Society and Culture

Stalin as Superman and the Dangers of Polling in an Autocracy


Stalin played a positive role in Russia’s history; he was a respected historical figure, a majority of Russians polled by the independent polling organization Levada Center said earlier this week. Both approval of Stalin’s historical role (70 percent thought it was positive) and respect for him (51 percent expressed “respect,” “admiration,” or “sympathy” for the Soviet dictator) were the strongest since the early 2000s.

The Absent Hand: Reimagining Our American Landscape

This engrossing work of literary nonfiction is a deep dive into our surroundings―cities, countryside, and sprawl―exploring change in the meaning of place, and reimagining our American landscape 

The Silence and the Voice of the North Caucasus


Russian-Speaking Israelis Go to the Polls

Photo: Russian language advertisement in Jerusalem featuring two prominent Russian-speaking politicians. Israeli election day, March 17, 2015.


The Russian Film Industry Under Putin

Is Russian filmmaking in decline, as its numerous critics believe, or is it rising from its knees, as the Russian authorities claim?

Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change

As immigration from Asia and Latin America reshapes the demographic composition of the U.S., some analysts have anticipated the decline of conservative white evangelicals’ influence in politics. Yet, Donald Trump captured a larger share of the white evangelical vote in the 2016 election than any candidate in the previous four presidential elections. Why has the political clout of white evangelicals persisted at a time of increased racial and ethnic diversity?

Book Talk: The Tragedy of Property: Private Life, Ownership, and the Russian State

In many Western societies, private property has acted as the citizen’s bulwark against the state. In Russia, by contrast, authorities mostly use it as a tool of governance. Moreover, the concept of private property in Russia has considerably evolved over time, and even today not all properties are created equal.

Pobreza Cero: Dream Deferred

During his 2015 presidential campaign, Mauricio Macri promised “pobreza cero.” Though he was vague on his proposed strategy and timeline, the goal helped soften his image as an out-of-touch millionaire.