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  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: We face a critical juncture in Ukraine. There is no real ceasefire; indeed, there was a significant increase in fighting along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine in mid-January, with Russian/separatist forces launching attacks on the Donetsk airport and other areas. Instead of a political settlement, Moscow currently seeks to create a frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine as a means to pressure and destabilize the Ukrainian government. Russians continue to be present in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in substantial numbers and have introduced significant amounts of heavy weapons. This could be preparation for another major Russian/ separatist offensive.
  • Topic: NATO, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: This report outlines constitutional and legislative options for a political transition in Syria under the umbrella of the Final Geneva Communiqué, issued by the Action Group on Syria on 30 June 2012, and revived in early May 2013 at a meeting in Moscow between the U.S. and Russia. The Communiqué embodies the greatest degree of consensus that the international community has been able to achieve regarding the Syrian conflict, detailing a potentially viable path to a negotiated end to the civil war. Since May 2013, efforts by UN and Arab League Joint Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and others to host a peace conference on Syria (dubbed "Geneva II"), have reinforced the importance of developing possible constitutional and legislative modalities for a transition.
  • Topic: Civil War, Government, International Cooperation, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Alexander Ghaleb
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications enjoy full academic freedom, provided they do not disclose classified information, jeopardize operations security, or misrepresent official U.S. policy. Such academic freedom empowers them to offer new and sometimes controversial perspectives in the interest of furthering debate on key issues. This report is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Government, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • 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
  • Author: Valery Tishkov
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Gorbachev's liberalization brought the opening of Russia to the outside world and with it interest in and contact with the Russian 1 diaspora. After the dis- solution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the problem of the diaspora evolved quickly, when it was transformed into a political and even a humanitarian challenge.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: William Tompson
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The period since early 2004 has seen a significant expansion of the direct role of the Russian state in owning and managing industrial assets, particularly in 'strategic sectors' of the economy, such as power-generation machines, aviation, oil and finance. Increasingly, policy seems to have been focused less on market reforms than on tightening the state's grip on the 'commanding heights' of the economy. Many factors have contributed to this shift – factional, ideological, geopolitical and conjunctural – and, as will be argued below, there is not one single process at work, but several. This paper seeks to understand what has been driving the expansion of state ownership in Russia over the recent past and what that expansion might imply for the future. Its central conclusion is that a great deal of the explanation for this trend is in fact structural. While press coverage and public discussion have largely focused on factional politics and the political conjuncture – particularly conflicts between the Kremlin and big business and rivalry among Kremlin 'clans' ahead of the Putin succession in 2008 – a deeper understanding of the growth of the state requires an examination of the interaction between state capacities and Russia's industrial structure.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Anthony Bowyer
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: The Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union have been independent for nearly seventeen years following seven long decades of communist rule in which their identities and traditions were altered through Sovietization and the Russification that preceded it. The region was divided into Khanates and Great Hordes, which had their first experience with Islam dating back to the 8th century, consolidated through successive invasions by Persians and Arabs from the fifteenth century onward, and formed the northernmost expanse of the Islamic world. The gradual encroachment of Imperial Russian influence, first eastward into Siberia, southward into the North Caucasus and later into the steppe of Central Asia and beyond, came about as a shock to the traditional lifestyles and power structures of the region. The establishment of Tsarist military outposts was accompanied by often brutal suppression of local populations including seizure of land and imposition of alien social values. No strangers to outside invasions, the people of Central Asia adapted as best they could under the circumstances, struggling to maintain their cultures and history but capitalizing on the positive elements that contact with the Russians brought, namely trade and infrastructure modernization. Acceptance of the Tsar's rule was not universal, and as of the late 19th century much of the region was not under the Tsar's control.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Caucasus, Soviet Union
  • Author: Barry Herman
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: The governance structures of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization are distinct, although the meetings of the leaders of the Group of 7 industrial countries (G8 including Russia on political matters) provide an opportunity to forge coherence at least with the interests of those countries. Sometimes heads of other countries are invited to meet on the fringes of the summits, but these consultations are hardly negotiating forums. This paper argues why this is no longer tenable, if it ever was, and how to go about building a more representative structure of global trade and financial governance.
  • Topic: Globalization, Government, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • 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: 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: Hedvig Lohm
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Javakheti is situated in the South-East of Georgia, and is densely inhabited by Georgia's second largest national minority, Armenians. In most respects, Javakheti has been more dependent on Russia (in socio-economic terms) and Armenia (in cultural terms) than on its proper state, Georgia, since Georgia gained independence in 1991. Throughout the 1990s the region was often described as a 'potential hot-spot', yet another possible breakaway region in the Caucasus. This working paper will look into whether the situation has started to change in terms of whether Javakheti is now closer to becoming an integrated part of Georgia, given that territorial unity has been one of the main priorities of the Georgian government since the 'Rose Revolution' of 2003. The aim of this paper is thus to create a better understanding of the challenges that Javakheti faces, in order to facilitate an informed debate on the current situation and the future development of the region.
  • Topic: Government, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Armenia, Georgia
  • Author: Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European intergovernmental organisations such as the Council of Europe, OSCE and the EU have taken up the task to promote actively human rights in Russia. The organisations differ in methods, instrument s and over-all strategies but the goal of socialising Russia to common European human rights norms is the same for all these organisations. Socialisation means a process through which norms are transmitted from one party to another and they become firmly established domestic practices.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Human Welfare, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Steve Pifer
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: What a difference a year makes. The 2004 Ukrainian presidential election entailed massive fraud, sent hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets, and sparked a revolution. The March 26 parliamentary elections, by contrast, were strikingly calm and ordinary. The Orange Revolution's main hero, President Viktor Yushchenko, saw his party, Our Ukraine, come in a disappointing third. He nevertheless remains in the driver's seat in deciding who will make up the ruling coalition in the next Rada (parliament).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Myriam Désert
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: What are the roots of the informal sector and what effects does it have? Is it a blessing or a curse? Changes in post-Soviet Russia contribute new food for thought to a debate that had previously been nourished primarily by considerations on the situation in developing countries. In Russia can be observed processes of formalization – and “deformalization” – of the rules governing not only the practices of economic actors, but also in the rarified distribution of public services publics. The analysis of actual informal practices feeds thinking about the relations between economic and political changes: what impact do they have in setting up a market economy and the rule of law, and in the reconfiguration of both the economic and social arena? An investigation into the way Russian academic circles and social actors view the informal sector sheds light on the various behavioral determinant: reaction to the economic context, cultural roots, social beliefs, and so on. The case of Russia illustrates how the informal sector is not only a mode of action that circumvents legal guidelines, but also a mode of sociability that rejects anonymous social relations. It helps examine ways to reinject the social aspect into economics.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hyun H. Son, Nanak Kakwani
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper suggests how the targeting efficiency of government programmes may be better assessed. Using the 'pro-poor policy' (PPP) index developed by authors, the study investigates the pro-poorness of not only government programmes geared to the poorest segment of the population, but also basic service delivery in education, health and infrastructure. This paper also shows that the targeting efficiency for a particular socioeconomic group should be judged on the basis of a 'total-group PPP index', to capture the impact of operating a programme within the group. Using micro-unit data from household surveys, the paper presents a comparative analysis for Thailand, Russia, Vietnam and 15 African countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand
  • Author: Floriana Fossato
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: On 27 November 2006 in the Moscow Kremlin Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrated the 75th anniversary of Russian television with eight hundred journalists and top television managers. A very important occasion indeed. The Russian president sent messages of congratulations to a huge amount of organizations, but welcomed in person to the Kremlin only selected representatives of the most important ones, these days mainly the various branches of military and security organs. Television would seem an anomaly here, but it is not, since Russian officials and political advisers like to conceptualize television – so often used as a tool of manipulation- as “the Kremlin's nuclear weapon.”
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Matthew J. Spence
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: MIXED RESULTS FROM THE PROLIFERATION OF WESTERN RULE OF LAW assistance over the past twenty years has taught us much about what efforts do not work. Criminal justice reform in Russia offers a different type of lesson; it is a rare success story of rule of law promotion. In the 1990s, the U.S. government sought to promote the rule of law in many parts of the former Soviet Union and beyond, but few of these efforts outside Russia produced concrete results. Instead, lawlessness became a primary symptom of the apparent failure of many attempted rule of law reforms in the former Soviet Union.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: François Dauceé
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Collective mobilizations in post-Soviet Russia constitute an enigma for Western political sociology due to their numerical weakness and their incapacity to strengthen democratic practices in the country. This perplexity can be explained by the unsuitability of the research tools used for their study. Academic research on social mobilization has long been based primarily on postulates concerning the modernization of social movements in a economically and politically liberal context. Western and Russian leaders involved in the transition process demonstrated a will to foster the constitution of organizations independent from the State and the creation of a civil society as an opposition force. In the early 90s, the practices of voluntary organizations in Russia became closer to Western ones. Notions such as "associative entrepreneurship", "professionalization" or "frustration" were shared by Russian movements. However, later evolutions showed the unsuitability of these concepts to understanding the full complexity of these movements. That is why this issue of "Research in question" aims to suggest new theoretical perspectives for studying associations in Russia. These are at the crossroads of various grammars, where civic and liberal principles are combined with domestic and patriotic preoccupations. This complexity, which resists a purely liberal vision of social organizations, draws convergent criticisms against their action. In order to investigate this complexity of practices as well as criticisms, the tools produced by a pragmatic and multiculturalist sociology are useful to show the diversity of social and political bonds that link militants in contemporary Russia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: John B. Dunlop
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: According to official Russian statistics, in the period between 1-3 September 2004, 330 individuals perished in a terrorist incident at School Number 1 in the town of Beslan in the southern Russian Republic of North Ossetia. Of those who died, 317 were hostages—186 of them children. Ten were soldiers from the Russian FSB's spetsnaz (special forces). Two were personnel from the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations. One was a resident of Beslan killed while helping to evacuate the hostages during the storming of the building. Seven hundred and twenty-eight persons were said to have been wounded. A majority of the hostages who died—more than 160—perished under the school's collapsed roof. The Mothers of Beslan committee, comprised of mothers of pupils who perished in the building, provided even higher figures. “218 of those killed were found with burns,” they claim.
  • Topic: Government, Human Welfare, Terrorism
  • 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