Posts by Marlene Laruelle

Marlene Laruelle 06-25-2020
(Russia Matters) On July 1, Russian citizens will be voting to approve amendments to the 1993 constitution, proposed by Vladimir Putin in January, planned for a vote in April and postponed to the summer as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. If adopted, the main change will be to allow Putin to stay in power after the end of his second consecutive—and fourth total—mandate, possibly up to 2036, when he is going to be 84 years old. This “president for...
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Marlene Laruelle 05-01-2020
(OpenDemocracy) The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a new front in great power competition — global health posturing. Whether it is assigning blame, providing medical aid, or modelling the most effective response, great powers are waging an information war against each other. China is aggressively defending its crisis management methods in the face of rising criticism from the international community. Alongside its "face mask diplomacy," China is touting...
Marlene Laruelle 04-20-2020
(Russian Politics) Abstract: Research on Russian civil society focuses largely on the repressive legislative side of state policies, to the virtual exclusion of the rise of domestic funding, be it individual, corporate, or public. This article instead contributes to the discussion of state funding for the third sector by looking at the Russian Presidential Grant Fund, a state institution that has disbursed RUB18 billion (approx. $275 million at the August...
Marlene Laruelle 03-24-2020
(IFRI) Despite the deterioration of its relations with the West and economic stagnation limiting its room for maneuver, Russia continues to have an ambitious policy for the Arctic region. Moscow sees the Arctic as one of its main strategic bastions, a key region for asserting its status as a great power, and a major source of energy for decades to come. The Russian government has therefore implemented strategies to promote a coherent power and development...
Marlene Laruelle 01-12-2020
(New Books Network) In a new podcast, Nicholas Seay (PhD candidate at The Ohio State University) interviews Marlene Laruelle about her edited volume The Nazarbayev Generation: Youth in Kazakhstan (Lexington Books, 2019). The Nazarbayev Generation looks at the younger generations of Kazakhstan that have come of age during the post-Soviet presidency of Nursultan Nazarbayev. A collection of essays, the book presents new approaches for thinking about the “...
Marlene Laruelle 12-13-2019
(Springer) (Co-authored by Sergei Samoilenko) This chapter examines character assassination as a set of strategies used by conflicting parties in international affairs. Specifically, it views character assassination as strategic communication embedded in the context of political standoff. Mass media manufacture political conflicts by incorporating character assassination into their framing strategies and tactics. The chapter highlights differences between...
Marlene Laruelle 11-11-2019
(Acta Borealia) The arrival into geography, and especially urban geography, of a frame of questioning coming from postcolonial studies has contributed to a fascinating debate about what a “postcolonial” city is and how the urban duality between ethnically, socially, and spatially segregated “European” towns and “native” settlements is being reformulated and transformed. Obviously, Arctic cities are not postcolonial in the political sense of being...
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Marlene Laruelle 11-11-2019
(Berghahn Books) Many cities of Russia’s Far North face a massive population decline, with the exception of those based on oil and gas extraction in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. Yet, there is one more exception to that trend: the city of Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, whose population is booming, having grown from 186,000 in 1989 to 338,000 in 2018, This unique demographic dynamism is founded on the massive exodus of the...
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Marlene Laruelle 10-17-2019
(Andrea Mitchell Center Podcast) Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. The United States, and Western democracies more generally, currently view Russia through the lens of their own internal crises, argues MARLENE LARUELLE, expert on Russian politics and author of Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation. In her discussion with political scientists and Mitchell Center interviewer Matthew Berkman, Laruelle describes...
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Marlene Laruelle 09-17-2019
(Co-authored with Sophie Hohmann) This article advances the notion of “Polar Islam” to describe the birth and structuring of Muslim communities in Russia’s Arctic cities. It does not assert that Arctic conditions have created an entirely specific Islam; most of the features attributed here to “Polar Islam” can easily be found in other regions of Russia. Yet the climatic conditions, remoteness, and heavy industrial character of these cities contribute to...
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About the author

Research Professor of International Affairs; Director of the Central Asia Program; Co-director of PONARS Eurasia
George Washington University