February 21, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
As the 2012 election cycle heats up, critics of the Obama Administration have taken aim at one of the President’s signature foreign policy initiatives: the US-Russia “reset.” Attackers charge that Russia is an untrustworthy partner, and that the government of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev is fundamentally illegitimate. As Russia’s own presidential transition approaches in March, and with a popular protest movement inspiring Russians to take their pent up frustration to the streets and to the internet, the Kremlin could benefit from a crisis with Washington that forces Russians to rally around the flag. During this tense period, how can the US minimize damage to important areas of US-Russia cooperation, like the mission in Afghanistan, nuclear non-proliferation, and counter-terrorism, while laying groundwork for renewed progress in the future?
February 15, 2012 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
Official biographer John Lewis Gaddis paints a fascinating and multidimensional portrait of George Kennan, the post-war diplomat who set forth containment doctrine, presaged the collapse of the Soviet Union, and, in later years, became an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy, including of the war in Vietnam. At the launch Wednesday of George F. Kennan: An American Life, Gaddis revealed the personality behind one of the 20th century’s great policy minds.
February 13, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Mr. Hadjy-Zadeh will trace the evolution of Azerbaijan’s domestic politics since the fall of the Soviet Union, beginning with an overview of the movement for independence and the development of Azerbaijan’s new national identity, and continuing through the presidencies of Elchibey, Heydar Aliyev, and Ilham Aliyev. Mr. Hadjy-Zadeh will speak from his perspective as a political and economic analyst, as well as a former opposition party leader, to document the development of Azerbaijan into its current “pseudo-democratic” state, including the impact of the oil boom. Furthermore, he will mobilize his experience as Azerbaijan’s former Ambassador to Russia in order to provide an insider’s perspective on Azerbaijan’s foreign politics with Russia, the West, and its local neighbors, such as Turkey and Iran. Finally, Mr. Hadjy-Zadeh will highlight the current tensions arising in his country between movements for human rights and religious freedom and the rise of religious extremism.
February 06, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Dr. Susan Allen Nan will discuss the Georgian-South Ossetian relationship, including insights from the 14 Georgian-South Ossetian confidence building workshops she has convened over the past three years, the most recent of which was in January. The series of unofficial dialogues catalyze other confidence building measures and complement the Geneva Talks official process.
February 03, 2012 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
Michael David-Fox will first speak about his own engagement with "The Icon and the Axe" and what it has meant for him during a quarter century studying and researching Russian and Soviet history. Eric Lohr will reflect upon how the "The Icon and the Axe" impacted his decision to pursue Russian studies and the impact of the book and Billington's Faces of Russia video series upon his students. Kathleen Parthé will focus on some of the reasons for the enduring appeal of "The Icon and the Axe" among a wide variety of readers.
January 30, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
United Russia is weaker today partly because of changes the party made in its appointment of provincial governors during the Putin and Medvedev administrations, said Henry Hale, Director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University. And although Putin is strongly favored, the outcome is still uncertain for Russia’s upcoming presidential vote, as support ebbs for the former president as voters tire of more than a decade of Putin’s dominance of national politics.
January 23, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
The destruction of the monuments of the Soviet past and a buildup of new monuments was supposed to be an indication of the new values that came to the post-Soviet societies after the collapse of the Soviet system. However, not everywhere and not always did it happen to be true. While in Poland the new monuments were accepted by the society in appreciative manner, in Ukraine, Estonia, and Georgia we watched the so-called phenomenon of “The War of the Monuments” when the removal of the old monuments and creation of the new ones was followed by protests and sometimes even riots. Around Russia many old monuments to Lenin remained at place while new monuments to the Russian tsars were erected. All of this basically resulted with a chaos of the views and attitudes and led to the devaluation of the monument as a symbol in the post-Soviet space.
January 10, 2012 // 3:30pm — 5:30pm
After the parliamentary elections on December 4th and public reactions to their outcome, the sociopolitical situation in Russia is changing rapidly. Are these processes irreversible, and what are their tendencies? What are the changes in correlation between civil society resources and political party resources, based on the election's results? The speaker will discuss the state’s “forms of public control,” how they influenced the last election campaign, and what new forms of control might emerge during the next presidential election in March 2012. She will also discuss the possible reputational risks for public and other organizations from attempted manipulation by the ruling powers during the election campaign.
January 09, 2012 // 12:00pm — 1:00pm
Spotlight on Central Eurasia Series // The revival of geopolitics after the collapse of the USSR, combined with a renewed interest in nationalism, contributed to a wave of Western studies of Georgia as a source of ethnic conflict, Great Power politics, and energy competition. These themes, though important, are one-sided, according to the speaker. Georgian political culture, social relations, local government, employment - the daily bread of political life - have been overshadowed by the sensational antics of Georgia’s elites.
December 15, 2011 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
In present-day Russia, the judicial system is a “tool of the authorities,” according to Leonid V. Nikitinsky, independent journalist, Novaya Gazeta, and founder, Leonid Nikitinsky Center for Legal Initiatives. At a 15 December 2011 Kennan Institute seminar, Nikitinsky introduced the discussion of the relationship between civil society and the judiciary in Russia among panelists Tatiana Andreyeva, Deputy Chief Justice, Supreme Commercial (Arbitrazh) Court of the Russian Federation; Mikhail Fedotov, Chairman, President’s Council on Human Rights; and Anna Kovaleva, Head of the Public Relations Department, Supreme Commercial (Arbitrazh) Court of the Russian Federation.
Experts & Staff
- Matthew Rojansky // Director, Kennan Institute
- William E. Pomeranz // Deputy Director, Kennan Institute
- F. Joseph Dresen // Program Associate
- Mary Elizabeth Malinkin // Program Associate
- Mattison Brady // Program Assistant
- Blair A. Ruble // Vice President for Programs; Director, Urban Sustainability Laboratory; and Senior Advisor, Kennan Institute