Yuval Weber, PhD, is the inaugural DMGS-Kennan Institute Fellow at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School. Previously he was an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the National Research University - Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia) and a Center Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Dr. Weber served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department on Government at Harvard University. Dr. Weber is working on a project on the sources of liberal and anti-liberal dissatisfaction for powers in the international system and the strategies they employ to stake their claims for revising the international order. The first manuscript under contract (Agenda/Columbia UP) evaluates the tension between demands of economic modernization and the security state in Russian political economy, and will be completed while at WWC. His work has appeared in Problems of Post-Communism, International Studies Review, Survival, Cold War Studies, Orbis, and the Washington Post.


Project Summary

When and why does Russia pursue pro-market economic reforms? This project argues that Russian leaders pursue economic reform efforts not for their own sakes, but as a security response to falling behind peer competitor states. When economic performance becomes a security risk, Russian leaders have sought to reduce this gap by empowering economic actors outside of government and thus attracting foreign technology, capital, and expertise. Yet this pattern is politically dangerous because reforms impose adjustment costs and challenge existing stakeholders. In turn, leaders often pull the plug to maintain centralized political control over the economy, leading to the familiar pattern of much ballyhooed but underwhelming reforms. The project shows foreign policy concerns driving economic reforms in Russia and demonstrates the tentative and repetitive nature of reform in authoritarian states when leaders have to balance the competing demands of seeking growth and maintaining external security without sharing political power.


Major Publications