Russian Analytical Digest

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Der «Russian Analytical Digest (RAD)» analysiert Ereignisse, Trends und Entwicklungen im Hinblick auf die politische, wirtschaftliche, sicherheitspolitische und gesellschaftliche Situation in Russland. Jede Ausgabe enthält akademische und policy-relevante Artikel von internationalen Autoren, zudem themenbezogene statistische Informationen, Grafiken und Meinungsumfragen. Die Publikation wird vom Center for Eastern European Studies (CEES) in Zusammenarbeit mit der Forschungsstelle Osteuropa der Universität Bremen, dem Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies der George Washington University, dem Center for Security Studies (CSS) an der ETH Zürich und der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde (DGO) herausgegeben. Die Editoren des RAD sind Stephen Aris, Matthias Neumann, Robert Orttung, Jeronim Perović, Heiko Pleines, Hans-Henning Schröder und Aglaya Snetkov.


Aktuelle Ausgaben:

No. 256: Russia's Arctic Policy (05.09.2020)

The topic of this issue is Russia’s Arctic Policy. Firstly, Nurlan Aliyev gives an overview of Russia’s Arctic Policy through 2035; secondly, Svetlana Badina describes the diversity of Russia’s Arctic cities; thirdly, Leah Silinsky lays out the broad dimensions of Russia’s response to the COVID-​19 pandemic and then shows how these policies affected developments in the Arctic.

No. 255: Countering Violent Extremism (14.07.2020)

The topic of this issue is Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). Firstly, Ekaterina Sokirianskaia analyzes the general approaches to countering violent extremism work that have been implemented in the North Caucasus through various governmental and non-​governmental agencies. Secondly, Lydia U. Kurbanova analyzes the rhetoric of third-​year female students of Chechen State University related to the online recruitment of women into extremist organizations. Thirdly, Victoria Gurevich identifies what makes families unique in their capacity to influence loved ones undergoing violent radicalization, addresses some common misconceptions about their role in the radicalization process, and highlights some potential challenges of family involvement in CVE. Fourthly, Mareta Dzeitova analyzes the context in which prevention work against radicalism and extremism takes place through the prism of the experience of the Genesis Fund, a North Caucasus NGO that has been engaged in such work since 2005.

No. 254: Social Issues (24.06.2020)

The topic of this issue is Social Issues. Firstly, Marina Khmelnitskaya focuses on policy ideas as explanatory variables for understanding policymaking and governance in Russia. Following Schmidt’s definition of the ideational process as a ‘discourse’ in which actors promote their preferred policy ideas in competition with their opponents, the article argues that in Russia the character of discourses varies between three state levels: The President, ministerial bureaucracy and the regional & local levels. Secondly, Stanislav Klimovich and Ulla Pape state that in Russia’s regions, companies closely collaborate with state administrations in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR); they posit that business-​state collaboration is characterized by interdependence and that for companies, CSR has become an important tool to institutionalize their charity activities and determine their social obligations towards the state.

No. 253: US-Russian Relations (18.06.2020)

The topic of this issue is US–Russian Relations. Firstly, Alla Kassianova discusses US–Russia science cooperation, positing that the scientific communities of both countries have pressed for continued and increased engagement while both governments qualify their support in line with their respective political agendas. Secondly, Pavel Luzin analyses the US–Russia space partnership, commenting that both countries may seek to continue this relationship, even if its main benefit is symbolic. Thirdly, Oleg Anisimov, Robert Orttung, Kelsey Nyland, and Alexander Sergunin discuss the possibilities for US–Russian scientific cooperation in the Arctic, pointing to the success of the “Environmental Bilateral” agreement of 1972 as a model for the implementation of the 2017 Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation. Lastly, Tina Burrett analyses reporting by four Russian-​state-directed media outlets October 2019 to March 2020, to answer the question whether Russia sought to influence voting in the Democratic Party’s primaries.

No. 252: Russian Orthodoxy (08.05.2020)

The topic of this issue is Russian Orthodoxy. Firstly, Nikolay Mitrokhin discusses the position of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (of the Moscow patriarchate) after former President Petro Poroshenko’s attack on the church and the subsequent election of Volodymyr Zelensky. Secondly, Alexander Ponomariov posits that the recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine by three “Greek” churches represents a viral reaction to their indisputable leader, the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

No. 251: Russia and the Covid-​19 Pandemic (20.04.2020)

The topic of this issue is Russia and the Covid-​19 Pandemic. Firstly, Judy Twigg analyses the challenge the Covid-​19 pandemic poses to Russia. The author points out that from handling statistics to dealing with infected cases, the approach to containing the virus and the condition of the healthcare system raise serious questions about the efficacy of the much-​vaunted “power vertical” in this instance. Secondly, Gunter Deuber provides an overview of the two simultaneous economic crises which Russia faces at present: an oil market shock, for which it has been prepared since 2014, and the Covid-​19 pandemic. The author posits that overcoming this crisis is becoming a systemic issue. Companies and the middle class will help to overcome the crisis, while the government has yet to take meaningful action. The Russian leadership calculus could change if the Covid-​19 fallout on the Russian economy becomes more predictable.

No. 250: Putin (09.04.2020)

The topic of this issue focuses on Russian President Vladimir Putin. Firstly, Caroline von Gall and Laura Jäckel suggest that while the focus of the current Russian constitutional reform is on the succession management allowing President Vladimir Putin to stay in power until 2036, the adopted amendments go far beyond this. Secondly, Fabian Burkhardt posits that the constitutional amendment that would zero out Putin’s current presidential terms and therefore allow him to run once more for president in 2024 suggest that regime personalization has further progressed. Thirdly, Ulrich Schmid notes that the amended version of Article 68 of the Russian constitution (defining Russian as the official state language) adds an explanation that Russian is the language of the “state-​forming people.” Fourthly and lastly, Gwendolyn Sasse covers how often the official Kremlin website refers to the annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine.

No. 249: Need-based Social Policies (20.03.2020)

The topic of this edition is need-​based social policies. Firstly, Martin Brand examines the extent of poverty in Russia and analyzes the government’s policies to combat it. He concludes that Russia needs a sustained high rate of economic growth to achieve the goal of halving poverty in Russia by 2024. Secondly, Theresa Hornke discusses Russia’s latest family policy debates and developments, treating family policy as a multidimensional strategy and analyzing it in terms of communication, benefits, and legislation.

No. 248: Central Asia (06.03.2020)

This issue focuses on Russia's relations with three Central Asian Republics. Firstly, Rico Issacs examines the implications of Nazarbayev’s decision to step down as president for Kazakhstan's policy towards Russia, highlighting continuity and arguing the most significant aspect may prove to be the lessons learned by Putin from Nazarbayev’s orchestrated departure. Secondly, Edward Lemon and Bradley Jardine consider Russia’s growing unease about China's expanding security cooperation with Tajikistan, because it represents a potential challenge to Moscow's role as Dushanbe’s security guarantor. Thirdly, Luca Anceschi assesses the Russo-​Turkmen relationship, noting that a decline in the importance of gas trade and an increase in significance of security cooperation in relation to Afghanistan has altered the equation governing the relationship.

No. 247: Eurasian Economic Union (17.02.2020)

he topic of this issue is the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Firstly, Alexander Libman argues that the integration milestones set in the EAEU Treaty are frequently achieved at the cost of diluting the content of the subsequent integration steps, with countries accepting smaller obligations than originally envisioned. This situation is unlikely to change in the future. Secondly, Maria Shagina discusses the effects of Russia’s uncoordinated counter-​measures against Western sanctions in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. She theorizes that these counter-​measures caused collateral damage, unleashed unintended consequences on Russia’s fellow EAEU members and have hampered the Union’s further integration.

No. 246: Putin's Power Games (7.2.2020)

The topic of this issue is ‘Putin‘s Power Games’. In it, eight authors from different institutions (Jan Matti Dollbaum, Maria Domańska, Vladimir Gel’man, Andrei Kolesnikov, Robert Orttung, Michael Rochlitz, Regina Smyth, and Andrei Yakovlev) comment on the recent and ongoing changes in the government and constitution of Russia.

No. 245: Russian Youth (24.01.2020)

The topic of this issue is Russian youth. Firstly, Anna Sorokina and Valeria Kasamara examine the values and attitudes of Russian students towards their home country as well as federal and regional political elites. They conclude that the majority of young Russian students describe themselves as the “Putin Generation” and perceive President Vladimir Putin as the ideal political leader of a nation-​state. Secondly, Irina Meyer-​Olimpieva posits that young people in Russia have similarly ambivalent attitudes to corruption to older generations and that Russian youth are also skeptical about public anticorruption initiatives.

No. 244: Grain Export from Russia (17.12.2019)

No. 243: Climate Change and Russia (11.12.2019)

No. 242: Russia-Ukraine (03.12.2019)

No. 241: Russia's Economy (11.11.2019)

No. 240: Indigenous Peoples in Russia (29.10.2019)

No. 239: Russian Regional Elections (26.09.2019)

No. 238: North Caucasus (22.07.2019)

No. 237: Security Issues (21.06.2019)

No. 236: Impact of Sanctions on Russian Business (06.06.2019)

No. 235: Caspian Sea (18.04.2019)

No. 234: Russian Think Tanks and Foreign Policy-Making (28.03.2019)

No. 233: Russia' Oligarchs (14.03.2019)

No. 232: Russia's Relations with the South Caucasus (22.02.2019)

Nr. 231: Orthodox Church (25.01.2019)