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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
  • 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
  • Author: Jason R. Wisniewski
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: The small and medium-sized states in Southeast Asia have undergone significant geostrategic changes with the end of the Cold War and the rise of China. There has been a lively debate over the last decade about whether these countries would balance against or bandwagon with China, and how their relations with the other major powers in the region would change. Recent works that argue against the simple dichotomy of balancing versus bandwangoning are correct in asserting that Southeast Asian countries do not want to choose between the two major powers, the U.S. and China. But this paper goes further to present the results of an empirical study that fleshes out the conceptual thinking that underlies this avoidance strategy. It finds that instead of merely adopting tactical or time-buying policies, key Southeast Asian states have actively tried to influence the shaping of the new regional order. It argues that key Southeast Asian states in fact have (a) distinct coneptualisations of two main pathways to order in the region omni-enmeshment of major powers and complex balance of influence; and (b) a concrete vision of the preferred power distribution outcome, which is a hierarchical regional order.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Southeast Asia
  • 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: Sergei Prozorov
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The article seeks to map the emergent discursive field of conservatism in Russian politics in the context of the reshapement of the political space in the Putin presidency. In the course of Putin's first presidential term 'conservatism' became a privileged mode of political selfidentification in the Russian discourse, functioning as the nodal point of the hegemonic project of the Presidency. Yet, in accordance with the Foucauldian understanding of discourse as a system of dispersion, the article demonstrates the way the conservative discourse is internally fractured into two antagonistic strands, identified by their practitioners as liberal and left conservatisms. While the liberal-conservative orientation supports and sustains the depoliticising project of the Putin presidency, which orders and stabilises the effects of the anti-communist revolution, left conservatism functions in the modality of radical opposition to the Putinian hegemony, thereby contributing to the pluralisation of political space in contemporary Russia. In the present Russian political constellation 'conservatism' is therefore less a name for a stable hegemonic configuration than a designator of the field of political struggle over the very identity of postcommunist Russia. The article concludes with a critical discussion of the relation the two strands of Russian conservatism establish to the period of the 1990s as the 'moment of the political' in the Russian postcommunist transformation.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Richard J. Krickus
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to address two questions associated with Lithuania's political crisis in 2004. First, what were the domestic circumstances that led to the impeachment of Lithuania's President, Rolandas Paksas? Second, what evidence is there that Russia has played a significant role in the crisis and what are the motives behind Moscow's meddling in Lithuania's internal affairs? Answers to these questions are pertinent to the fate of countries throughout post-communist Europe, given their common history and geography. In addition, they provide the framework for addressing a third question that must be answered by the European Union (EU), NATO and the United States: what can be done about these two-fold threats to the newest members of the Western alliance?
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Lithuania, Moscow
  • 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: 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: David Betz
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: It is a truism that the nature and limits of parliamentary oversight in any state are determined by the constitutional and political structure unique to that state. That is to say, a state's constitutional and political “framework of legislative oversight” ultimately constrains the extent to which its parliamentarians may regulate their defence establishment. In some countries, parliament has the legal wherewithal to exert a high degree of scrutiny and control over developments in the defence sector. In others, parliaments possess only limited legal prerogatives in this respect because the executive dominates the defence sector.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary
  • Author: Edward Schatz
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Capital relocation (i.e., the physical move of the central state apparatus from one location to another) is an unusual tool for nation and state building. Yet, it is used more frequently than we might expect. Thus, when Kazakhstan shifted its capital city in 1997 from Almaty to Astana the move was unique in that post-Soviet region, but not as uncommon in other post-colonial cases. This paper examines the move of the capital in Kazakhstan suggests that this move was designed to address particularly acute nation-and state-building challenges. If the Kazakhstan experience seems strange in de-Sovietization, this tells us much about the different nature of post-Soviet space versus other post-colonial contexts. The relative in frequency of capital moves implies that the challenges of nation and state building in the ex-USSR—as daunting as they have proved to be—are generally not as acute as in those of other post-colonial contexts.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan
  • Author: Andrei Ryabov
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Not too long ago, the analysts studying the development of the Russian political process under Vladimir Putin attached foremost attention to efforts aimed to formulate the political priorities of Russia's second president and to ascertain his vision of the way the nation should develop. The actions and decisions made by Putin were analyzed primarily from that angle. For a long time, that way of analyzing today's Russian politics was regarded as perfectly operational: it is common knowledge that the political system in Russia is monocentric and the president is the principal political agent whose position largely determines the character and the thrust of political change. However, the two years that have elapsed since Putin's rise to power have compelled many experts to revise their attitudes. The reason is that despite the occasional changes in the system of government institutions made by the second president of the Russian Federation and his announcement of a continued market-oriented reform, what lies ahead remains uncertain. There are still doubts about the firmness of the stabilization attained under Putin, while the influence wielded by most of the key Russian political actors who arose back in Yeltsin's times has not diminished whatsoever. In this connection it has even been said that, in the final analysis, Putin will have to return to the policy pursued by his predecessor.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Alexei Malashenko
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Despite the interest for Islam in Russia, for the Islamic factor in the country's domestic and foreign policy, and despite the growing number of publications on the subject, the Russian Muslim community remains largely a thing in itself, an enigma. In other words, there are more questions than answers here.
  • Topic: Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Louise Shelley
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: The globalization of the fruits of Russian organized crime and corruption have affected Russia's international image and undermined state capacity. The departure of illicitly gained billions quickly diminished the capacity of even a once formidable power. It deprived Russia of the resources it needs to rebuild the state infrastructure, service its debts and pay the salaries and pensions of its citizens. The failure of a former superpower to meet the basic needs of its citizens has served as a powerful lesson to the international community. This occurred, in part, because those who controlled the state's capital could move money abroad in enormous amounts and great rapidity.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Virginie Coulloudon
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: One of the main difficulties in examining corruption both under the Soviet regime and in post-Soviet Russia lies in its definition. Ever since Yurii Andropov launched systematic anticorruption campaigns in the late 1970s and raised the level of awareness of this social disease, all Soviet and Russian leaders have emphasized the necessity of eradicating corruption without really clarifying what particular phenomenon they had in mind. When analyzing Russian corruption, one is surprised to see how many forms it takes: from rule evasion and bribe taking to rent-seeking, abuses of power, embezzlement, bureaucratic extortion, and insider dealing. Adding to this already complex picture, the causes of such infringements of the law and endemic corruption are perceived differently in different contexts – whether under the Soviet regime or in post-Soviet Russia, or if such actions were motivated by the necessity to survive in an economically and politically hostile environment or merely by a thirst for personal gain.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Judyth L. Twigg
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: It has become routine for Russian policy makers to characterize their various health and social problems—rising male mortality, HIV/AIDS, illegal drug use, even pension system reform—as threats to the stability and national security of their country. Russia's importance to American national interests was thrown in sharp relief by the events of September 11 and their aftermath. A stable, prosperous Russia is a crucial partner in the war on terrorism. The fact that so many of Russia's health and social indicators remain stagnant or in decline, despite limited improvement along some dimensions, should therefore be troubling to the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Human Welfare, Science and Technology, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Duncan DeVille, Danielle Lussier, Melissa Carr, David Rekhviashvili, Annaliis Abrego, John Grennan
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Russian support for U.S. efforts in the war on terrorism has surprised many Western observers. But this was not the only recent surprise from Moscow — Western advocates for the rule of law in Russia also had much to celebrate in the closing months of 2001. Under strong prodding by President Vladimir Putin, the Duma passed several impressive pieces of reform legislation, including an entirely new Criminal Procedure Code, a potentially revolutionary land reform law, new shareholder protections in amendments to the Joint Stock Company Law, and the first post-Soviet Labor Code.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Ilias Akhmadov
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Observers of the situation in Chechnya know that the "prospects for peace" that Akhmadov's title refers to are virtually nil, as Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chechen rebel leaders continue to lock horns on how to end the hostilities that broke out in war over two years ago. Akhmadov devoted considerable time in his discussion to the problems confronting Chechnya since the development of a Bush-Putin alliance to combat "Islamic fundamentalism." He also challenged Putin's insistence that the conflicts in Chechnya are domestic and therefore not subject to international monitoring or mediation. Akhmadov opened his talk with the assertion that the destruction he had discussed at the Davis Center in January 2000 had grown more serious, with levels of physical devastation and civilian casualties on the rise and the world community more supportive than ever of armed Russian intervention. To illustrate his point that the Russian Federation is unfairly using the international war on terror to justify actions in Chechnya, Akhmadov said that two days after FBI agents found diskettes containing flying instructions which had belonged to the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the US, Russian FSB agents reported finding similar diskettes belonging to Chechen terrorists in the woods near a pilot-training school. Akhmadov considered the presence of such a school in those woods unlikely. He added that a high casualty rate among Chechen civilians is now officially connected to the search for members of Al Qaeda. Akhmadov reminded the audience of a speech made by Putin on September 24, 2001, in which the Russian president expressed support for the United States' war on terror and urged Chechen rebels to disarm and abandon their separatist fight. Akhmadov's response to that speech was that disarmament could not be a condition for starting peace talks. As for the November meeting between Viktor Kazantsev, Putin's envoy to Chechnya, and Akhmed Zakayev, a prominent representative of Chechnya's rebels, Akhmadov said it "left no room for illusions about their relations, or about the Russian government's position on Chechnya." The talk ended when Zakayev refused to comply with Kazanstev's request that the rebels disarm. Akhmadov addressed allegations of ties between the rebels and Osama bin Laden in the question-and-answer session, restricting himself during his talk to criticism of what he considers unwarranted BBC and CNN reports about the "thousands of Chechens fighting in Afghanistan." While Akhmadov allowed for the possibility that a few Chechens could be fighting for the Taliban, he stressed the unlikelihood that Chechens played a critical role in Taliban efforts and reported that nobody yet had been able to provide any "concrete facts to verify that Chechens are fighting for the Taliban." Putin's affirmations that Chechnya belongs to Russia apparently strike Akhmadov as oxymoronic, as indicated by his remark that "the Russian Federation wants to integrate the territory of Chechnya but not the people." To convey the extent of destruction wrought by the Chechen-Russian conflicts, Akhmadov cited data culled by Russians showing that before the first war in 1994, there were 1 million Chechens; 100,000 people were killed between 1994-6; that casualty figure has been greatly exceeded during the fighting that started in 1999. In addition, 400,000 Chechens have emigrated or become displaced persons. Akhmadov pointedly remarked that "we don't count as refugees, because that only happens during a war . . . What is happening in Chechnya is, according to Russia, 'a small, minor anti-terrorist operation.'"Finally, Akhmadov stated that impartial monitoring groups were needed to observe the conflict. He also asserted that a one-on-one dialogue with Russians was not a realistic solution and that intermediaries were needed to promote discussion between Russian and Chechen leaders. Following his prepared talk, Akhmadov replied to questions from the audience about issues including Chechen rebel fighting in Abkhazia, hostage-taking, and Russian bombing of civilian and industrial areas. In response to a question about Maskhadov's ability to rebuild the war-torn region, Akhmadov said that "neither Maskhadov nor any other Chechen can do anything with Chechnya's meager resources." He also said that the international community should aid Chechnya in future attempts to rebuild the war-torn republic and that visiting Ground Zero in New York had given him the "feeling that I had seen that [kind of devastation] somewhere before, only on a larger scale." Finally, Akhmadov answered an audience member's question about Russian and Chechen military strategy by saying that it was hard forhim to believe that "someone is sitting at a map plotting points . . . We're [Russians and Chechens] just killing each other . . . Russians see us, they kill us, and vice versa. It's a snowball effect."
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Thomas E. Jr. Graham
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For much of the first decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the issue of reform—of transition to free-market democracy—dominated discussions of Russia in Russia itself and in the West. Russian president Boris Yeltsin advocated reform; Western governments declared their support and offered their assistance. This was particularly true of the U.S. government. President Clinton's administration came into office in 1993 determined to assist Russia in its transformation into “a normal, modern state—democratic in its governance, abiding by its own constitution and by its own laws, market-oriented and prosperous in its economic development, at peace with itself and the rest of the world,” as deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott, the chief architect of the U.S. administration's Russia policy, was wont to put it.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Since U.S. President George W. Bush's 24 June 2002 statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian reform has emerged as a key ingredient in Middle East diplomacy. In his statement, the president publicly identified “a new and different Palestinian leadership” and “entirely new political and economic institutions” as preconditions for the establishment of a Palestinian state. In early July, the Quartet of Middle East mediators (the European Union, Russian Federation, United Nations, and United States) established an International Task Force for Palestinian Reform “to develop and implement a comprehensive reform action plan” for the Palestinian Authority (PA). The September 2002 statement by the Quartet underscored reform of Palestinian political, civil, and security institutions as an integral component of peacemaking. The three phase-implementation roadmap, a U.S. draft of which was presented to Israel and the Palestinians by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns in October, provided details on this reform component.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, United Nations
  • 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: Vladimir Mochalov
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Following the disintegration of the USSR, there was no decrease in the total length of the Russian border in comparison with that of the Soviet Union (more than 60'000 km²). The number of bordering countries rose from fifteen to sixteen. Furthermore, 13'500 km² of new boundaries were created. This figure represented a fifth overall length of the border). Yet, the new boundaries were not formalised in legal terms, they were not appropriately equipped and, in fact, lacked border guard control.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Luigi Manzetti
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The North-South Center, University of Miami
  • Abstract: In December 2001, Argentina recorded the world's largest default ever, as it failed to honor payments on its US$132 billion foreign debt. Since then, five presidents have been in power, the Argentine peso has been devalued by 120 percent, and the banking system has virtually collapsed, dragging the economy into a depression. The gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 16.3 percent in the first quarter of 2002. Argentina's per capita income has become one of the worst in Latin America, and, as a result, more than one-third of its people live under the poverty line. 1 Argentines' confidence in their elected officials has disappeared. By most accounts, the country has literally imploded to a degree that has no precedent in Latin America's contemporary history. This is particularly bewildering, considering that only 10 years ago Argentina was hailed around the world as a model of successful economic reforms, with standards of living that were not only the highest in the region but comparable to those of some southern European countries. How could Argentina go from role model to international outcast so quickly? Some place the blame on external shocks created by the financial crises in Mexico (1995), Indonesia (1997), Thailand (1998), and Russia (1998). Others say the cause of the problem was misguided policy advice from the International Monetary Fund (Stiglitz 2002). Yet, most analyses ascribe much of the trouble to the Convertibility Law's fixed exchange rate policy adopted in 1991.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Indonesia, Argentina, South America, Latin America, Mexico, Thailand
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: Moscow will continue to devote scarce resources to maintaining its nuclear forces. Nevertheless, the aging of Russia's strategic systems and Putin's military reform plan to shift resources to the general purpose forces probably will result in Russia having fewer than 2,000 strategic warheads by 2015. Even with ongoing reductions, Moscow probably will retain several thousand nonstrategic nuclear warheads in its inventory because of concerns over its deteriorating conventional capabilities.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Andreas Umland
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This paper uses some findings of research into non-Russian civil societies and ultra-nationalisms as well as selected examples of non-party Russian right-wing extremism to illustrate that the relative decline in radically nationalist party politics towards the end of the 1990s should not be seen as an unequivocal indication that „anti-liberal statism“ has lost its appeal in Russia. It also attempts to show that the considerable diversification in the non-governmental, not-for-profit sector of Russian society since the mid-1980s cannot be regarded as exclusively beneficial in terms of Russia's polyarchic consolidation, and further democratization. Not only is a Russian „civic public“ or „civic community“ developing only slowly. Some of the more significant preand post-Soviet groups, movements, and trends within the Russian voluntary sector are unsupportive, or explicitly critical of liberal democracy. A number of major non-state institutions and networks in Russian society contain ultra-nationalist, fundamentalist, and, partly, protofascist sub-sectors that question using the construct „civil society“ to designate them. These organizations' or groupings' primary function is less — or not at all — to enhance peoples' inclination and ability to participate effectively in political activities that could promote further democratization. Instead, they provide — sometimes expressly so — a medium for the spread of radically particularistic world views, ascriptive notions about human nature, and illiberal or/and bellicose political ideas, as well as an organizational training ground for potential political activists holding such ideas.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Michael McFaul, Timothy J. Colton
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: A NEW NARRATIVE ABOUT POST -S OVIET R USSIA is taking hold in policy, media, and academic circles and shows signs of entrenching as a new conventional wisdom. By this reading, Russia's experiment with democracy has flat-out failed. So misconceived and mismanaged were the political and economic reforms of the 1990s that they have fueled mass disenchantment with democratic norms and brought authoritarianism back into repute. Russians, in short, are said to be giving up on democracy.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • 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: Raymond J. Struyk, L. Jerome Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: A hallmark of the administration of social assistance under the socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and the USSR was the universal nature of eligibility for benefits, either to all citizens or to categories of deserving citizens, e.g., the physically handicapped. During the transition period since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation has taken limited steps to improve the targeting of benefits. The challenge to improvement is acute because the administration of the great majority of programs rests with agencies of local government. The question addressed here is how amenable local program administration is to improved targeting and more progressive program administration in general. Presented is an analysis of the results of assessments of two pilot programs implemented in two Russian cities in 2000–2001. The “school lunch pilot” introduced means testing in the school lunch program on a citywide basis; eligible families receive cash payments and all children pay the same price for their lunches in cash. The “jobs pilot” is a new, local means-tested program that provides cash support to families while unemployed workers search for work; continued receipt of funds is conditional on a minimum job search effort. We find that both programs were successfully implemented and that there was little resistance to the sharper targeting. On the other hand, a variety of problems with program administration were identified—problems that need to be addressed if program integrity and credibility are to be maintained.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Richard W. Bulliet, Fawaz A. Gerges
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: For several months prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, a videotape calling Muslims to a holy war against forces described as Crusaders and Jews circulated underground in the Arab world. Produced on behalf of Osama bin Laden and prominently featuring his image, words, and ideas, the tape is designed to recruit young Arab men to journey to Afghanistan and train for a war in defense of Islam.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Government, International Cooperation, International Law, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: Both the number and intensity of humanitarian emergencies, as well as the number of people in need, will remain at about the same high level or even increase somewhat by December 2000- testing the capacity and willingness of the international donor community to respond adequately. According to the US Committee for Refugees, roughly 35 million people are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. There are twenty-four ongoing humanitarian emergencies and new or renewed emergencies could appear in the Balkans, Sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, and/or Central America. Humanitarian conditions throughout the former Yugoslavia, Haiti, Iraq, and North Korea will continue to have a particularly significant impact upon regional stability, as well as on the strategic interests of major outside powers. Conditions are likely to worsen in Angola, Colombia, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Republic of Serbia within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), excluding the province of Kosovo. The current drought in the Horn of Africa may induce a famine as severe as that of the mid-1980s. The humanitarian situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) and Sierra Leone are unlikely to improve significantly even if pending peace accords hold, and could worsen considerably if such accords were to fail. In addition to the emergencies cited above, several other major countries and regions may experience conflict, political instability, sudden economic crises, or technological or natural disasters- leading to new or renewed humanitarian emergencies: Resumed hostilities between India and Pakistan that expanded beyond the borders of Kashmir, as they did in previous conflicts, would displace a million or more people on both sides of the border. The countries of Central America and the Caribbean that were battered by hurricanes in 1998- especially Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Haiti-remain vulnerable to weather-induced disasters. Internal ethnic conflict would create substantial humanitarian needs in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The possibility of additional sudden economic emergencies also cannot be discounted. In Russia, drought threatens the grain harvest, and unless the outlook improves, Moscow will again need large-scale food assistance. Despite Nigeria's turn toward democracy, escalating conflict in the oil-rich Niger River Delta region could lead to widespread refugee flows into neighboring countries. The possible effects of widespread Y2K-related difficulties could aggravate current humanitarian emergencies or lead to new emergencies. The overall demand for emergency humanitarian assistance through December 2000 may exceed the willingness of major donor countries to respond. Overall funding for ongoing emergencies has probably temporarily spiked upward owing to Hurricane Mitch and Kosovo. Nevertheless, the focus on the Balkans could detract attention and resources from other regions with extensive humanitarian needs. Absent major new emergencies, the longer-term funding trend is likely to continue downward, increasing the shortfall. Government funding is likely to decline fastest for long-lasting conflicts where attempts at political resolution continue to fail.
  • Topic: Genocide, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Balkans, Central America
  • 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