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  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: While post-Cold War generation Americans are more sober in assessing Russia, the next Russian generation (those under 35) is in some ways more problematic. Russian youth are much more entrepreneurial and politically engaged than their elders, but also more skeptical of the US and more comfortable with intolerant nationalism. The Kremlin is also reinforcing some of the more worrying trends among Russian youths. There is no going back to the Cold War, but the coming of the new generation does not portend smooth sailing, unless current officials can figure out ways to fundamentally alter the nature of a relationship still dominated by mutual distrust.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Soviet Union
  • Author: Fyodor Lukyanov
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: When Vladimir Putin described the breakup of the Soviet Union several years ago as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, his words triggered a strong reaction in the West and among Russia's neighbors. They sensed that the Russian president's words held not only nostalgia for the now-vanished great power but also hidden imperial ambitions. Indeed, Russia's political class of the late 20th and early 21st century is overcoming its post-imperial syndrome with difficulty. This phenomenon is not unique—many European empires faced the same problem in the 20th century. In Russia's case, the situation is compounded by the fact that the country's disintegration meant the loss of territories that had never been viewed as colonies but had been seen as a natural part of the country's historical and cultural core. For the first time in history, the Russian people have become a divided nation. After the Soviet Union ceased to exist, 25 million ethnic Russians found themselves living outside the Russian Federation, which could not but have an impact on the policies of Moscow and the other newly independent states. At the same time, Putin's words also carried a deeper meaning that few people noticed.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Moscow
  • Author: Gary D. Espinas
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Ukraine faces a number of challenges, including a deep economic crisis and a tumultuous political system. These problems, however, only underscore the importance of continued U.S. engagement with Ukraine. The causes of European stability and prosperity are best served by a Ukraine that is democratic, secure in its borders, and integrated into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. This has been the U.S. position since Ukraine's independence in 1991. In addition to its internal challenges, Ukraine faces an external challenge: Russia. Recent Russian actions suggest that Moscow still considers Ukraine to be within its sphere of influence. Furthermore, Russia's conflict with Georgia in August 2008 demonstrates that Moscow is willing to use a wide variety of tools, including military force, to establish and enforce its sphere of influence. Such attitudes threaten to return Europe to the destructive balance of power politics of its past, rather than promote a peace in the region based on the right of sovereign nations to determine their own future. Ukraine has made a choice to be a part of Europe by undertaking a number of reforms in order to become a truly independent and democratic country. In the interest of greater European stability and prosperity, and in recognition of Ukraine's positive engagement, the United States must continue its efforts to assist Ukraine on the path to democracy.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, Moscow
  • Author: Christophe-Alexandre Paillard
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In the field of energy, Europe will be confronted with various risks in the next twenty years. Most notably, there is no clear alternative to fossil energy on a large scale with the possible exception of nuclear energy; yet few countries are able to pay for the large investment required by a nuclear industry. The need to ensure greater energy security and better regulation of energy supplies will turn energy policy into a much more politicized issue. Energy, already an important security concern, will continue to shape future military and political relations, especially if there is no other option other than oil and gas to satiate growing demand.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Daniel Treisman
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Russia is often thought to be a classic case of the resource curse—the idea that natural resource wealth tends to impair democratic development.1 Some see the country as doomed to authoritarian politics by its enormous endowments of oil and gas. “Russia's future will be defined as much by the geology of its subsoil as by the ideology of its leaders,” writes Moisés Naím, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine and former trade and industry minister of petroleum-rich Venezuela. “A lot of oil combined with weak public institutions produces poverty, inequality, and corruption. It also undermines democracy.” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman sees a close relationship between world commodity prices and the extent of liberty in resource-rich states: a higher oil price means less freedom. Friedman suggests that Russia, from Gorbachev to Putin, fits this relationship perfectly.
  • Topic: International Relations, Debt
  • Political Geography: Russia, New York
  • Author: Nina Poussenkova
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In any economy, oil and gas companies are tightly linked with the government. In petro-states such as Russia, they are so closely connected that they are sometimes indistinguishable. This symbiotic relationship is particularly strong in the global expansion of Russian energy corporations such as Gazprom, LUKOIL and Rosneft . which is guided by a tangled web of commercial and political motives.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Sergei Guriev, Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: By January 1992, the Soviet Union had dissolved and the new Russian government had liberalized prices for most goods and services, ushering in a new Russian economy. In 2010, this economy turned eighteen years old and has, in Russian terms, come of age. In this article, we assess the current state of the Russian economy and its long-term prospects. Where is the Russian economy today, and where is it heading?
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Korea
  • Author: Padma Desai
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The financial turmoil originating from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis hit Russia by early September 2008, prompting the Russian government and the Central Bank of Russia to undertake a set of speedy and concerted measures to soften the impact of the crisis. These initial measures supported the value of the ruble as ruble holders, domestic and foreign, switched to dollars. They also provided hard currency to major Russian banks and Russian big business (the so-called oligarchs) which had borrowed heavily from foreign banks for their expanding operations from 2000 to 2007.
  • Topic: Government, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Maria Lipman
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: One week after journalist Anna Politkovskaya was assassinated in Moscow, the Russian polling agency Levada Center asked her compatriots whether they had been aware of her work before the murder. Six percent said they had read her articles in which she investigated atrocities in Chechnya and other grim aspects of Russian life. Of this small group of readers, very few chose to join the rally the day after Politkovskaya's death at the hands of a contract killer.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Debra Javeline, Sarah Lindemann-Komarova
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Most analyses of civil society development in contemporary Russia tend to focus geographically on the city of Moscow and substantively on political elites, elections, and human rights violations. To the extent that the 141 million Russian citizens are mentioned, their experiences are usually represented by a handful of Muscovite human rights leaders. These leaders are certainly part of Russia's civil society, as are the many Russian citizens who have been victimized by the brutal war in Chechnya and other actions in the Caucasus. However, what of the other Russians? The story of the remaining 141 million matters and is yet untold.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Stephen F. Cohen is Professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University and Professor of Politics Emeritus at Princeton University. His books include Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution; Rethinking the Soviet Experience; Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia; and, most recently, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War. His forthcoming book, The Victims Return: Survivors of the Gulag After Stalin, will be published in August.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Sergei Ryabkov is the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. He has served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1982 in Moscow and abroad. He has been head of the OSCE Unit of the Department of European Cooperation, minister counsellor of the Russian Embassy in the USA, and director of the Department of European Cooperation. Mr. Ryabkov was named Deputy Minister in 2008. As part of his duties, he chairs the Policy Steering Group and Arms Control and International Security Working Group under the U.S.–Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission set up by President's Obama and Medvedev.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Iva Savic
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The first decade of the post-Cold War era left the Russian military neglected, impoverished and, to a large extent, structurally and technologically obsolete. During the presidency of Vladimir Putin, however, the Russian leadership became determined to regain the country's military prowess. In 2003, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov declared the end of the era when the military had to struggle to survive. Concurrently, the Russian Armed Forces began reforms aimed at creating a smaller, highly mobile, modern professional army that would be equipped to deal with regional wars and insurgencies, while larger threats would be deterred by the nuclear arsenal. The security budget rose from RUB 214 billion in 2000 to RUB 1017 billion in 2008, 400 new types of armament and hardware were introduced, reorganization of command and control was initiated, and the professionalization of the once all-conscript army commenced.
  • Topic: Cold War, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Michael Broache
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The conventional wisdom concerning Russian energy policy is overwhelmingly alarmist: Russia's role as a major oil and gas producer has strengthened the Russian state vis-à-vis domestic civil society, undermined democratization and market reforms, and emboldened Russia to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy. Russian Energy Power and Foreign Relations, a compilation of essays edited by Jerome Perovic, Robert W. Orttung, and Andreas Wenger, confronts this conventional wisdom by presenting a nuanced account of recent developments in Russian energy policy and their implications for global energy security and Russian foreign relations.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: David Szakonyi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In addition to being the largest country outside of the trading bloc, Russia has also recently achieved another undesirable distinction in the annals of the World Trade Organization (WTO): the longest candidacy bid at over sixteen years, surpassing China's previous record. Russian leaders have notably fluctuated in their desire for entry and their demands along the WTO accession journey, leading to serious uncertainty about where the entire process is headed. Rising interest in regional organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community may even herald the decline of the supremacy of Western institutions, at least among many states in Eurasia. Deciphering how post-Soviet states determine their policies in the international arena is a treacherous affair, but an important one for the economic order.
  • Topic: Economics, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia
  • Author: Maksim Hanukai
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In January 1992, Jonathan Brent, a newly appointed editor at Yale University Press, touched down at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport carrying ample supplies of Jack Daniel's whiskey, salami, biscuits, chocolates in the shape of the Statue of Liberty, and cartons of Winston cigarettes. There he was met by Jeffrey Burds, a burly historian who would help him secure publishing contracts with several Soviet archives for the Annals of Communism project at Yale. “Jeff's energy was hectic, explosive, and filled with urgency, as if at any moment the tragic and beautiful events unfolding in this country would blaze into an epiphany,” Brent writes of his guide. In the days and years that followed, Brent himself would discover the “tragic and beautiful” nature of the new Russia, recording his impressions of the many trips he would take to the country in his gripping memoir.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Setti-Semhal Petros
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: The murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the state seizure of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's petroleum company Yukos were but a few signals for Edward Lucas that Putin's Russia was backsliding into an authoritarian state. His book examines how accusations of human rights violations leveled against Putin's government and its presumed threat to its citizens is of more than a normative concern to the West. Rather, these developments, characterized as the New Cold War, are an indication that Russia also become a peril to the West.
  • Topic: Cold War, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: James Kraska, Brian Wilson
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: More than 200 years ago, just as the United States was developing into a nation, corsair piracy challenged the ability of the country to conduct international trade throughout the Mediterranean Sea. While the Barbary threat was defeated, piracy continues to thrive and has become a feature of the contemporary age. Now, pirates operating off the Somali coast represent a destabilizing force in the region, and their attacks wreak havoc on world shipping markets at the very time the industry is suffering from economic collapse. Although piracy in the Horn of Africa has picked up throughout the past five years, 2008 was an especially remarkable year. In 2008, Somali pirates attacked more than one hundred vessels in the Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean. The audacity and scope of this piracy campaign is unprecedented in the modern age. Twenty thousand ships transit the Gulf of Aden annually and in 2007 about 6,500 tankers, carrying 12 percent of the world's daily oil supply, used the route. This strategic area links trade between the east and west through the neighboring Strait of Bab el-Mandeb and into the Suez Canal. Piracy also occurs in Southeast Asia, off the African west coast and in the Caribbean, but the explosion in the number and scope of incidents in the Horn of Africa has galvanized world attention. Increasingly, Somali pirates seize and hold for ransom seafarers and valuable cargo. Among the take are thirty three Russian armored tanks, 2 million barrels of crude oil valued at $100 million and tankers full of bulk chemicals.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, Southeast Asia, East Africa
  • Author: Princeton N. Lyman, Kathryn A. Robinette
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: T he election of Barack Obama as president of the United States has aroused expectations around the world, but nowhere as much as in Africa. Obama inherits a record of achievement on the continent from George W. Bush that w ill be hard to match, if not exceed. He will also be far more heavily engaged elsewhere in the world than in Africa, with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the nuclear threat from Iran, problems encompassing Russia and the worldwide economic crisis. Yet, Obama has singular potential to make his mark on Africa as neither his immediate nor earlier predecessors were able to do—that is, to carry his message of personal and political responsibility, which was emphasized in his inaugural address to African leaders. In addition, he can help empower the institutions of Africa's governments and civil society that can demand accountability, service and democracy where Africa has lagged and been held back. These steps will make American aid and trade programs—on which he can draw from an impressive Bush legacy, and which he must still improve—all the more effective.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Russia, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Vsevolod Gunitskiy
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: In August 2007, a Russian submarine surprised the world by planting the country's flag on the Arctic seabed, almost 14,000 feet below the North Pole. The titanium tricolor was the culmination of a scientific mission to demonstrate Russia's claim to a vast, potentially resource-rich region along its northern coast. Recent geological surveys suggest the Arctic may hold up to a quarter of the world's remaining oil and gas reserves. Predictably, other circumpolar powers criticized the Russian voyage. “This isn't the 15th century,” said Canadian foreign minister Peter MacKay. “You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say 'We're claiming this territory.'”
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Canada