Russia appears today as an assertive power ready to weaken international norms and kick over the global chessboard. Even as they confront economic stagnation and popular demoralization at home, the Russian authorities seek to undermine the liberal order but also to affect domestic politics in the world’s leading democracies. By holding elections and mimicking other democratic institutions, the Kremlin works to discredit these traditions and, in doing so, the West itself. The Kremlin’s aggressive mobilization makes Russia the West’s key opponent, but this new antagonism lacks clear and mutually accepted rules of the game. In her presentation, Russian political analyst Lilia Shevtsova will examine the paradoxes of Russian-Western relations, the sustainability of the Russian system, and the international implications of its struggle for survival. Christopher Walker will offer comments.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Dr. Lilia Shevtsova is a prominent Russian political scientist currently based at Chatham House in London as an associate fellow. Her distinguished career has included stints at the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Moscow Center, Georgetown University, Sciences Po, and other institutions. She has conducted extensive research and writing on issues relating to postcommunist transformation, democratic transitions, and relations between Russia, the West, and Eastern Europe. Dr. Shevtsova’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including Foreign Policy, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, Le Monde, and the Journal of Democracy. She is a member of the editorial boards of the American Interest and the Journal of Democracy.
Christopher Walker is Vice President for Studies and Analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy. In this capacity, he is a member of NED’s executive leadership team and oversees the department that is responsible for NED’s multifaceted analytical work, which includes the International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis and discussion of democratic development. Prior to joining the NED, Mr. Walker was Vice President for Strategy and Analysis at Freedom House, overseeing that organization’s analytical work relating to political rights, and new and traditional media freedom. He is co-editor with Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner of Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016).
Dr. Miriam Lanskoy is senior director for Russia and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy. In 2003, she was awarded a PhD in international affairs from Boston University for her dissertation on the Russian presidency, the Chechen wars, and social and political problems of the North Caucasus. She has fourteen years of experience in political analysis and democracy promotion in post-Soviet Eurasia and in 2005 became a term member in the Council on Foreign Relations. She has published articles in the Journal of Democracy, SAIS Review, and The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs and has appeared on numerous panels and conferences to discuss political developments in Russia and Eurasia, testified in Congress, and appeared on the PBS Newshour.
The International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy is a leading center for research, discussion, thought, and analysis on the theory and practice of democracy around the world. Established in 1994, the Forum strives to bridge the gap between academic research and the practice of democracy through several initiatives: the Journal of Democracy, the leading academic journal on democratization, hosting Fellowship Programs for international democracy activists, journalists, and scholars, Coordinating the Network of Democracy Research Institutes (NDRI), a global think tank network, and organizing research initiatives and conferences to explore critical themes for democratic development. Learn more at https://www.ned.org/ideas/.
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