About the Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute, as the oldest program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, bridges the gap between the world of ideas and the world of public affairs by bringing scholars and governmental specialists together to discuss political, social, and economic issues affecting Russia and other successor states to the Soviet Union, seeking always to place these issues within their historical context. The Kennan Institute is a non-partisan institution committed to improving American expertise and knowledge about this region. The Institute organizes seminars, workshops, briefings, and conferences featuring prominent scholars and policymakers from America, Russia, and other successor states to the Soviet Union with experience in shaping U.S.-Russian policy.  more

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The Latest from the Kennan Institute

Innovation, Brain Drain, and the Politics of Russian Higher Education Reform

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April 23, 2014 // 9:00am12:30pm
Russian higher education has done more to integrate western norms and standards than virtually any other national institution. Yet Russia’s universities and research institutes continue to face economic and political headwinds that raise questions about their ability to compete in a global marketplace. The Kennan Institute will conduct a conference on April 23rd that addresses the challenges confronting Russian higher education and how Russian universities interact with their international counterparts. more
Webcast

Crimea: What Is Motivating Putin?

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Apr 14, 2014
Listening to the rhetoric surrounding Russia’s move on Crimea, you might think the Cold War never ended. Why did Putin make this move and is there more in store? And how significant is the damage done to Russia’s relationships around the world? Kennan Institute’s Matt Rojansky offers insight into the situation during this episode of Wilson Center NOW. more
Webcast

EU Progress Report on Eastern Partnership States

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April 16, 2014 // 11:00am12:00pm
Mapping the development of the Eastern Partnership initiative, the European Commission released a progress report on the six Eastern Partnership States: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The report outlines accomplishments achieved so far and indicates critical policy areas where more attention is needed. It also serves as a reference for the EU’s approach towards the Eastern Partnership and, more specifically, the allocation of funding in the next seven years. This assessment comes one month after the EU discussed the “European Package” of incentives, intended to supplement the Association Agreements being discussed with several of the six states. Georgia and Moldova have initialed the Association Agreements last year and will be among the first countries to sign them this year. more

Blurred Identities, Slow Responses, and “Banks vs Tanks” Strategies: The Reasons and Prospects for Ukraine’s Crimean Crisis

Publication //
Apr 08, 2014
Why was Ukraine so powerless in the occupation and annexation of Crimea? Ukrainians themselves have to find the answers to this question in order to find solutions to the occupation of the peninsula. The comments below discuss the reasons for Ukraine’s vulnerability in its relations with Russia and also examine the ways in which Ukraine should strengthen its sovereignty and ability to protect its statehood. more

In Search of Peace

Publication //
Apr 07, 2014
A strong state encompasses a whole spectrum of institutions for conflict prevention and management (formal and informal and at the local and national levels). If the state is institutionally weak and illegitimate, conflict will likely occur since the institutional constraints on aggressive predatory behavior are also weak or do not exist at all. The recent conflict in Ukraine illustrates this clearly. more

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