparable with Romania and Bulgaria. Ukraine reached its historic maximum in 2019 in the Court Index of the European Business Association. Individual lawyers have also...
Policy Memo # 628
Edward Holland 26 Nov 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) In late March 2019, the head of the Republic of Kalmykia, Alexei Orlov, resigned and was swiftly replaced—the same day, in fact—by Batu Khasikov, a kickboxer and former Kalmykia representative to the Federation Council, who got the requisite photo-op with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Khasikov’s position was confirmed in September 2019 elections. Later that month, Khasikov named Dmitry Trapeznikov, an ethnic Russian...
Policy Memo # 627
Mikhail Alexseev 25 Nov 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Public opinion surveys indicate that among Ukrainian citizens who used bezviz, the EU-Ukraine visa-free travel arrangement, support for Ukraine’s integration with the EU and NATO strengthened, while support for integration with Russia weakened. In effect, bezviz has been counteracting the significant anti-EU/NATO influences coming out of the Russian media machines. Among respondents who received their news mainly from the...
Policy Memo # 626
Volodymyr Dubovyk 22 Nov 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Relations between the United States and Ukraine have never been as intense and multi-faceted as they are now. Since 2014, the amount of attention that Washington has been dedicating to Kyiv—the scale of their interaction—has become unprecedently high. This is based primarily on the understanding that U.S. interests are at stake in Ukraine. In helping Kyiv, the United States upholds a liberal international order with democratic...
Policy Memo # 625
Nikolai Sokov 19 Nov 2019
(PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The role of nuclear weapons in Russia’s national security policy moved to the center of attention last year following the new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, which contained recommendations based, in part, on the assumption that Russia had reduced its nuclear threshold under an “escalate to de-escalate“ strategy. Many contested the U.S. claim and pointed out that the Russian doctrine did not contain those terms or that strategy,...

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