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  • Author: Judyth L. Twigg
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, Russia's relationship with the United States has traveled a swift and seemingly deliberate arc from partner to pariah. The current turmoil in Ukraine and near-certain resulting isolation of Russia culminate several years' worth of deteriorating ties. The Edward Snowden mess, disagreements over Syria and Iran, dismay over the eroding human rights environment in Russia, and now Russian annexation of Crimea have led the previously heralded "reset" to an unceremonious end. What are the implications of these and related developments for U.S.-Russia collaboration in medicine and public health? Should avenues of partnership remain open, even in such a frosty political context? Should the international community support Russia's health sector when ample resources exist within Russia itself? Is it even possible anymore?
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, North America
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Situated astride one of the world's key strategic crossroads, the “Big Caucasus” is increasingly a region in flux. The August 2008 war among Georgia, Russia, and the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia emphasized the fragility of the territorial status quo that took hold in the years immediately following the collapse of the USSR, but which has failed to establish legitimacy among either local populations or the international community. The 2008 war solidified the de facto separation between the Georgian state and its breakaway provinces and put Georgia's NATO accession on indefinite hold—but did not resolve the underlying problems of sovereignty and security that led to the conflict. Similar problems abound across the Big Caucasus. An increasingly authoritarian Azeri government has staked much of its legitimacy on regaining Nagorno-Karabakh. While talks between Baku and Yerevan have made little progress, an arms buildup in the region continues, raising fears of renewed conflict. Meanwhile, Russia's North Caucasus smolders. A nationalist insurgency that began in Chechnya in the early 1990s has spread to neighboring regions and taken on a harder jihadist edge, raising concerns about a possible al Qaeda presence and creating a direct threat to Western interests.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Moscow
  • Author: Ted Piccone, Emily Alinikoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As the emerging global order takes shape, debate is growing more intense around the trajectory of the rising powers and what their ascendency to positions of regional and international influence means for the United States, its traditional allies, and global governance more broadly. Commentary about these rising powers— often referred to in a generic way as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) but actually encompassing a dozen or so countries largely represented in the G-20—ranges from alarmist to sanguine. Pessimists argue that China, with its impressive economic growth and increasingly global reach, is well-positioned to challenge the United States' role of global superpower and to weaken the commitment of other rising powers, and various international organizations, to liberal values. More optimistic analysts insist that the rise of middle powers, most of which are democracies of varying stripes, bodes well for the world: millions are being lifted out of poverty, rule of law is taking hold and the international system is bound to be a more inclusive, representative one.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Globalization, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Poverty, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Arabia
  • Author: Alexey Kuznetsov
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Russia is potentially an attractive host economy for foreign direct investment (FDI), mainly due to its large market and rich natural resources. The Government has, however, been unable to make the radical changes needed in the country's investment climate for attracting FDI on a scale and to a range of industries in line with Russia's potential. Nevertheless, oil and gas, power generation and motor vehicles industries, as well as wholesale and retail trade and several other industries have recently received new and significant FDI. After a steep decline in 2008, inward FDI (IFDI) stock recovered, to reach US$ 491 billion in 2010, although there was a moderate fall again in 2011. IFDI flows fell considerably in 2009 but rose to US$43 billion in 2010 and US$ 53 billion in 2011. In 2008–2010, the largest number of significant greenfield projects were in power generation. Large mergers and acquisitions (M) took place in various industries, but the size of the largest deals was usually smaller in 2010 than in 2008 and 2009. High levels of corruption, lack of competition and a distorted dialogue between the state, business and society are main barriers to the rapid growth of inward FDI. The recent global financial and economic crisis has revealed weaknesses of the Russian model of development in the 2000s. It is doubtful whether the efforts currently under way by the Russian Government to “repair” the existing model without political and economic reforms will lead toward a major improvement of the investment climate as only slight changes are being made (e. g., the improvement of the Russian migration regime and the development of special economic zones). However, the federal elections in 2012 could lead to more efficient steps, although it is difficult to predict the scale of probable positive shifts in the investment climate.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • 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: Katherine E. Bliss, Paulo Buss, Felix Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On November 7, 2011, the Global Health Policy Center of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Fiocruz Center for Global Health (CRIS) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosted a seminar entitled “New Approaches to Global Health Cooperation.” The event, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, assembled health policy researchers and practitioners from Brazil, Europe, the United States, and sub - Saharan Africa to examine emerging practices in global health co operation. Issues considered included the factors driving greater international engagement on public health challenges, the growing trend of trilateral cooperation, and the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and South - South activities in expanding international cooperation on global health. Over the course of the day - long meeting, speakers and audience members examined the reasons for the overall expansion of funding and programming for overseas global health activities durin g the past decade; considered the factors that underpin Brazil's increasing focus on global health as an area of bilateral and multilateral outreach; reviewed the characteristics of successful trilateral cooperation efforts; and debated the future of multi country engagement on health.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, China, Europe, Washington, India, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Philip Shishkin
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Located in a strategically important neighborhood amid China, Russia, Afghanistan, and Iran, and sitting atop vast deposits of oil, gas, gold, and uranium, post-Soviet Central Asia is home to some 50 million people living in five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan . For centuries, the region has drawn the attention of the world's superpowers as they seek leverage over their foes, access to natural resources, or a base from which to influence adjacent regions . For just as long, the societies of Central Asia have been beset by lackluster and often abusive rule, first by warring and insular feudal chiefs, then by colonial conquerors from Russia, and then by their Soviet successors .Since gaining independence from the Soviet Union 20 years ago, the five Central Asian republics have struggled to find viable governance models and to place their economies, long moored to Moscow, on stable footing.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Human Rights, Islam, Governance, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, China, Iran, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Samuel W. Bodman, James D. Wolfensohn, Julia E. Sweig
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Brazil has transcended its status as the largest and most resource-rich country in Latin America to now be counted among the world's pivotal powers. Brazil is not a conventional military power, it does not rival China or India in population or economic size, and it cannot match the geopolitical history of Russia. Still, how Brazil defines and projects its interests, a still-evolving process, is critical to understanding the character of the new multipolar and unpredictable global order.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The 2012 Russian presidential election and the future of the Medvedev-Putin tandem have started to dominate political debate inside and outside the country. Several developments in Russia's domestic politics have made predictions on the future president particularly arduous. These include Russia's so-called modernization initiative; Mikhail Prokhorov's debut on the Russian political scene, and the new presidential decree on the "Security Council Questions". Yet, analysing these developments suggests that whether Putin will return to the presidency or whether he will remain the de facto leader is unlikely to have major repercussions on Russian domestic policy. For Russia, the priority today is the need to maintain internal stability and formal democracy, necessary to attract foreign technologies and thus advance the modernization initiative as well as to guarantee elite continuity through an internal balance between the siloviki faction and the liberals. Both a renewed Medvedev-Putin tandem and a return of Putin to the presidency fulfil these goals. While much debated, the personality of the future Russian president is unlikely to represent a major game changer in Russia today.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Katri Pynnöniemi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: To understand the political constraints on Russia's economic development, three dimensions should be explored simultaneously. The relations between Russia and the outside world (where Russia stands in comparison to others, and what it is prepared to do to advance its position), Russia's relations with its own past (the evolution of the Muscovite matrix), and the relations between ideas and political action (“the practical value of ideas in solving political dilemmas”). In this paper I will briefly discuss the first two aspects and then focus more closely on the third.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Peter Cary
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: A core principle of the United States is that a free and independent press is vital to the formation and maintenance of democracies. During the Cold War, the State Department's media outreach into the former Soviet Union and other Communist- leaning nations was largely limited to the broadcasts of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA). With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the effort broadened: USAID began to encourage and develop independent media in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In the early 1990s, when the Balkans erupted in conflict, that region became the focus of assistance for media development.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Development, Mass Media, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Berlin
  • Author: Maria Ruxandra Lupu
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: After the European Union's eastward enlargement, the new eastern neighbours are now among others, Ukraine and Moldova. They have been torn between adopting a pro-Western course and staying loyal to the traditional alliance with Russia. This dilemma has shaped the path to domestic socio-political reforms in these countries. This Working Paper by Maria Ruxandra Lupu looks at the role of the EU in supporting the political transformation of Moldova and Ukraine after independence in 1991 and at the domestic context which is of crucial importance if democracy promotion efforts are to be successful. It argues that, so far, the EU has failed to tailor its offerings to fit into the prevailing Ukrainian and Moldovan context and that an agreement with more specific advantages but also more specific demands would probably stimulate more reforms. The unstable domestic developments in the two countries has also had an important role concerning the impact of the EU's neighbourhood policy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Moldova
  • Author: Thomas Carothers
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Pessimism about the progress of democracy in the developing and postcommunist worlds has risen sharply in recent years. Negative developments in a variety of countries, such as military coups, failed elections, and the emergence of antidemocratic populist leaders, have caused some observers to argue that democracy is in retreat and authoritarianism on the march. A broad look at the state of democracy around the world reveals however that although the condition of democracy is certainly troubled in many places, when viewed relative to where it was at the start of this decade, democracy has not lost ground in the world overall. The former Soviet Union is the one region where democracy has clearly slipped backward in this decade, primarily as a result of Russia's authoritarian slide. The Middle East has also been a source of significant disappointment on democracy but mostly in comparison with unrealistic expectations that were raised by the Bush administration. In most of the rest of the world good news with respect to democratization is found in roughly equal proportion to bad news and considerable continuity has prevailed as well.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Communism, Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East
  • Author: Linda Skjold Oksnes
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The paper analyzes the convergence process of industrial productivity across Russian regions during the period 1996-2004 by applying empirical methods. The industrial sector refers to, in accordance with Russian official statistics, oil gas extraction, electricity production, mining quarrying and manufacturing. Convergence in productivity levels is well analyzed in economic literature, but few have tested the hypothesis on Russian regions. Most previous convergence analysis of Russian regions has examined the development in income per capita. Russia's special history and vast geographical extent have led to huge regional variations in resource endowments, market access and industrial structure, to name a few. Since the regression results are highly sensitive for regionspecific factors, these are identified and controlled for in the analysis. In addition, panel data techniques are used to check the robustness of the results to region-specific characteristics, which are not always measurable. The analysis also tests whether there is a tendency to economic agglomeration in the data. The hypothesis of absolute convergence is not supported in the analysis, but when region-specific factors are controlled for there are signs of convergence among Russian regions.Trade and investment as a share of regional industrial production appear in the analysis as the most significant explanatory variables.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Kosovo has taken first state-building steps, but the international community has not met its commitments to provide adequate support. A rule-of-law mission (EULEX), the EU's biggest ever European security and defence policy (ESDP) operation, was agreed in February 2008 but has only started to deploy. The International Civilian Office (ICO), projected to supervise independence, is a shell. The UN still functions in part as an interim administration, negotiating arrangements for Kosovo Serbs with Belgrade. The Ahtisaari plan, on the basis of which 47 states have recognised Kosovo, has been undermined by the international organisations meant to help implement it. The EU and U.S. are struggling to come to terms with Russia's attempts to portray its support for breakaway regions in Georgia as a mirror image of what they did in Kosovo. Most urgent now is for the EU to make EULEX fully operational before year's end and use its leverage with a Belgrade government that wants membership to begin to make pragmatic accommodations to Kosovo's new status.
  • Topic: Development, Sovereignty, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Kosovo, Balkans, Georgia
  • Author: Kitty Lam
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Soviet Union's collapse brought to surface a complex ethno-political situation in the territory it formerly spanned. Changes in interstate boundaries separated various ethnic populations from their perceived homelands. This post-Soviet landscape has created policy dilemmas for the Russian government, as some 25 million Russians found themselves living outside the borders of the Russian Federation. How Russian leaders have dealt with issues pertaining to its 'compatriots' in the non-Russian Soviet successor states has become a subject of interest to Western observers. In particular, Western analysts have been observing the expression of 'ethnic diaspora' issues in Russian foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Development, Population
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Johan Swinnen, Scott Rozelle
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The dramatic transition from Communism to market economies across Asia and Europe started in the Chinese countryside in the 1970s. Since then more than a billion of people, many of them very poor, have been affected by radical reforms in agriculture. However, there are enormous differences in the reform strategies that countries have chosen. This paper presents a set of arguments to explain why countries have chosen different reform policies.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The government's repressive and disproportionate response to peaceful protests in November 2007 shocked Western capitals, which had viewed Georgia as a beacon of democracy in a region of illiberal regimes. Since the Rose Revolution, however, President Mikheil Saakashvili's administration has become increasingly intolerant of dissent as it has sought to reform inefficient post-Soviet institutions, stimulate a deeply dysfunctional economy, regain the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and deal with its meddling Russian neighbour. In an attempt to restore his democratic credentials, Saakashvili has called an early presidential election for 5 January 2008, which he is expected to win, but a free and fair election will not be enough to repair the damage. The West should press the government to abandon its increasingly authoritarian behaviour, engage in a genuine dialogue with political opponents and make the ongoing reform process transparent and accountable.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Corruption, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Kosovo's transition to the status of conditional, or supervised, independence has been greatly complicated by Russia's firm support of Serbia's refusal to accept that it has lost its one-time province. Recognition of conditional independence has broad international, and certainly European Union (EU) and American, support. Under threat of Moscow's veto, the Security Council will not revoke its Resolution 1244 of 1999 that acknowledged Serbian sovereignty while setting up the UN Mission (UNMIK) to prepare Kosovo for self-government pending a political settlement on its future status. Nor will the Council be allowed to approve the plan for a conditionally independent Kosovo devised by the Secretary-General's special representative, Martti Ahtisaari, earlier this year and authorise the EU-led missions meant to implement that plan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Kosovo, Moscow, Serbia
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Oil and gas are proving as much a burden as a benefit to Central Asia. The three oil and gas producers in the region – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – are showing signs of the “resource curse” under which energy rich nations fail to thrive or develop distorted, unstable economies. Geography and their history in the Soviet Union have bound them to Russia, through which most of their energy exports must be transported. Moscow is proving to be an unreliable partner for foreign consumers as it has been willing to cut off pipelines to apply commercial or political pressure. Low investment, corruption and gross mismanagement in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan may mean that their supplies run low before they can diversify their links to markets or their economies. Central Asia is likely to see energy create instability within the region; the chances are low that it will be a factor in improving European energy security any time soon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Soviet Union, Moscow, Turkmenistan
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: It has been a year since Hamas formed its government – and what a dismal year it has been. The Islamists thought they could govern without paying an ideological price, Fatah that it could swiftly push them aside and regain power. By imposing sanctions and boycotting the government, the Quartet (U.S., European Union (EU), Russia and UN) and Israel hoped to force Hamas to change or persuade the Palestinians to oust it. Washington promised security and economic aid to encourage Fatah to confront Hamas and help defeat it. The illusions have brought only grief. The 8 February 2007 Saudi-brokered Mecca Agreement between the Palestinian rivals offers the chance of a fresh start: for Hamas and Fatah to restore law and order and rein in militias; for Israelis and Palestinians to establish a comprehensive ceasefire and start a credible peace process; and for the Quartet (or at least those of its members inclined to do so) to adopt a more pragmatic attitude that judges a government of national unity by deeds, not rhetoric. The adjustment will not be comfortable for anyone. But the alternative is much worse.
  • Topic: Development, Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Jørgen Staun
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The window of opportunity for ensuring Russian democracy is closed or rapidly closing, at least in the intermediate term. Putin's so-called “managed democracy” has turned the Putin-regime into an autocratic system of power where all matters of importance, be it of domestic or foreign policy concern, are decided upon by the members of the small, non-elected elite of powerful bureaucrats surrounding Putin. Elections, parties, court-decisions, major media as well as major business deals – especially in so-called “strategic sectors” of oil, gas, metals and arms – are controlled by the Kremlin, based upon a closed matrix of private, corporate, organisational and national interests. Russia is still a market-based society where property rights are generally accepted – even if they are suspect of turf wars between competing clans and well-connected business groups. But “rule of law” in Russia is at least in high-profile cases a matter of “telephone justice”, that is, rulings are decided outside and not inside the courts.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kremlin, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Maryland
  • Author: Ruslan Yemtsov
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: All countries in transition experienced increases in inequality. They have also undertaken massive privatization of key asset housing, often on give-away terms. Are these two phenomena related? Has transfer of ownership rights to residents slowed down the inequality increases or it pushed it up? Surprisingly little is known in this area. This paper attempts to provide empirical evidence to start answering these questions. It shows how housing privatization affected the distribution of personal wealth and inequality in current consumption based on recent representative household surveys from three transition countries: Poland, Russia and Serbia. Survey data are compared with figures derived from national accounts and housing statistics. Contrary to common belief and some earlier evidence of strong equalizing effect of housing distribution in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the paper finds that the contribution of housing to the overall inequality levels is not strong, and is not universally progressive. There is also a significant variation across countries. In Russia and Serbia progressive. There is also a significant variation across countries. In Russia and Serbia features of privatization programmes resulted in better off households capturing more valuable housing assets on extremely beneficial terms, while in Poland privatization and housing reform led to more equitable outcomes. When owner occupied housing rents and durables are properly accounted for, the effects of housing ownership on inequality in current consumption are mildly progressive in Russia and Poland and regressive in Serbia. The paper argues that the information collected by regular household surveys provides only a starting point to study housing wealth distribution, and there are a number of gaps which should be addressed through improved data collection.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Poland, Serbia
  • Author: Anna Matveeva, Thomas de Waal
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The Caucasus and Central Asia – eight countries of the former Soviet Union stretching to the south of Russia and to the west of China – form a chain of weak states, vulnerable to conflict, extremism, and spillover from potential instability in the Middle East, Iran and Afghanistan. Once on the path of the Silk Road, these countries are still transit routes in the world economy rather than major economic players. The overarching problem for the Caucasus countries situated on the eastern fringe of Europe – Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, as well as the Russian North Caucasus – is unresolved conflicts that hamper development and poison politics. The Caucasus has become a field for latter-day Great Power battles of influence, in which competing policy agendas, sometimes even from within the same state, make for a fragmented international response that hampers regional integration and development. The autocratic states of Central Asia by contrast risk isolating themselves from the wider world, becoming a source of danger because of their deliberate remoteness. Here the globalized threats of drug trafficking and militant Islam are the biggest potential source of instability. Multilateral organizations such as the UN are still struggling to articulate a coherent response to the two regions as a whole, tending to make more narrow interventions that have limited impact.
  • Topic: Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Asia, Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: Indra Øverland, Kyrre Braekhus
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This paper examines the strategic convergence between Russia and China. Strategic convergence is understood as the overlap of key objectives and interests with regard to long-term developments in world politics, which provides the basis for extensive tactical co-operation between two or more states. The paper focuses on the compatibility of Russia and China in terms of complementary economies, location and political outlook. The match between Russian natural resources and Chinese markets is examined in particular. The paper concludes that a closer relationship between the two countries in many ways would be of mutual advantage, but that it is far from certain that an alliance will develop.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Johnny Skorve
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During the first NUPI study of the Novaya Zemlya underground nuclear test site in 1991–92, much information was generated. This relates both to facilities and testing activities. One of the most important discoveries made was the enormous catastrophic rockslide caused by an underground test. In recent years, new information has become available also from Russian sources. Declassified US satellite imagery made it possible for NUPI to study in more detail the effects of the powerful underground nuclear tests on Novaya Zemlya. This report contains the most pivotal discoveries and findings during the three years of studying this arctic test site.
  • Topic: Development, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: George Vojta
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Media Tenor International
  • Abstract: Media Tenor: Even within the BRIC States one cannot say that all three are on the Media Agenda, not mention developing countries. What could be the reason for this salience? Vojta: My sense is that the four BRIC countries are rising in media visibility as they become more significant players in the global system. Very shortly these four countries will surpass the G7countries in annual absolute growth results.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Asia, Latin America
  • Author: John Ravenhill, Lorraine Elliott, Helen E.S. Nesadurai, Nick Bisley
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: In September 2007, Australia will host the annual Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. This will be the culmination of over 100 days of ministerial, official and business group meetings, working groups and dialogues that will be held in various Australian cities from January to August. Fifteen federal government departments will be involved along with a range of other interested actors, predominantly in the private sector. The Australian government will spend considerable sums of money on the leaders' meeting itself, not least to ensure the security of those attending. This will include, if all goes according to plan, the heads of government of 21 countries—member economies in APEC-speak—including the United States, Russia, Japan and China. Security may well be the least of the government's worries. Few would argue that APEC is 'going strong' as a regional economic forum and recent reviews have suggested that at best it faces an uncertain future and that at worst it could be in a state of terminal decline. The forum is argued to have lost its relevance and to have generally been unsuccessful in attaining any of its more ambitious goals such as regional trade liberalisation.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Robert F. Miller
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow's weight in international relations underwent a tremendous decline. To appreciate the extent of change in the Russian Federation's (RF) foreign policy since the end of Soviet communism it is worth taking a brief look at the international relations of its predecessor, the USSR. An essential feature of Soviet foreign policy was that it was ideologically driven. Western commentators tended to play down this feature or treat it as mere window dressing for what was really just imperialism 'with a socialist face'. But it was more than that. It gave Soviet policy-makers a sure sense of identity and a guide, however faulty, to national ('international proletarian') interest.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Tanvi Madan
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Growth demands energy. It is no wonder that India — with an economy expected to grow at over 5 percent a year for the next twenty-five years — has developed a ravenous appetite for energy. India is the world's fifth largest consumer of energy, and by 2030 it is expected to become the third largest, overtaking Japan and Russia.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, India, Asia
  • Author: Timothy Shaw, Andrew F. Cooper, Agata Antkiewicz
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Continuing CIGI's BRICSAM research, this paper questions whether size (economic or population) of emerging economies alone is enough to warrant accommodation in the rules and structures of the international system. The global realignment of states following the resulting power vacuum brought on by the end of the Cold War is finally materializing, as a new triangular formation has taken shape: the 'first world' club of the OECD; the 'second world' of emerging economies; and, a heterogeneous 'third world' of the rest. The interplay between and mobility among these groups of states deserves in-depth analysis. The core of this paper observes the economic and social trends of countries in the second tier, and their upwards aspirations towards the top-tier of the global architecture. Traced through a variety of indices, the growth of the BRICSAM group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, ASEAN-4 and Mexico) is demonstrated to be a powerful force in international economics and political economy. For the inclusion of these states, a change in the key aspects of global economic governance, the international architecture and geopolitics seems inevitable, and with it, new challenges arise for decision-makers and scholars alike.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Robert J. McIntyre
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: In most transitional and many developing countries institutions capable of supporting economic development with localized saving-investment cycles have not developed. This crucial gap is in no way addressed by either country-level macro programmes dealing with 'development finance' or by donor-driven 'micro credit' schemes of Grameen and other types operating at a lower (local) level. The latter seldom evolve into financial institutions able to sustain themselves on the basis of local resources, do not operate on a sufficient scale to trigger dynamic local-level economic growth, and are ultimately artificial manifestations of concessional or charitable aid. The advantages of credit co-operatives in mobilizing and financing local economic development a contrasted with the disadvantages of both conventional micro credit and the most recent neoliberal fashion of so-called 'new wave financial institutions'. Both precedent and the structural logic suggest that this is a promising space for the development of a localized financial system based on credit co-operatives, which elsewhere have overcome the SME credit famine and stimulated local saving-investment cycles. Recent Russian developments are placed in the context of earlier experience in structurally similar conditions. These lessons apply to all other former Soviet Union states, as well as other countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Third World
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Stanislav Secrieru
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, post-Soviet Russia has experienced a profound crisis of strategic identity. Previously a self- sufficient and autonomous international actor, post-Soviet Russia not only had to rethink its domestic political and economic organizational model in depth, but also had to “confront the most significant transformation of its surrounding strategic environment in the past five centuries – the greatest change since the rise of Muscovy.” Russia was challenged not only by the losses of strategically pivotal terrestrial and maritime strongholds, and the rise of powerful actors in its immediate vicinity, but also faced profound changes in the entire international political framework with blurred prospects for the future world order.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Nils August Andresen
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This study examines the financial behaviour of Russian households from the collapse of communism to the financial melt down in August 1998. By transforming savings into investment, financial intermediaries are important to economic growth. In post-Soviet Russia, financial intermediaries were increasingly unable to attract new household savings, as people turned to foreign currency. What determined the allocation of household savings? The study considers the three main alternatives households could turn to: The state savings bank; commercial financial companies; and foreign currency, mainly dollars.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, François Heisbourg, Vladimir Sazhin
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: The definition of European policy objectives and strategies vis-à-vis Iran's nuclear ambitions must take into account the specificities of the case, setting, as it were, its problématique. First, we have the unusual situation of a basically three-way game: the EU (and notably the EU-3, comprising the UK, France and Germany), Iran and the 'significant other', the United States, which is outside of the negotiation but a key player. Any student in strategy knows that a triangle is the most unstable and tricky combination to deal with, and the presence of yet another set of outsiders (notably Russia and China) adds another element of complexity.
  • Topic: Development, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Middle East, France, Germany
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The honeymoon between the Western oil industry and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended in mid-2003 when the Russian procurator's office began arresting Yukos executives. The Kremlin's seemingly sudden attack on private industry surprised the international business community that was expecting investment-friendly behavior from the Russian leadership. After assuming power in late 1999, Putin quickly signaled interest in developing a strong energy partnership with the United States, including increased opportunities for Western firms to invest in Russia's oil and gas industry.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anna Gelpern
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Financial collapse usually triggers a flurry of market, academic, and policy innovation. The Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s produced the Brady Bonds and led to the rise of today's emerging markets. In the late 1990s, crises in Pakistan, Ecuador, and Ukraine helped teach the markets how to restructure international sovereign bonds. Crises in Mexico, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and throughout East Asia raised doubts about the international system's ability to manage vast and rapid capital flows, and prompted a big-picture reassessment under the rubric “international financial architecture.” This included most famously the sovereign bankruptcy proposals discussed elsewhere in this volume.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, East Asia, Brazil, South America, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Agata Antkiewicz, John Whalley
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: We discuss recent regional trade and economic partnership agreements involving the large population, rapidly growing economies (BRICSAM: Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa, ASEAN, and Mexico). Perhaps 50 out of 300 agreements that exist worldwide involve BRICSAM countries; most are recently concluded and will be implemented over the next few years. Along with extensive bilateral investment treaties, mutual recognition agreements, and other country to country (or region) arrangements they are part of what we term the non-WTO. This paper aims to document and characterize the agreements and analyze their possible impacts. Agreements differ in specificity, coverage and content. In some treaties there are detailed and specific commitments, but these also co-exist with seemingly vague commitments and (at times) opaque dispute settlement and enforcement mechanisms. Whether these represent a partial replacement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) process for newly negotiated reciprocity based on global trade liberalization or largely represent diplomatic protocol alongside significant WTO disciplines is the subject of this paper.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: George Mavrotas, Dmitri Vinogradov
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We consider an overlapping generations model with two production factors and two types of agents in the presence of financial intermediation and its application to the Russian default of August 1998. The paper focuses on the analysis of the consequences of a sudden negative repayments shock on financial intermediation capacity and consequently on the economy as a whole. The model exhibits a 'chain reaction' property, when a single macroeconomic shock can lead to the exhaustion of credit resources and to the subsequent collapse of the whole banking system. To maintain the capability of the system to recover, regulatory intervention is needed even in the presence of the state guarantees on agents' deposits in the banks (workout incentives). We compare the results for an intermediated economy with those derived under the assumption of a market economy, and draw some broad conclusions on the consequences of the crises, which are contingent on the financial sector structure.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Denika Blacklock
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Meskhetian Turks are one of the last of the national groups of the Soviet Union deported by Stalin in 1943–44, who have not yet been able to return to their native region (in southwest Georgia). Currently numbering some 370–400,000 people, the Meskhetian Turks, following pogroms and multiple displacements, find themselves scattered across vast territories of Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and, most recently, the United States. In some of these countries, the Meskhetian Turks are exposed to ethnic persecution and discrimination, while Georgia, so far, has effectively blocked resettlement to their native region. International actors seeking to address these problems encounter severe difficulties in finding solutions, inter alia, due to a lack of consistent knowledge on the Meskhetian Turks' own perceptions of their displacement and their visions for future settlement.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: Heiner Hänggi, Fred Tanner
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: With the European Union's enlargement eastwards and southwards, its neighbourhood now stretches from the Balkans to the south Caucasus, and from Russia to the southern Mediterranean. The EU's eastern and southern neighbourhood is composed of areas which, to a greater or lesser extent, have serious deficits in security, development and democracy. There are many types of security problems, ranging from weak states and rampant international crime to spoilers in post-conflict reconstruction and unpredictable authoritarian leaders who pursue regime security often at the expense of national or regional security. In terms of socio-economic development, most of the countries in the EU's neighbourhood are fragile, often struggling with the effects of black market economies and cronyism, and burdened by bloated defence and security sectors that escape any accountability. As regards political systems, the EU's neighbourhood is composed of regime types ranging from new but weak democracies to regimes with authoritarian features and limited political participation.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Caucasus, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Oil-rich Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, Turkey and Russia and is still scarred from its defeat by Armenia ten years ago, gives cause for both hope and concern. The October 2003 election of Ilham Aliyev to the presidency that his late-father, Heydar, had held almost from independence, highlighted the stark choices which now face the country. Its government is a carefully designed autocratic system, which the father and former Soviet-era politburo member began to construct in the late 1960 s, with heavy reliance on family and clan members, oil revenues and patronage.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Vladlena V. Eliseeva
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: This study has been prepared in conjunction with the Transfrontier Cooperation Do- nor Forum held in St. Petersburg on April 25, 2003 under the EastWest Instituteís Regional and Transfrontier Cooperation (RTFC) Program. EWI has over ten years of experience in transfrontier cooperation in various regions of Europe. Long before issues surrounding the upcoming EU enlargement were a top priority on the EU-Russia agenda, EWIís RTFC Program was researching and assessing the impact of enlargement on the Baltic Sea Region in general, and on the Kaliningrad Region (EWIís priority area in the North-West of Russia) in particular. Today, in view of the upcoming European Union enlargement, transfrontier cooperation (TFC) has assumed an increasing importance for the future of a larger Europe.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Russia is at a crossroads. Current levels of national economic growth cannot be sustained without significantly restructuring the country's economic system. If economic growth is not sustained, financing for important social reforms will face serious strains, and expectations that have been built up among the Russian population over the past five years will go unrealized. As a result, the political system and the population's long - term well being will be put at risk. To counter this danger, Russia needs to change its national consciousness away from social paternalism and towards competitiveness. This needs to be implemented in a way that Russian citizens, politicians and business people can understand and support. Russia can only meet its expectations of long - term growth and a higher overall standard of living by increasing levels of competitiveness across sectors and delivering tangible and positive results to its citizens.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Population, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev, Sergei Prozorov
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the impact of innovative developments in Russian policy-making discourse during the Putin presidency on the transformation of conflict issues in EU-Russian relations. The increasing recourse of Russian policy-makers in the border regions to the so-called 'projectoriented approach', which has an affinity to the modality of policy-making espoused by the EU programmes in Russia, has important consequences for conflictual dispositions in EU-Russian trans-border relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Caroline Dufy
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Barter was a prominent issue in public debate during the 1990s in Russia: it prompted a more overall reflection on the nature of the Russian economy and the aim pursued by economic reforms. These major issues shaped a number of divisions: the government opposition portrayed barter as one of the pernicious effects of economic policies that gave priority to finance to the detriment of the national productive sphere. For others, it was to be interpreted as the legacy of the Soviet industrial sector and its lack of competitiveness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sébastien Colin
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Since the resumption of talks between China and Russia – still the Soviet Union when this occurred in the mid-1980s, relations between the two countries have been particularly dynamic. On the international level, the two countries in fact share the same viewpoint on a number of issues. These mutual concerns led to the signing of a strategic partnership in 1997, then a new treaty of friendship in 2001. The complementarity between the two countries in the energy and arms sectors also stimulates cooperation. However, this alliance is not without its limits. The United States, its primary target, can easily short-circuit it, as it did just after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In the field of cooperation, the intensity and structure of trade between the two countries are both inadequate. The rise in trade during the 1990s was very uneven and marked by a drop between 1994 and 1996. The main causes of this are situated at the local echelon along the Chinese-Russian border. After the dynamism characteristic of the 1988-1993 period, the opening of the border triggered new problems, such as illegal Chinese immigration in the little-inhabited border zones of Russia. Although this trend caused friction among the local Russian population, it was mainly the retrocession of certain Russian territories to China when the border was demarcated between 1993 and 1997 that radicalized the inhabitants, paralyzing border cooperation. The Russian and Chinese government played an active role in attempting to resolve most of these disputes, as the Tumen program illustrated. Since then, the various authorities in the two countries have tried to revitalize border cooperation, but a number of problems remain that are mainly economic in nature and vary depending on the border region.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The fourth regular round table discussion, organized by the George Russell Centre for Corporate Competitiveness (GRCCC) within the framework of the open discussion "The Future of Russia: Developing Global Competitiveness" took place on July 11, 2003 in the Moscow Centre of the EastWest Institute. The theme of the round table was: "VAT Administration: Is Reform Necessary?". Leading Russian experts, largely members of the George Russell Centre expert group, participated in the discussion.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On June 26, 2003 the third regular round - table discussion within open discussion “Future of Russia: Global Competitiveness Development” took place in the Moscow Center of the EastWest Institute. The topic under discussion was: When is it time for competitiveness development strategy for companies?”
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On June 11, 2003 the second regular round - table discussion within open discussion “Future of Russia: Global Competitiveness Development” took place in the Moscow Center of the EastWest Institute. The topic under discussion was: ”Financial System of Russia: Threats and challenges of the 21st century”.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Raymond Struyk
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: A decade after the beginning of the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union it is clear that the nonprofit sector has developed remarkably in many countries in the region. Progress is especially striking in Eastern Europe (EE); on the other hand, development has been notably limited in most countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) where liberal democracy has had little chance to take root (Anheier and Seibel 1998; Hyatt, Cooper, and Knight 1998; Kuti 1999; Nowicki 2000; Quigley 2000). Kendell,Anheier, and Potucek (2000).
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Tatiana Lykova, Sergei Sivaev, Raymond J. Struyk, Ekaterina Petrova
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: When Russia's housing allowance program, the country's first means-tested program, was introduced in 1994, it was truly innovative. But there were difficulties from the start, many arising from the division of authority for setting program parameters among different levels of government and the potential for variation in the treatment of similar households in different cities. In 1996, the program's original simple basis for benefit determination was seriously impaired by the introduction of different principles for very low-income households. Moreover, local governments have exhibited a willingness to vary benefits from year-to-year, depending on political and budgetary considerations. The analysis presented here documents the impact of these variations on participation rates in a sample of Russian cities. Large inequities are obviously present in the treatment of similar households from city to city. Indeed, it is questionable whether the program as currently configured is fulfilling the social safety net function envisioned for it in the original legislation.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Sergei Sivaev, Raymond J. Struyk, Valentin Andrianov, Emin Askerov
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: During the past two winters, breakdowns in district heating services in Russia have grabbed international headlines. In Russia these services and water and sewerage services are the responsibility of municipal governments; these governments set the tariffs for these services. This article examines the tariff-setting process during 1997–2001 for these two services with particular emphasis on the decision process for considering tariff increases. We find that little progress has been made during the transition period in developing the legal base for rational tariff-setting procedures. Overall, tariff increases have been substantially less than the rate of inflation. Statistical analysis confirms that decisionmaking is highly politicized and that in times of extreme inflation tariff increases lag even further behind inflation, with the sector being used as a kind of shock absorber to cushion the full impacts of inflation on the population. There is an obvious acute need for leadership at the national level to address these problems.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Michael Förster, David Jesuit, Timothy Smeeding
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper reports levels of income inequality and poverty in four Central and Eastern European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia. Unlike many previous researchers who examine transition economies, we aggregate the detailed individual-level income surveys made available through the efforts of the Luxembourg Income Study at the regional level of analysis. Although national-level investigations have contributed much to our understanding of the income distribution dynamics, these studies mask intracountry variance in levels of income inequality and thus may not capture the true distribution of household income and accurately reflect individual wellbeing. Accordingly, we compute summary measures of inequality and relative poverty rates, using both local and national relative poverty lines, for the most recent waves of data available. We offer comparisons between regional and national median incomes and assess levels of inter- and intraregional income inequality. In addition, we make comparisons to regions within Western European countries and find that, contrary to what is often asserted, interregional disparities in Central and Eastern Europe countries are not as large as those found in some Western European countries.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Luxembourg
  • Author: André Decoster, Inna Verbina
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The interplay of a differentiated indirect tax structure and the variation in expenditure patterns across households, leads to a possibly unequal distribution of indirect tax liabilities across the population. This paper uses the ninth round of the RLMS survey to assess the distributional consequences of the two major components of the indirect tax system: VAT and excise taxes. The global indirect system can be considered to be progressive overall, according to the Kakwani index. Decomposition into constituent terms shows that this is due not only to a progressive VAT structure, but also to progressive excise taxes. This surprising result is mainly explained by the progressivity of the excise tax on car fuel, but might also be sensitive to peculiarities in the data about alcohol consumption.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Yuri Nazarkin
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: The current Russian security decision-making system represents a particular interest, because Russia today is at a crucial stage of its development. There are a number of factors that are shaping its system: new security dimensions and requirements, traditional and innovative approaches towards security, political interests of various groupings, economic interests of big corporations, politicians' personal ambitions. At the same time the past experience puts a noticeable impact on the current decisionmaking mechanisms. That is why I am going to start with the Soviet period.
  • Topic: Communism, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Soviet Union
  • Author: Raymond Struyk, Douglas E. Whiteley
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: The objective of this paper is to introduce the concept of mortgage default insurance as developed in the United States into the context of Russian mortgage lending. The first part of the paper discusses the broad principles and operations of mortgage default insurance offered by private companies as it works in the United States. The pricing of this product and the preconditions for offering such insurance are highlighted. The second section outlines the operation of the U.S. government-supported default insurance offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The final part applies the foregoing information to the situation in Russia today and concludes that the conditions necessary for launching mortgage default insurance do not currently exist in the country. Nevertheless, there are a number of essential actions that can and should be taken over the next several months to put Russia on the road to establishing such insurance in a few years. The paper finishes with a possible action plan for the next two years.
  • Topic: Development, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Vadim Poleshchuk
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Different foreign rulers have controlled Estonia and Latvia for 700 years. In 1920, both countries attained independence from Bolshevik Russia. However, the period of the countries' first independence was short: Estonia and Latvia were incorporated into the USSR in 1940.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Latvia
  • Author: Yuri Federov
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: The motto "Yet who could guard the guards themselves?" used as the epigraph is often quoted in academic and political literature on civil-military relations. Indeed, it consists of two questions in one; both of which related to the essence of democratic transformation of the security sector in post-totalitarian societies: firstly, whether civil institutions are able to "guard the guards", in fact to control military and law-enforcement agencies, and, secondly, whether these institutions are democratically formed or they are of authoritarian or totalitarian nature.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Per Botolf Maurseth
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In the Soviet Union, one result of central planning was geographical decentralisation of economic activity to a large set of remote peripheral regions. For Russian post-Soviet regions an important question is whether centripetal market forces may alter the pre-existing industrial location. This paper addresses some aspects of regional economic development in Russia. The Russian economic landscape differs from what is common in market economies. Peripheral regions are generally richer than the average. During the 1990s, differences in gross regional product increased. These developments have also meant less spatial concentration of economic activity. During the last half of the 1990s, economic growth was higher in central regions than in the peripheries. If these trends continue, the Russian economic landscape will alter significantly in the future, with income per capita, total income and population being concentrated in economic central regions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Linda Jakobson, Christer Pursiainen
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: “Modernity ends when words like progress, advance, development, emancipation, liberation, growth, accumulation, enlightenment, embetterment, avant-garde, lose their attraction and their function as guides to social action.” By this definition, Russia and China are both still undertaking extensive modernisation – though by very different means. Why have Russia and China chosen such different paths for their post-communist transitions? How do their strategies differ, and how are they interrelated? When – at what junctures - were the crucial choices made?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has become something of a cliché to argue that the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in dramatic changes in the unfolding of political space in the 1990s. Yet this was especially true in the case of the then European Community (EC) and its relations with the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. During the Cold War, the relations between the EC and the USSR were practically non-existent. The ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev and the period of perestroika and glasnost resulted, however, in a gradual rapprochement between the two parties. The creation of these new ties was formalized in the signing of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EC and the USSR, which was, however, in effect signed with an already crumbling Soviet Union as it took place as late as 21 December 1989.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Adam Jones
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: The progress of the Russian press in the late Soviet and post-Soviet eras can be described (with apologies to Vladimir Lenin) as "two steps forward, on step back." The flowering of glasnost (openness) under Mikhail Gorbachev le to a "golden age" of Soviet journalism, including an explosion of new publications and a lifting of nearly all state restrictions on journalists' professional activities. However, the collapse of the USSR and the onset of material crisis in 1991-92 quickly produced a winnowing of the press and a retrenchment on the part of surviving publications. At the same time, powerful new forces - especially oligarchs and regional and leaders - arose to vie with the state for influence over post-Soviet media. This paper explores the trajectory of one of the leading newspapers of the Soviet and post-Soviet period, Izvestia, in the light of those broader trends. While Izvestia emerged from the ashes of Soviet communism with formal control over its material plant and journalistic collective, it was soon subjected to a tug-of-war between powerful actors determined to control its destiny - first the Communist-dominated Duma (parliament), and then large corporations and business oligarchs. The struggle led, in 1997, to the dismissal of the paper's editor. Oleg Golembiovsky, and the departure of many staff to form Novye Izvestia (New Izvestia) - though this publication too, was also unwilling or unable to avoid the temptations of a close alliance with one of the leading oligarchs, Boris Berezovsky. The findings are place in the broader comparative context of the press in transition, based on the author's research into process of media liberalization and transition worldwide.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Matthew Addison, Mark Hodges, Steven Gale, Nick Wedeman
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Agency for International Development
  • Abstract: Since the official dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has moved forward to make the difficult transition to open markets and more democratic institutions. The journey toward a complete restructuring of the Russian economy and an adoption of wide-ranging political reforms has been perilous. Political instability continues, crime and corruption have become more widespread, and economic conditions show little sign of improving quickly. Efforts to privatize state-held industries, initially seen as wildly successful, have now met with resistance, and full citizen involvement in government is far from complete.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: Russia's Foreign Policy Russian foreign policy in the coming years will be characterized by weakness; frustration--primarily with the United States as the world's preeminent power--over Russia's diminished status; generally cautious international behavior; and a drive to resubjugate, though not reintegrate, the other former Soviet states. The international situation affords Russia time to concentrate on domestic reforms because, for the first time in its history, it does not face significant external threats. But rather than use the breathing space for domestic reforms, Putin is as much--if not more--focused on restoring Russia's self-defined rightful role abroad and seeking to mold the CIS into a counterweight to NATO and the European Union. The Outside World's Views of Russia Russia does not have any genuine allies. Some countries are interested in good relations with Russia, but only as a means to another end. For example, China sees Russia as a counterweight to the United States but values more highly its ties with the United States. Some countries see Russia as a vital arms supplier but resent Russia also selling arms to their rivals (China-India, Iran-Iraq). Pro-Russia business lobbies exist in Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Israel (one-fifth of whose population now consists of Soviet émigres), but they do not single-handedly determine national policies. Europe is the only region that would like to integrate Russia into a security system, but it is divided over national priorities and institutional arrangements as well as put off by some Russian behavior. Most CIS governments do not trust their colossal neighbor, which continues to show an unsettling readiness to intervene in their internal affairs, though they know Russia well and are to a considerable degree comfortable in dealing with it. Turkey has developed an improved dialogue and an unprecedented number of economic ties with Russia during the post-Cold War period, but this more positive pattern of relations has not fully taken root, and Ankara remains suspicious of Moscow's intentions. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow's role in the Middle East has been reduced, but Israel, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Iraq all favor good relations with Russia. Mutual interests also override disagreements in Russian-Iranian relations, but Tehran is wary of Russian behavior, particularly toward Saddam Hussein. India still trusts Russia--a sentiment that is perhaps a residue of the genuine friendship of Cold War days--but clearly not in the same way it once did, and New Delhi fears that weakness will propel Russia into doing things that could drive India further away. In East Asia, the most substantial breakthrough has been the resurrected relationship between Russia and China, one that entails significant longer-term risk for Russia. Other countries in the region value their links with Moscow as a means to balance a more powerful China, or as a useful component of their larger political and economic strategies, but Russia's role in East Asia--as elsewhere--remains constrained by the decline in its political, military, and economic power over the last decade. Russia's Weakness Russia's weakness stems from long-term secular trends and from its domestic structure. In essence, the old nomenklatura and a few newcomers have transformed power into property on the basis of personal networks and created an equilibrium resting on insider dealings. These insiders may jockey for position but have a vested interest in preserving the system. The public does not like the system but is resigned to it and gives priority to the preservation of order. As for the economy, it is divided into a profitable, internationally integrated sector run by oligarchs and a much larger, insulated, low-productivity, old-style paternalistic sector that locks Russia into low growth. No solace will be forthcoming from the international business and energy worlds. They do not expect the poor commercial climate to improve greatly and will not increase investments much beyond current levels until it does. Militarily, Russia will also remain weak. Its nuclear arsenal is of little utility, and Moscow has neither the will nor the means to reform and strengthen its conventional forces. Hope for the Future? The best hope for change in Russia lies with the younger generation. Several participants reported that under-25 Russians have much more in common with their US counterparts, including use of the Internet, than with older Soviet generations. But there was some question over whether the new generation would change the system or adapt to it. Others placed some hope in international institutions, for instance the World Trade Organization, eventually forcing Russia to adapt to the modern world. Dissenting Views Some participants dissented from the overall forecast of depressing continuity. The keynote speaker, James Billington, stated that Russia would not be forever weak and that the current confusion would end in a few years either through the adoption of authoritarian nationalism or federated democracy. One scholar felt the Chechen war was feeding ethnic discord in other areas of the Federation to which Moscow would respond with increased authoritarianism, not necessarily successfully. Finally, a historian observed that the patience of Russians is legendary but not infinite, meaning that we should not be overly deterministic.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Jochen Prantl
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The accession of Finland and Sweden as well as the ongoing enlargement process, which offers the perspective of EU membership to the Baltic States, has put the question of security and stability in Northern Europe on the Agenda of the European Union.
  • Topic: Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Finland, Asia, Sweden
  • Author: Nina Khrushcheva
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: One goal of Russia's economic reforms during the last ten years has been to establish a new class of businessmen and owners of private property—people who could form the foundation for a new model post-Soviet citizen. However, the experience of this post-communist economic “revolution” has turned out to be very different from the original expectations. For as people became disillusioned with communism due to its broken promises, the words “democracy” and “reform” quickly became equally as unbearable to large sectors of the Russian public after 1991. Such disillusion was achieved in less than ten years—a record revolutionary burnout that would be the envy of any anti-Bolshevik.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: During the past two years, the National Intelligence Council and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the US Department of State sponsored a working group and four seminars with experts from outside the Intelligence Community to examine the impact of societal and infrastructural factors on Russia's future over the next two decades. The factors identified--demography, health, intellectual capital, and physical infrastructure--all pose great challenges to Russia. The purpose of the project was to begin to think through in systematic fashion the difficulties and opportunities confronting Russia's leadership in these four specific areas.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In a recent conference, trade experts identified three primary reasons the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed to launch a new trade Round at its December 1999 Ministerial. First, leading members were unable to resolve differences on critical issues prior to the gathering. In addition, many developing countries and nongovernmental organizations were more assertive than they had been at previous conferences. Finally, in recent years, the WTO has expanded the range of issues it addresses, which has made efforts to reach a consensus on any point more difficult. According to the speakers, as a result of the acrimonious Ministerial, the WTO has suffered a substantial loss of credibility, which will impair efforts to launch a new Round in the near term. There is no immediate alternative to strong US leadership, and WTO negotiations will be more complicated because developing countries and nongovernmental organizations will be more inclined to resist trade liberalization efforts that they believe do not advance their interests. Experts at the conference offered a variety of assessments regarding the course the WTO might choose to follow this year. The majority argued that if the trade body is seeking to rebuild confidence, it could continue with scheduled meetings on agriculture and services and use the time to rebuild confidence. A minority, however, held that the forum is too fractured to make progress, thus talks would only undermine the already declining prestige of the trade body. The experts identified several long-run challenges that the WTO will probably need to address to be an effective decisionmaking institution, including: Bridging the developed-developing country gap Costa Rica, Mexico, and South Africa generally support trade liberalization and have credibility among developed and developing states; thus they are in a position to meld the interests of the two sides. Enacting institutional reforms The organization's expansive agenda and large membership require that it adopt policies that facilitate decisionmaking, especially before new members such as China and Russia join. The trade body may try to increase transparency to promote greater trust in its procedures. Also, to avoid protracted and bitter selections such as the forum suffered last year, the WTO could review its procedures for electing a new director general. Managing the backlash against globalization Supporters of freer trade could launch a massive educational program to highlight the gains for all countries from expanded trade and to counter the dire assertions made by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Vadim Rubin
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Caspian Basin has emerged in recent years as a major focus of international affairs for a combination of political, economic, and geostrategic reasons. In the immediate aftermath of the Soviet Union's dissolution in the early 1990s the region's newly independent states were overshadowed by Russia and attracted little Western and U.S. attention. But over the past several years this region has attracted growing attention from Western policymakers and scholars, as well as the media and the private sector. One of the main reasons for this new focus on the Caspian is its sizable energy reserves. In addition to its potential as a significant oil producer, however, it is also the Caspian's geostrategic location, its diverse mix of ethnic groups, and its unsettled intrastate and interstate conflicts that make it both an enticing and challenging region.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Development, Energy Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Caspian Sea
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Lack of funding represents the most important factor behind the slow pace of destruction of the 45,000 tons of stockpiled chemical weapons in Russia, already reportedly 2-5 years behind schedule. Further delays of the process will not only endanger the environmental and health situation around the seven storage sites in Russia but may also severely undermine the Chemical Weapons Convention as a whole and thus have serious global implications.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia