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  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The intensity of Moscow's current contact with Tehran is unprecedented in Russia's post-Soviet history. Both the Russian and Iranian authorities are determined to create a solid foundation for bilateral dialogue, and their dedication to deepening ties is largely determined by their geopolitical interests. Yet despite the potential for improvement, there are serious obstacles that may hamper or even halt cooperation.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Moscow
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rupture between Russia and the West stemming from the 2014 crisis over Ukraine has wide-ranging geopolitical implications. Russia has reverted to its traditional position as a Eurasian power sitting between the East and the West, and it is tilting toward China in the face of political and economic pressure from the United States and Europe. This does not presage a new Sino-Russian bloc, but the epoch of post-communist Russia's integration with the West is over. In the new epoch, Russia will seek to expand and deepen its relations with non-Western nations, focusing on Asia. Western leaders need to take this shift seriously.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe
  • Author: Andrei Kolesnikov
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Following the annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the Russian public has embraced an increasingly conservative and nationalistic ideology. Any repudiation of this ideology, let alone the transformation of the country as a whole, will only happen if demand for change from the bottom coincides with a desire for modernization from the top. The new social contract demands that the Russian people surrender their freedom in return for Crimea and a sense of national pride. It seizes on changes that have already occurred in the minds of many Russians. The new ideology is based on a deliberate recycling of archaic forms of mass consciousness, a phenomenon that can be termed the sanctification of unfreedom. Confined to a besieged fortress, surrounded by external enemies, and faced with a domestic fifth column, the people of Russia have begun to experience Stockholm syndrome and have thrown their support behind the commander of the fortress, President Vladimir Putin. They have adopted his logic and even defended his interests, believing that they are members of his team. Freedom of expression has been significantly curtailed through a system of bans and strict forms of punishment, including criminal prosecution, which have both didactic and deterrent components. Pressure on democratic media outlets has also increased drastically. Ideology in Russia is a mass product that is easy to absorb; it is legitimized by constant references to the past, glorious traditions, and occasionally fictional historical events.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Nationalism, Political Economy, Governance, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Stefan Lehne
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After years at the margins of international diplomacy, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has suddenly regained political relevance because of the Ukraine crisis that began in 2014. The organization turned out to be the most appropriate framework to manage the crisis and prevent further escalation. To continue to play a useful role in resolving this issue and in easing tensions between Russia and the West, the OSCE needs to adjust its way of working and strengthen its toolbox. As the relationship between Russia and the West deteriorated at the end of the 1990s, the OSCE’s role declined. The organization’s arms control regime eroded, its debates on human rights relapsed into ideological confrontation, and its work on promoting economic cooperation never got off the ground. The Ukraine crisis has revived the organization. While political crisis management has been left mainly to a few capitals working with the parties to the conflict, the OSCE’s monitoring mission in Ukraine has become an essential factor of stability. Violence has not stopped, however, and the mission’s work remains hampered by insufficient cooperation from the parties. The OSCE has also assumed an important role in facilitating negotiations on implementing the Minsk agreement, which contains a road map for a political settlement. However, little progress has been made so far. diplo
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Alexey Malashenko, Alexey Starosin
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: There have been significant changes in the composition and distribution of Russia’s Muslim community during the era of President Vladimir Putin. In particular, as Islam expands in the Ural Federal District, religious and political life there is evolving. Much of this expansion is due to the arrival of Muslim migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus, and some migrants bring with them religious radicalism—a challenge that requires a more effective official response.
  • Topic: Islam, Migration, Politics, Radicalization
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Judy Dempsey
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is in search of a new narrative. While Russia's involvement in Eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea will not give NATO a new sense of solidarity, these events have highlighted what the alliance and its members must urgently do. It is time for all NATO countries to engage in a real strategic debate about why defense matters and what members should do to uphold the transatlantic relationship.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Territorial Disputes, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Atlantic, Ukraine
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Ukraine crisis that erupted in early 2014 has brought an end to the post-Cold War status quo in Europe. Russia, feeling betrayed by its Western partners because of their support for regime change in Kiev, has stepped forward to protect its vital interests-which the West saw as aggression by a revisionist power. The ensuing conflict will last long and have an impact far beyond Europe.
  • Topic: Cold War, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin, Memduh Karakullukçu
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Even though tensions over Ukraine will inevitably cast a shadow over the bilateral relationship, Russia and Turkey—a NATO member—continue to share a range of important interests. Indeed, there are a number of areas in which the two can work together in their common neighborhood, which stretches from the South Caucasus and the Levant to Central Asia and Afghanistan. A high-level working group on Russian-Turkish regional cooperation has sketched a forward-looking approach for Russia and Turkey in tackling regional challenges.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In 2014, Russia broke out of the post-Cold War order and openly challenged the U.S.-led international system. This was essentially the result of the failure of attempts to integrate Russia into the Euro-Atlantic community. The new period of rivalry between the Kremlin and the West is likely to endure for years. Moscow's new course is laid down first and foremost by President Vladimir Putin, but it also reflects the rising power of Russian nationalism.
  • Topic: Cold War, Nationalism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Alexey Malashenko
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia has spent over a decade trying to recapture the influence the Soviet Union once enjoyed in the Middle East, but President Vladimir Putin's attempts to position Moscow as a key regional player have come up short. With revolutions across the Arab world overturning old orders and ushering in Islamist governments, Russia's chances for strengthening its position in the region look increasingly slim. The Kremlin must change course and ensure that its approach to the Middle East and Islamists reflects post–Arab Spring realities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Post Colonialism, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Soviet Union, Arabia
  • Author: Thomas de Waal, Maria Lipman, Lev Gudkov, Lasha Bakradze
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Soviet leader who was responsible for the deaths of millions over his thirty-year rule still commands worryingly high levels of admiration for a host of reasons. These findings are clear in the first-ever comparative opinion polls on the dictator in the post-Soviet countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia. The surveys, commissioned by the Carnegie Endowment in 2012, suggest de- Stalinization has not succeeded in the former Soviet Union and most post-Soviet citizens have not come to grips with their history.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Politics, History, Governance, Culture, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: Andrew C. Monaghan
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Much recent commentary on Russia consists of binary attempts to predict the country's future: Putin or Medvedev? Will Putin maintain his grip on power or will his system collapse? The result is a short-sighted and one-dimensional discussion. The reality is much more complicated.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization, Development, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Olga Shumylo-Tapiola
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The customs union formed by Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in 2010— the largest in the world by territory—is becoming very real. Though hurdles remain, member states are eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade within the union, moving toward a common external tariff, and fine-tuning a joint customs code. As the customs union's influence on the world stage and in Europe's neighborhood is likely to increase, the European Union (EU) should attempt to understand the project and find ways to protect its own interests.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Eurasia, Kazakhstan, Belarus
  • Author: Adam Balcer, Nikolay Petrov
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and nuclear power remains a key player in Eurasia with a substantial leverage in the post Soviet space and, at the same time, the most important neighbour of the EU. However, in the coming decades Russia will face serious challenges to its internal prospects and international position. The further rise of China, negative demographic trends (shrinking population, emigration of well-educated people), substantial increase of the share of Muslim population, degradation of its infrastructure, unsustainability of the current economic model and rampant corruption are the most important factors which will impact on Russia's future and by default on the EU's. Certainly, Russia's democratization would substantially increase its ability to face these challenges and impact positively on EU-Russia relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Soviet Union, United Nations
  • Author: Charles Grant
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The need for international co-operation has never been greater, yet global governance is inadequate. Whether one looks at the Doha round of trade liberalisation, the climate change talks led by the United Nations, the G20's efforts to co-ordinate economic and financial policies, or efforts to reform the UN Security Council (UNSC), not much is being achieved. 'Multilateralism'–the system of international institutions and rules intended to promote the common good–appears to be weakening. At the same time, the growing influence of China, Russia and other non-Western powers is pushing the international order towards 'multipolarity'.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: This report compares Russian and Chinese security perceptions and explains how they shape the two countries' policies towards each other. It argues that the modern relationship between the two countries, formed in the late 19th and 20th centuries, was turned on its head at the start of the 21st century. China has now become a powerful factor affecting a whole range of Russian policies, both domestic and foreign. The paper also argues that, while Russia is not central to China's foreign relations, and non-existent in China's domestic politics, good relations with Moscow are an important supporting element in Beijing's overall strategy of reclaiming China's 'rightful place in the world'. It concludes that while both countries need each other and would benefit from a stable political relationship and close economic ties, both Moscow and Beijing lack the long-term strategies to create such a bond.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia
  • Author: Alexei Arbatov
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The pursuit of nuclear arms control has enjoyed something of a renaissance recently, with the signing of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in spring 2010 in Prague. Whether that momentum will dissipate after New START or lead to further nuclear arms control agreements depends on several factors: The new U.S. and Russian nuclear doctrines. While there is always some distance between a state's declared policy and that policy's implementation, both documents show that, behind their more ambitious disarmament rhetoric, the United States and Russia maintain conservative nuclear policies that make radical nuclear disarmament unlikely—to say nothing of a nuclear-weapon-free world. The peculiarities of the recently signed and ratified New START agreement. Among these are the modest cuts stipulated by the treaty relative to its predecessors; the acrimonious ratification debates in both the U.S. and Russian legislatures; and the dim prospects for a follow-on agreement (in sharp contrast to the mood prevailing after past START agreements). The dynamics of obsolescence and modernization of U.S. and Russian strategic offensive forces. The United States should have little problem cutting its forces to get below New START's limits. Russia, however, will have problems, not in reducing its numbers, but in raising them to treaty ceilings, due to their removal of obsolete weapons from service and slow deployment of new systems. Either Russia can negotiate a New START follow-on treaty with even lower ceilings or it can accelerate the development and deployment of new systems. While the former is obviously a more attractive alternative, it would require the United States and Russia to resolve many thorny arms control issues, such as ballistic missile defense, conventional strategic weapons, and tactical nuclear weapons. Ballistic missile defense. President Obama's decision to modify the Bush administration's ballistic missile defense plans in Central Europe opened the way for New START and eased Russian concerns, even if they could never have been allayed entirely. Moscow believes that U.S. ballistic missile defense programs are ultimately designed to degrade Russia's nuclear deterrent, and it is far from clear that U.S. proposals to jointly develop such capabilities with Russia would allay those concerns—or that the idea even makes any sense. Russia's perceptions of U.S. conventional strategic weapons. Russian officials are especially concerned about the U.S. Prompt Global Strike concept and do not trust American assurances that such capabilities are only directed at terrorists and rogue states. There has already been some progress made in dealing with these weapons in negotiations, and future progress on this issue will likely depend on legal agreements and confidence-building measures to scale U.S. capabilities in ways that would threaten Russia's (or China's) strategic deterrent. Joint development of ballistic missile defenses with Russia. This issue could seriously complicate Washington's and Moscow's strategic relations with China and India. Officials on both sides would do well to start small and proceed step-by-step, using incremental successes to build the momentum necessary to work through more difficult issues. Non-strategic—that is, tactical—nuclear weapons. During the Cold War, the United States and Europe relied on tactical nuclear weapons to counterbalance Warsaw Pact superiority in conventional forces in Europe; today, the situation is reversed, with Moscow relying on tactical nuclear weapons as a counterbalance not only to NATO conventional superiority but also to U.S. strategic nuclear superiority and long-range precision-guided weapons. No one now knows which weapons systems should be categorized as non-strategic, and how limits across regions could be accounted for and verified. In addition, reviving the moribund Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty is essential to dealing with the issue of tactical nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Washington, Moscow
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: U.S. policy seeks to create the conditions that would allow for deep reductions in nuclear arsenals. This report offers a practical approach to reducing the U.S. and Russian stockpiles to 500 nuclear warheads each and those of other nuclear armed states to no more than about half that number. This target would require Washington and Moscow to reduce their arsenals by a factor of ten.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington, Moscow
  • Author: Alexandros Petersen, Katinka Barysch
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Energy has come to symbolise the geopolitics of the 21st century, reflecting countries' diminishing reliance on military and political power. Today, energy is an instrument of geopolitical competition, like nuclear weapons or large armies were during the Cold War. The means of international influence have become more diverse and sophisticated, but the goals remain much the same: national security, power projection, and control over resources and territory.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia
  • Author: Henry E. Hale, Nikolai Petrov, Masha Lipman
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Can autocratic governments that incorporate elements of democracy provide good governance? The authors approach this question with an inductive study of Russia, which is widely regarded as a leading hybrid regime and an innovator in the field. They argue that for most of the past decade, and especially during Vladimir Putin's second term as president, Russia has been characterized by a hybrid regime that strongly resembles those in many other Eurasian states, as well as Venezuela and Iran. This type of regime combines a high degree of state centralization with the gutting of democratic institutions, and their sys-tematic replacement with substitutions that are intended to serve some of their positive functions without challenging the incumbent leaders' hold on power.
  • Topic: Government, International Affairs, Political Theory, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia