5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Russia's Monotowns and the Politics of Labor in a Challenging Economic Climate

During the 2008-2009 economic crisis, Russia’s monotowns — one-industry towns left from the Soviet era — gained widespread attention as potential sources of social protest and unrest. While fears about monotowns were exaggerated during the last economic crisis, Russia’s leadership has reason to remain concerned. Despite the dramatic transformations of the last two decades, Russia’s post-Soviet industrial landscape has largely survived intact, leaving a significant number of monotowns with unprofitable enterprises in a precarious position.

Advancing Justice Sector Reform in Mexico

Mexico's deadline to fully implement new, adversarial criminal trial procedures is less than one year away. The government of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has pushed strongly to comply with the constitutionally mandated shift to the new criminal justice system by June 18, 2015, particularly in light of the country's ongoing security challenges. Together with the University of San Diego's Justice in Mexico program, the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will host a panel discussion to examine current efforts to implement the new reforms.

Book Talk: Alexis in America: A Russian Grand Duke’s Tour, 1871-72

Dr. Lee A. Farrow gave an overview of her book, Alexis in America: A Russian Grand Duke’s Tour, 1871-72, which recounts the duke’s progress through the major American cities of the period, detailing his meetings with public figures and describing the national self-reflection that his presence spurred in the American people.

Citizen Security from the Ground-Up: Improving Practice at the Local Level

Improving citizen security remains a critical challenge throughout Latin America. Responses vary greatly between and also within countries—often down to the neighborhood level. With crime often concentrated in urban areas and neighborhood hotspots, local governments have emerged as sources of policy innovation in the fight against crime and violence.  What are these approaches and are there elements that are replicable in other cities, regions, or nations as a whole?

What Russia Really Wants

Over the past 18 months, Russia’s relations with the EU and US have deteriorated under the cloud of Western Sanctions and Russian propaganda. Dmitry Polikanov examined developments from Moscow’s perspective and to what extent Russia differentiates between the EU and US in its policy-making decisions. Polikanov also identified possible areas of opportunity for improving relations. 

The Second Baptism of Rus'?: The Return of Religion and the (Soviet) Origins of Russian Patriotism

Despite the Soviet Union's commitment to atheism and secularization, religion remained a problem without a solution for most of the Soviet period--until, in 1988, it paradoxically returned to public life by invitation of the state itself. How did the regime's engagement with religion and atheism transform the Soviet Union's understanding of spiritual life? Dr. Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock will discuss how this Soviet legacy illuminates the ideological landscape of contemporary Russia.

Turkey: Parliamentary Elections and their Aftermath


Three experts on Turkey discussed the June 7 parliamentary elections, looking at the results and how these will affect Turkish domestic and foreign policy in the months to come.

Sarajevo Roses, Tahrir Protests & Djerbahood: Injustice, Youth & Resilience

Within the past quarter century, two tectonic shifts have shaken international affairs: the end of the Cold War in 1991 and the uprisings across the Arab world in 2011. These groundbreaking changes were accompanied by violence and conflict, exemplified by the wars in the former Yugoslavia and state repression across several Arab countries. Dealing with post-conflict and post-authoritarian injustice in these contexts poses a number of challenges.

Governing the Ungovernable: Frontier Rule along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border and Beyond

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border region is a large, ungoverned space and a constant source of instability. Both countries have long grappled with the question of how to rule this rugged frontier, which many regard as ungovernable. Pakistan employs a draconian law known as the Frontier Crimes Regulation, originally instituted by the British Raj in 1872, and with destabilizing and violent results.