Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation

Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation

by Marlene Laruelle, Jean Radvanyi

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This timely book provides a balanced and comprehensive overview of the geographical, historical, political, cultural, and geostrategic factors that drive Russia today. Russia has long inspired fear in the West, but as the authors argue, Russia is fearful as well. Three decades after the transformations launched by perestroika, multiple ghosts haunt both Russian elites and ordinary citizens, ranging from concerns about territorial challenges, societal transformations, and economic decline to worries about the country’s vulnerability to external intervention. Faced with a West that emerged victorious from the Cold War, a shockingly dynamic China, and former Soviet republics claiming their right to emancipate themselves from Moscow’s stranglehold, Russia is constantly questioning its identity, its development path, and its role on the international scene. The country hesitates between two strategies: take refuge in a new isolation and revive the old notion of being a “besieged fortress,” or replay the messianic myth of a Third Rome, the last bastion of Christian values in the face of a decadent West. Explaining Russia’s perspective, Marlene Laruelle and Jean Radvanyi offers a much-needed analysis that will help readers understand how the country deals with its domestic issues and how these influence Russian foreign policy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538114865
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 08/16/2018
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 1,054,133
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Marlene Laruelle is research professor of international affairs and associate director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. She is codirector of PONARS-Eurasia and director of the Central Asia Program at GW.

Jean Radvanyi is professor of Russian studies and geography at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Cultures in Paris. He directed the French-Russian Center for Social Sciences and Humanities in Moscow from 2008 to 2012.

Table of Contents

List of Figures, Maps, and Tables
1 Territorial Fatigue: New State, New Borders
2 A Troubled Identity: Diversity, Decline, and Migration
3 Society: Fragmented but Reinvented
4 The Political System: A Quest for Consensus
5 The Economy: Is There a Russian Disease?
6 Between Europe and Asia: The Double-Headed Eagle
7 Russia in the World: Besieged Fortress or New Crusader?

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