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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
  • Author: Geoffrey Pridham
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union has a unique opportunity to develop a positive strategy towards Ukraine. A pro-EU government is now in power in Kyiv, there is a revived civil society pressing for democratic reforms and the actions by Russia have both reinforced Ukraine's pro-West line and led to the priority given Moscow being questioned by some member states. It is therefore essential to grant Ukraine a membership perspective to strengthen this trend and encourage Kyiv to confront and overcome the basic problems that face the country.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Moscow
  • Author: Alena Vysotskaya Guedes Vieira
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Russia's actions towards Ukraine in 2013-14, which inaugurated a new Cold War in its relations with the West, presented a dilemma to Russia's allies: whether to align themselves with Russia's choices or pursue a more independent course of action. The leadership of Belarus, Russia's closest ally, chose the latter option both by establishing dialogue with the interim government and President of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchinov, considered illegitimate in Russia and, later, by being present at the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko on 7 June 2014 and downplaying Russia's position on the 'federalisation' of Ukraine as the only way out of the country's instability. The perspective of the intra-alliance security dilemma helps explain the divergence of views between Russia and Belarus, while pointing to the changing position of the parties towards the Eurasian integration project.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • 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: Okan Yesilot
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Over the past months, the crisis in Crimea presented the world with a case study on how rapidly national borders may shift in the 21st century. The turmoil in Ukraine began in November 2013 as widespread protests erupted following a last-minute decision by former president Viktor Yanukovych's to suspend talks on a trade pact with the European Union under pressure from the Russian government. The pro-Russian leadership in Crimea organized an impromptu referendum where the vast majority of participants voted in favor of uniting with the Russian Federation. This article provides an analysis of recent developments in Crimea in the context of Russian policy in the region.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Zinaida Shevchuk
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: This article explores the conflict processes in one of the most volatile regions in post-Soviet space - South Ossetia. The objective of the analysis is to bring more nuanced and explicit distinction to the understanding of the heterogeneous nature of the armed conflict. By studying the evolution of issues at stake and conflict processes we can trace the pattern of conflict behavior. The study focuses on an assessment of the extent to which ethnicity is merely a convenient common dominator to mobilize ethnic groups in the struggle over resources, land, or power. This study rejects the common notion that the contemporary conflicts in the South Ossetia can be understood as "unfinished business" from the past ethnic conflicts that had been "frozen" under the communist regime.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, South Ossetia
  • Author: Nikolay Kozhanov
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Russian government sincerely believes that Assad's removal from power would trigger the expansion of jihadism and instability in the Caucasus and southern Russia. Moscow is deeply concerned about the rise of Islamists in the Middle East, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia's efforts to support the most radical factions in Syria. At the same time, the obvious absence of the ideological background behind current Russian-Syrian relations makes them a trade item. Thus, official guarantees that the jihadists will not export their revolution elsewhere accompanied by promises to preserve some Russian economic positions in post-Assad Syria will probably create the necessary ground for the emergence of a compromise stance on Syria (including the issue of foreign intervention).
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Mina Sumaadii
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: For most of modern history Mongolia has been isolated from the world due to the geopolitical struggles between Russia and China. As the Communist system collapsed and liberal democracy was established, many outsiders wondered why the country succeeded in democratization where other neighboring ex-Soviet states had failed. The odds were mainly against the country, due to high levels of poverty and geographical distance from established mature democracies. Nevertheless, in Mongolia the common answer is that the political culture was compatible with the principles of liberal democracy. This work is an empirical study of macro and micro developments based on modernization theory. It explores the values and attitudes of the general population in an effort to examine what makes it pro-democratic. The main finding is that the general claim of modernization theory is applicable to Mongolia, but in relation to political culture as a mediator between economic development and democratization.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Mongolia
  • Author: Colonel Steven D. Dubriske
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The government of Poland has addressed a number of difficult national security issues since the nation regained its independence from Soviet control in 1989. Longstanding border disputes with neighboring countries and the perceived disparate treatment of Polish minorities in these countries are just two examples of the many external security challenges Poland faced head-on after its emergence from the Warsaw Pact. Poland\'s leadership has also addressed a number of internal security problems, such as the mod- ernization of its Cold War-era military and the transfer of control of the armed forces from the Polish General Staff to civilian authorities within its Ministry of Defense.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Sergey Lavrov
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: On February 12 OF this year, Russian President V.V. Putin approved a new Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation. The guide lines for the document, work on which lasted several months, were set by a presidential decree that was signed the day the head of state was inaugurated. The draft concept was discussed with the government agencies that are most actively involved in international activity, and considered in various departments of the Russian presidential administration. The Russian expert community was involved in its preparation, including members of the Foreign Ministry's scientific Council. We are grateful to all those who have put forward their proposals and considerations, including in the pages of International Affairs.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Henry Farrell, Martha Finnemore
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The U.S. government seems outraged that people are leaking classified materials about its less attractive behavior. It certainly acts that way: three years ago, after Chelsea Manning, an army private then known as Bradley Manning, turned over hundreds of thousands of classified cables to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, U.S. authorities imprisoned the soldier under conditions that the UN special rapporteur on torture deemed cruel and inhumane. The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, appearing on Meet the Press shortly thereafter, called WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, “a high-tech terrorist.”
  • Topic: Security, Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, India
  • Author: Burak Bilgehan Özpek
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: The emergence of an energy security crisis between Russia and European countries has cast doubt on the argument that commercial ties lead to peaceful political relations between states as the energy trade between Russia and Europe has been inclined to generate conflict rather than cooperation. Nevertheless, the crisis has showed that military security issues no longer dominate the agenda and that issues produce different degrees of cooperation and conflict between governments. Furthermore, governments cannot use military force in order to resolve issues in an era of interdependence. Therefore, the European Union (EU), which suffers from an asymmetric dependence on energy resources imported from or via Russia, has adopted a diversification policy. This policy not only affects energy security but also the EU's enlargement process. Accordingly, a diversification policy requires embracing alternative energy sources, such as Turkey's involvement in oil and gas pipeline projects bypassing Russia. Thus, Turkey's contribution to European energy security creates an interdependence, which could affect Turkey's relations with the EU.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Sean Roberts
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: If Russia is to follow an evolutionary path to democracy, then the regime must be ready to draw the so-called 'non-systemic' opposition into political processes. This gradualist formula for democratic change is also the formula for political stability. A number of liberalising reforms conducted by the regime in response to widespread protests following the December 2011 State Duma election gave grounds for optimism that this process is now underway. However, any hopes that these events would kick-start democratic reforms were short-lived. Rather than draw in opponents, the regime has sought to isolate them, using a combination of reform, non-reform, dividing tactics and repression. But the results have not been positive. The non-systemic opposition is under increasing pressure, having seen its options all but reduced to more protesting. It is also showing signs of radicalisation. At the same time, the Kremlin's uncompromising approach is undermining regime stability. The pressure is building in the Russian political system. The combination of repression and radicalisation could easily see political stagnation degenerate into instability and the EU should take this new dynamic into account in its future policy planning.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Democratization, Government, Political Economy, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Svante Cornell, Frances Burwell
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The first phase of the US "Reset" of its relations with Russia has concluded. Launching a second phase will not be easy: with the Russian presidential elections in March, there will be only a brief window for moving US-Russia relations forward before the US presidential contest moves into full gear. Although the result of the Russian election was widely seen as pre-ordained, the protests following the parliamentary and presidential contests have added uncertainty. A new Putin administration will be challenged by many reformers, but the external impact of that growing internal divide is unclear.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Government, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • 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: Jorge Heine, R. Viswanathan
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: India emerges as a major partner for Latin America.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Latin America
  • 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: Gideon Reich
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Norman Podhoretz, Jewish neoconservative and former editor-in-chief of Commentary magazine, attempts in his book Why Are Jews Liberals? to answer the perplexing commitment of American Jews to modern liberalism. Jews, according to Podhoretz, violate "commonplace assumptions" about political behavior, such as that "people tend to vote their pocket books"; they "take pride . . . in their refusal to put self-interest . . . above the demands of \'social justice\'"; and they have consistently sided with the left in the "culture war" (pp. 2-3). According to statistics cited by Podhoretz, 74 percent of Jews support increased government spending and, since 1928, on average, 75 percent have voted for candidates of the Democratic Party. Such political behavior "finds no warrant either in the Jewish religion or in the socioeconomic condition of the American Jewish community" (p. 3), argues Podhoretz; it can be explained only by realizing that Jews are treating liberalism as a "religion . . . obdurately resistant to facts that undermine its claims and promises" (p. 283). Podhoretz traces the prevalent political orientation of present-day Jews to conditions suffered by their Jewish ancestors in medieval Europe and later in the United States. During the Dark and Middle Ages, Christian authorities in Europe placed severe restrictions on Jews, including where they could live and what professions they could practice. In later centuries, as the influence of Christianity declined, liberal revolutions swept much of the European continent, and, in the 19th century, Western European governments began recognizing the rights of Jews and treating them as equal under the law (p. 57). Even so, conservative Christians, who still supported the monarchies, remained opposed to the "emancipation" of the Jews (pp. 55-57). Consequently, Jews entered politics in Europe almost exclusively as liberals, in opposition to the Christian right that had oppressed them and their ancestors (pp. 58-59). Governments in Eastern Europe and Russia, however, continued to persecute Jews well into the early 20th century (pp. 65-67), and, between 1881 and 1924, two million Jews immigrated to America, where they would be treated equally before the law. Most were poor, and few ventured out of Lower East Side Manhattan, where the majority found jobs in the textile industry, working more than sixty hours a week for low wages, and where even "modest improvements in their condition" were achieved only by the efforts of a Jewish labor movement (pp. 99-100). . . .
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Last quarter we focused on remarks by US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaiming that “America is back in Asia,” an obvious dig at real and perceived neglect of Asia by the previous administration. This quarter, both were forced to postpone planned trips to Asia although, in Secretary Clinton's case, not before giving a major Asia policy address in Honolulu. This quarter also ended the same as last, amid hints that Pyongyang really would, at some not too distant point (but not this past quarter), return to six-party deliberations. On a more positive note, it looks like arms control agreements are on the way back, following the announcement that the US and Russia had finally come to terms on a new strategic arms agreement, to be signed by both presidents in April. Speculation about the “changing balance of power” in Asia also continues as a result of China's economic resilience and apparent newfound confidence, although it still seems premature to announce that the Middle Kingdom is back, given the challenges highlighted at this year's National Peoples' Congress. Political normalcy also appears to be a long way from returning to Bangkok where the “red shirts” have once again taken to the street, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, America, Asia, Bangkok
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The past quarter in inter-Korean relations might be called the morning after the night before. Tensions over the sunken ROK corvette Cheonan by no means disappeared; the less so since North Korea still denied responsibility, while the South smarted at its failure to convince key powers – China and Russia above all – of Pyongyang‟s culpability. The Cheonan incident remains a crime and an obstacle. Yet hopeful signs are emerging that both sides realize they will have to get past this eventually and that they might as well start now. Among various small initiatives, including flood aid, the quarter ended on a hopeful note with an agreement to hold a fresh round of reunions of separated families in late October.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has been widely blamed for the recent financial crisis. As the U.S. economy floundered and China continued to grow in the great recession of 2008—2009, Chinese authors launched ''a flood of declinist commentary about the United States.'' One expert claimed that the high point of U.S. power projection was 2000. The Chinese were not alone in such statements. Goldman Sachs advanced the date at which it expects the size of the Chinese economy to surpass the U.S. economy to 2027. In a 2009 Pew Research Center poll, majorities or pluralities in 13 of 25 countries believed that China will replace the United States as the world's leading superpower. Even the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council projected in 2008 that U.S. dominance would be ''much diminished'' by 2025. President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia called the 2008 financial crisis a sign that the United States' global leadership is coming to an end, and even a sympathetic observer, Canadian opposition leader Michael Ignatieff, suggested that Canada should look beyond North America now that the ''the noon hour of the United States and its global dominance are over.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Canada, North America
  • 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: C. Boyden Gray
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Europe's worst energy vulnerability - natural gas - has environmental implications. Without more supplies, power for growth is likely to be fueled by coal and accelerate global warming. Russia could export more gas (and flare less) if the Kremlin broke up the domestic pipeline monopoly enjoyed by Gazprom. Europe could use its "competition authority" to challenge it.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Stuart Weaver
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: Gazprom, the Russian monopoly, has been on a shopping spree to acquire commercial interests (and political leverage) in "downstream" gas and energy companies and distributors in Europe. Here is a partial list of those European holdings gleaned from the chapter entitled "Buying Europe: Purchase as Politics" in a new book on this monopolistic strategy by Janusz Bugajski.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Mark Kramer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the latter half of the 1990s, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was preparing to expand its membership for the first time since the admission of Spain in 1982, Russian officials claimed that the entry of former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO would violate a solemn ''pledge'' made by the governments of West Germany and the United States in 1990 not to bring any former Communist states into the alliance. Anatolii Adamishin, who was Soviet deputy foreign minister in 1990, claimed in 1997 that ''we were told during the German reunification process that NATO would not expand.'' Other former Soviet officials, including Mikhail Gorbachev, made similar assertions in 1996—1997. Some Western analysts and former officials, including Jack F. Matlock, who was the U.S. ambassador to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1990, endorsed this view, arguing that Gorbachev received a ''clear commitment that if Germany united, and stayed in NATO, the borders of NATO would not move eastward.'' Pointing to comments recorded by the journalists Michael Beschloss and Strobe Talbott, former U.S. defense secretary Robert McNamara averred that ''the United States pledged never to expand NATO eastward if Moscow would agree to the unification of Germany.'' According to this view, ''the Clinton administration reneged on that commitment . . . when it decided to expand NATO to Eastern Europe.''
  • Topic: NATO, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North Atlantic, Moscow, Germany, Spain
  • Author: Eberhard Schneider
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: The Caucasian Review of International Affairs
  • Abstract: There are signs that the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is gaining his own profile rather than wishing to remain forever Vladimir Putin's hand-picked successor. The catalyst for this process is the financial and economic crisis. Different individuals and groups surrounding the president and the prime minister play an important role in this process, since they try to ensure that their patrons demonstrate a greater political profile. Putin's dilemma: If he remains in office, he runs the risk of being held responsible by the people for his government's failure to properly address the crisis. This could lead to the loss of his reputation, which could cost him the election victory in the case of his renewed candidacy for the presidency in 2012. If he resigns as prime minister, he would disappear from the public eye, which would make his election as president impossible. This would mean that Medvedev would re-run for the presidency in 2012 and get re-elected for another six-year term in accordance with the latest constitutional amendment.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Elizabeth A. Stanley
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Throughout history, shifts in governing coalitions have critically affected war termination. For example, the execution of the Athenian democratic ruler Cleophon and the ascendancy of the pro-Spartan oligarchs in B.C. 404 led to Athens' surrender to Sparta and ended the twenty-seven-year Second Peloponnesian War. Similarly, the death of Russian Empress Elizabeth in January 1762 led her Prussophile successor, Peter III, to immediately recall Russian armies that were occupying Berlin and conclude the Treaty of Saint Petersburg by May—ending the fighting between Russia and Prussia in the Seven Years' War. During World War I, riots in Germany ushered in a new government that then negotiated the final war armistice, as Kaiser Wilhelm II fied to Holland. Likewise, during World War II, France and Italy surrendered shortly after changes in their governing coalitions, in 1940 and 1943, respectively. Most recently, on his first full day in office, U.S. President Barack Obama summoned senior officials to the White House to begin fulfilling his campaign promise to pull combat forces out of the war in Iraq.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, France, Germany, Korea, Prussia
  • Author: Daniel W. Drezner
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: China has challenged the United States on multiple policy fronts since the beginning of 2009. On the security dimension, Chinese ships have engaged in multiple skirmishes with U.S. surveillance vessels in an effort to hinder American efforts to collect naval intelligence. China has also pressed the United States on the economic policy front. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told reporters that he was concerned about China's investments in the United States: “We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” The head of the People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, followed up with a white paper suggesting a shift away from the dollar as the world's reserve currency. China's government has issued repeated calls for a greater voice in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. To bolster this call, Beijing helped to organize a summit of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) to better articulate this message.
  • Topic: Security, Debt, Government, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Indonesia, Beijing
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In contrast to the hectic third quarter of the Beijing Olympics and South Ossetia, the last quarter of 2008 was calmer for Russia and China. Their bilateral relations, nonetheless, seemed to become more substantive. The 13th annual Prime Ministerial Meeting in Moscow in late October and the 13th session of the Russian-Chinese Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation in Moscow in early December provided some fresh impetus for the impasse in two important areas of bilateral relations: the long-awaited oil pipeline to China and military relations. Separately, the quarter also witnessed the final, albeit low-key, ceremony for settling the last territorial issue when Russia officially transferred to China control of one and a half islands of the disputed territory near Khabarovsk. However, the world around Russia and China was in turmoil not only because of the financial tsunami that was leaving no nation behind, but also because of regional crises between India and Pakistan as well as Israel and Palestine, and the stagnation in the Korea denuclearization process.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, United States, China, India, Israel, Beijing, Palestine, South Ossetia
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The bilateral dialogue in the first quarter of the year was cordial, if somewhat distant. The administration of President Barack Obama sent clear and positive signals to the Kremlin. At times President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reciprocated with positive language; at times Moscow's negative rhetoric reappeared. Clearly the Russian leadership has been making a cautious assessment of the new U.S. leader. Optimism was again evident at the London meeting between Obama and Medvedev on the eve of the G20 summit on global economic issues. In London, the two leaders pledged cooperation on a variety of issues, centering on arms control. There has been nothing positive in the bilateral relationship to report since last April when then-President George W. Bush visited then-President Putin at Sochi. Since that time, the relationship has plunged to depths unseen since the Cold War. Although many observers wish to see progress (and have come to forecast it), there is clearly much work to be done to repair the rift that has developed over the past six years.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, London, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Ukraine, France
  • 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: Theodore P. Gerber, Sarah E. Mendelson
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: THEODORE P. GERBER and SARAH E. MENDELSON analyze Russian public opinion about the second war in Chechnya. They show that concern over Russian military casualties and the war's economic costs were the dominant sentiments, despite the Russian government's monopoly on media coverage of the conflict. Moreover, they argue that the war appears to have fueled ethnic animosity toward Chechens.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
38. Foreword
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Romanian Journal of Political Science
  • Institution: Romanian Academic Society
  • Abstract: Since the collapse of communism and communist states from 1989-1992, the twenty-eight states that currently comprise postcommunist Europe and Eurasia have evolved to different political directions. Some regimes in this region have completed a transition to democracy; others have been arrested at some point on the path to democracy and became a sort of 'defective democracies'; and still others have yet to break with the communist past. This issue focuses on this middle-ground category: countries where elections are regularly held, but the behavior of political actors, notably the government, but not only, is not always democratic. Albania, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, the Caucasus countries present a great variation among themselves, but have also something in common: they do not fit well the classic patterns of either democracy or authoritarianism. The regional trend, particularly noticeable over the past decade, showed hybrid regimes resisting to political change - either in the direction of becoming authentic democracies or reverting back to dictatorship. The purpose of this issue is to explore the lessons for democratization that can be drawn from the postcommunist experience over the past seventeen years. First, what explains defective democracies? Second, what can and cannot be transferred from successful Central Europe to the rest of countries? Finally, is there still a future for democracy promotion in postcommunist Europe?
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine, Moldova, Albania, Central Europe, Belarus
  • Author: Stephen Sestanovich
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The next president will have to reassess the U.S.-Russian relationship and find the right balance between pushing back and cooperating.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Katri Pynnöniemi
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During recent years, transport and infrastructure development has acquired the status of a 'topic to be mentioned by the president' and other high-level state officials in their public appearances. The rise of transport from almost complete oblivion into the sphere of state strategic interests has been rapid, and it is a subject which is likely to maintain a high profile in the years to come. Success in implementing the current plans for infrastructure development is considered critical in order to generate further economic growth. From the longer-term perspective, it will also be critical in ensuring the diversification of the economy and securing Russia's place amongst the most advanced economies in the world. The modernization of the transport infrastructure is also seen as a lever with which Russia can reposition herself as a power-house in Eurasia. In actual fact, Russia is not a bridge but the dead-end of Eurasia. The country is faced with the enormous task of modernizing its transport infrastructures and implementing structural reforms that have been postponed for years. This would pose a tremendous challenge even in the best possible external circumstances, never mind against the backdrop of inflation and uncertainty in the world markets which exists at present. Something which has changed is that Russia now has the resources and the appropriate legislation in place to carry out these tasks. Yet, even if considerable effort has gone into defining strategic priorities, infrastructure investments are still implemented in an ad-hoc manner. The country is in dire need of massive construction projects. If the quality of the state apparatus in managing government spending does not improve – and there are few signs of that materializing – infrastructure development will become the Trojan horse of the Russian economy.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Johan Swinnen, Scott Rozelle
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The dramatic transition from Communism to market economies across Asia and Europe started in the Chinese countryside in the 1970s. Since then more than a billion of people, many of them very poor, have been affected by radical reforms in agriculture. However, there are enormous differences in the reform strategies that countries have chosen. This paper presents a set of arguments to explain why countries have chosen different reform policies.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 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: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Part I of this Russian Outlook dealt with what might be called the errors of commission, or false attribution, in the "chaos-of-the-1990s" stereotype, which became a major theme of the Putin Kremlin's propaganda. The economic crisis of that era, mostly inherited from the decaying Soviet economy, was laid at the revolutionary regime's door. Yet the "chaos" legend also contains errors of omission, for, on closer inspection, there was a great deal in the 1990s besides the alleged "chaos."
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Politics, Privatization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The twentieth anniversary of the beginning of the Russian revolution (1987–91) is a fitting occasion to assess the true scale and the impact of the national spiritual liberation known as glasnost, and to put it into a broader context of the history of ideas and their role in revolutions. Such an examination is doubly useful today, when a steady stream of Kremlin-sponsored propaganda seeks to distort and minimize what glasnost has wrought.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Daniel Serwer
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Why does the United States support Kosovo's independence, even putting at risk its relations not only with Serbia but also with Russia? And how does Washington plan to contain the consequences? It is often assumed that Washington's position is based on a sense of moral obligation, deriving not only from the mistreatment of Albanians under the Milosevic regime but also from American promises since. While this fact or unquestionably weighs on the side of the Kosovars, it is not I think decisive. Understanding Washington's support for Kosovo's independence requires an analysis of the consequences of further delay as well as the consequences of moving ahead, even in the absence of a UN Security Council resolution.
  • Topic: Government, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Balkans
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: While Kyrgyzstan still struggles to find political stability in the wake of its 2005 revolution, deteriorating conditions in its prison system, known by its Russian acronym GUIN, pose a threat to the fragile state's security and public health. Badly underfunded and forgotten, GUIN has all but lost control over the nearly 16,000 inmates for which it is responsible. Power has passed into the hands of criminal leaders for whom prison populations are armies in reserve. A lack of buffers between prisons and the government has meant that trouble in jails has already led to serious conflicts outside their crumbling walls. The risks of strife in prisons leading to wider political instability is likely to worsen unless the government and donors launch an urgent process of penal reform.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The death of Chechen separatist leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev was first announced by Chechen government officials on June 17. Interfax quoted Chechen government minister Muslim Khuchiev as saying that Sadulaev was killed in a special operation in the city of Argun—Sadulaev's hometown— when members of the Chechen Interior Ministry's Akhmad Kadyrov special task regiment and the Argun police, acting on "operational information," established Sadulaev's location and killed him when he put up armed resistance. "At the moment we have no doubts about the fact that Saidulaev has really been liquidated," Interfax quoted Argun Police Chief Ali Tagirov as saying. "We are located next to his body; it has been identified by people who knew him very well." (The rebel leader was referred to as "Saidulaev" rather than "Sadulaev" in most reports about his death by Chechen government officials and Russian news agencies.) Tagirov added that a hostage was freed during the operation. "Two militants from among Saidulaev's bodyguards took a hostage with them and tried to use him as cover, however during the course of the armed clash police managed to liberate him." He said that a policeman and a Federal Security Service (FSB) officer were killed in the shoot-out, but that the hostage was unharmed. Tagirov refused to identify the hostage, but gave a few other details about the operation. "The operation was carried out in the residential area on Ulitsa Svobody," where Sadulaev and his associates were discovered in a private home, he said. That part of Argun is known as the "Indian Hamlet." Tagirov said that a search was underway for the two rebel bodyguards.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On January 25, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution on the human rights situation in Chechnya. According to PACE's website (assembly.coe.int), the resolution, which passed by a vote of 117 to 24, stated that the Strasbourg-based assembly "is deeply concerned that a fair number of governments, member states and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe have failed to address the ongoing serious human rights violations in a regular, serious and intensive manner, despite the fact that such violations still occur on a massive scale in the Chechen Republic and, in some cases, neighboring regions in a climate of impunity." The assembly also reiterated its "unambiguous condemnation of all acts of terrorism" and expressed "its understanding of the difficulties the Russian Federation faces in combating terrorism."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • 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: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Many of you are aware of CDI's 30-year history of research and commentary on U.S. defense topics. You may also have noticed the expanding breadth of our international projects and activities, such as our ground-breaking China Security Bulletin featuring contributions from a retired Chinese general, and a forthcoming report on Russia's defense spending by a Russian scholar who heads our Moscow office. To better reflect our global scope and project diversity, we have created the World Security Institute — which can be thought of as our “holding company.” We felt that this title better describes all of our activities that now encompass a wider definition of “security.”
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Disaster Relief, Government, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After the fall of Communism, Russia reverted to czarism. But more importantly, Russia embraced capitalism. Although not democratic, Russia is largely free. Property rights are more deeply anchored than they were five years ago, and the once-collectivist society is going private. Indeed, private consumption is the main driver of economic growth. Russia's future now depends heavily on how fast a middle class—a self-identified group with personal stakes in having a law-based government accountable to tax payers—can be created. The West needs to take the long view, stay engaged, and maximize contacts, especially with younger Russians.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's regime has gone through a major aggravation during the first year of President Vladimir Putin's second term. The regime suffers from serious overcentralization of power, which has led to a paralysis of policy making. Putin's power base has been shrunk to secret policemen from St. Petersburg. Although his popularity remains high, it is falling. Neither unbiased information nor negative feedback is accepted. As a result, the Putin regime is much more fragile than generally understood. Russia's current abandonment of democracy is an anomaly for such a developed and relatively wealthy country, and it has made Russia's interests part from those of the United States. The United States should not hesitate to promote democracy in Russia, while pragmatically pursuing common interests in nonproliferation and energy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: On December 29, 2004, Russia's minister of defense, Sergei Ivanov, announced plans to eliminate draft deferments for college students. Predictably, the popular reaction was so uniformly negative and furious that the abolition of deferments has been postponed—but not eliminated from the Kremlin's agenda.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Beginning on July 6, British prime minister Tony Blair will host the G8 summit in Gleneagles, a hotel and golf course in Scotland. Africa and climate change are the two main topics on the agenda, but counterterrorism, proliferation, and political reform in the Middle East are scheduled to be discussed as well. The annual G8 summit has become the sole forum in which the leaders of the seven top industrialized countries (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States) and Russia meet to discuss and decide on courses of action. Diplomatic grandstanding and expected antiglobalization demonstrations aside, the summit is an opportunity to set the international political and bureaucratic agenda for months ahead.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Oil, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Britain, Africa, Russia, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Middle East, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen President Alu Alkhanov on March 28 praised a roundtable on Chechnya held in Strasbourg on March 21 under the auspices of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Alkhanov called the meeting “constructive and productive” and said that the European community now understands that the political situation in Chechnya has entered a new stage, Itar-Tass reported. “We did not stand on totally different positions, as it used to be before; indeed, we had a dialogue,” said Alkhanov, who was attending a meeting of the council of the heads of the Southern Federal District's constituent republics in Kislovodsk. The people of Chechnya, Alkhanov said, have unambiguously declared their wish to build a peaceful future as part of the Russian Federation, adding that the “doors are open for those who want to take part in this peaceful, constructive process.” He also said that former members of the pro-separatist parliament of the mid-1990s will participate in the Chechen parliamentary elections scheduled for this autumn. “The fact that so many of the former members of [the late separatist leader Aslan] Maskhadov's government are working in the Chechen government shows that we are adherents of peaceful policies, which have been decided by the people,” Alkhanov said. “If we agree that the people's wish is the determining factor, one has to take this into account. We are ready to accept anybody who adheres to this policy.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Chechnya
  • 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: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Pro-Moscow security agencies in Chechnya won a major victory on March 7 with the surrender of Magomed Khambiev, minister of defense in the underground separatist government of Aslan Maskhadov. Many, though not all, reports of this event in the Russian media have failed to mention the key tactical method by which this victory was apparently achieved: The systematic targeting, kidnapping and torture of the Khambiev family's relatives.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: When the Russian Federation began its transition toward a market based economy, promoting competition and regulating anticompetitive behavior - issues never previously needing to be addressed - arose as new and unfamiliar subjects for state policymaking and law enforcement activities. In order to address these issues, the Russian Federation created a competition authority and basic law in 1991, quite early in its transition period. Support for competition was expressed in the 1993 Constitution, as well as in other fundamental legislation. As part of a larger study of regulatory reform, the OECD in 2003 undertook a detailed assessment of Russia fs decade of experience with competition law and policy. The Report concludes that despite early legislation on the issue and strong expressions of support for competition in the laws, the creation and protection of competition on domestic markets has not been a policy priority. Emphasis on rapid privatization limited the scope of pre-privatization restructuring to promote competition and the competition authority has been expected to serve as a general regulator of behavior in markets, assigned to fill legislative gaps and to enforce against a variety of undesirable practices in markets. Overly broad responsibilities and a lack of credible sanctions have significantly limited the impact of the competition laws.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Christine Loh, Willy Lam, Eric Teo, Steven Sun
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: If China had sufficient economic and military prowess, there seems little doubt the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership would “go teach the U.S. a lesson” for the wrongs it had allegedly inflicted upon on the country. Previous CCP administrations had used similar clauses of indignation – and the assertion of a moral high ground based on self-defense and the preservation of sovereign rights – when they went to war with nations including India, Russia and Vietnam. And while the Chinese party and military leadership may for the time being be deterred by America's superpower status from trying out something rash, tension between China on the one hand, and the U.S. and many Asian countries on the other, is expected to rise in the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, America, Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Ahmad Lutfi, John C. K. Daly, Stephen Bank, Sergei Troush
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China's insatiable energy thirst is causing it to undertake a global search for energy supplies to sustain its booming economy. Beijing has injected itself into the complex Caspian chess match to ensure itself as large a share as possible of resources being developed there. This complex political and economic maneuvering forces China to deal with the Caspian's five riparian states - Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Beijing, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • 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: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Did the U.S. and Russian governments both know that, when Russian commandos stormed Moscow's Dubrovka theater in October of 2002, the Chechen terrorists inside it had already agreed to release several of their hostages, including U.S. citizen Sandy Booker? Booker's fiance, Svetlana Gubareva, says that the answer is Yes. Booker and Gubareva's 13-year-old daughter, Sasha, both died in the tragedy; Gubareva was also taken hostage but survived.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The purging from Chechnya's government structures of sup porters of the main opposition candidates in the recent election has apparently intensified since October 5. Marina Perevozkina of Moskovsky komsomolets reported in an October 21 article on her conversation with Salavat Gebertaev. He is the mayor of Urus-Martan, which lies southwest of Grozny, and was one of the leaders of the movement for the Urus-Martan district to secede from Dudaev's jurisdiction in 1994. Dudaev's army stormed his town four times. When Maskhadov came to power, Gebertaev was sentenced to death and for some time hid abroad; after returning he survived an assassination attempt that he believes was organized by Maskhadov's circle. “It would seem,” suggested Perevozkina, “that Moscow should be relying on precisely such people in Chechnya. But Gebertaev is a relative and friend of Malik Saidullaev [who tried to run for president against Kadyrov]. On top of that, he committed a terrible crime: He received from Saidullaev and distributed some 500 wheelchairs and 2,000 crutches. Because of this the head of the district administration told him on the day after the election: “From now on we will not work with you.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In a remarkably under reported statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently accused lower echelon U.S. government officials of meeting with known Chechen terrorists. On September 20, a few days before flying to the United States for his summit meeting with President George W. Bush, Putin met with several U.S. television journalists. Asked about Chechnya, the Russian president gave a long answer that mostly repeated points that he and his spokesmen have made before. But toward the end of his response he said the following (as translated by Chechnya Weekly from the text placed on the official website Kremlin.ru): “The United States has now voted in the Security Council in favor of recognizing several individuals as international terrorists. The State Department has announced that it has included several figures in its list of international terrorists. But unfortunately we know that on the executive level there are continuing attempts at contacts with some people under the pretense that what's happening is only work with the opposition. Even with people who are included on the United Nations list. These people come, say that they are 'political activists' and present them- selves in all sorts of guises. But I assure you, I know about this precisely—they are maintaining connections with their allies in Afghanistan, including those who have gone there from the Northern Caucasus of Russia and who are fighting with arms in their hands against American soldiers. Such absurdities on the working level must be stopped, the sooner the better.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Have Chechen separatist guerrillas been fighting against the United States and its allies in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan—and if so, how many have been captured or killed? The U.S. government has been strikingly passive in seeking to learn (or, at least, in publicly disclosing) the answer to that question. Chechnya Weekly began pressing for a precise, concrete answer months ago, but we have yet to get one from the White House, Pentagon, or State Department.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iraq, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Kavita Sangani, Teresita C. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Russia is broadening its relations with South Asia, as illustrated in the recent visits by Pakistan's President Musharraf to Russia and Russia's President Putin to India. Russia's long-standing ties with India are still driven by important defense links and shared hopes to create a multipolar world. Both countries are trying to breathe new life into their much-diminished economic relationship. Russia's new interest in Pakistan is driven largely by concerns about Islamic extremism and Central Asia. At a time when Russia's priorities are to a large extent internal, South Asia is a relatively accessible area for engaging in global geopolitics, but Russia is unlikely to become a major player in India- Pakistan diplomacy in the next few years.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Mandavi Mehta
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: India is poised on the verge of a sharp escalation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, with profound consequences for the state's society, economy and polity. This crisis will not affect India alone. In an increasingly interconnected world, the effects of such an epidemic will be globally felt, both directly in terms of the spread of infection, and indirectly in terms of the overall security and economic and political health of the region.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Asia
  • 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: Olga Potemkina
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: Does Russia need international cooperation? This question may seem rhetorical, to which one would give a positive response, but the findings of a public opinion survey conducted by the independent Russian research organisation ROMIR clearly suggest otherwise. In April 2001, a total of 1,500 Russians were polled in 160 locations in 94 villages, towns and cities, in 40 regions, territories and republics of the Russian Federation. The questions asked concerned several key aspects of EU-Russian relations and the need for increased cooperation with international organisations.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe