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  • Author: Andrei Ryabov
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Not too long ago, the analysts studying the development of the Russian political process under Vladimir Putin attached foremost attention to efforts aimed to formulate the political priorities of Russia's second president and to ascertain his vision of the way the nation should develop. The actions and decisions made by Putin were analyzed primarily from that angle. For a long time, that way of analyzing today's Russian politics was regarded as perfectly operational: it is common knowledge that the political system in Russia is monocentric and the president is the principal political agent whose position largely determines the character and the thrust of political change. However, the two years that have elapsed since Putin's rise to power have compelled many experts to revise their attitudes. The reason is that despite the occasional changes in the system of government institutions made by the second president of the Russian Federation and his announcement of a continued market-oriented reform, what lies ahead remains uncertain. There are still doubts about the firmness of the stabilization attained under Putin, while the influence wielded by most of the key Russian political actors who arose back in Yeltsin's times has not diminished whatsoever. In this connection it has even been said that, in the final analysis, Putin will have to return to the policy pursued by his predecessor.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Stefani Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: The Greek term “diaspora” was first applied to the dispersion and settlement of the Jews outside of ancient Palestine. Subsequently, the term was extended to the Greek and Armenian dispersion and to other migratory phenomena, although scholars continue to refer back to the original meaning. Indeed, particularly since the fall of the Soviet bloc and the acceleration of globalization processes, governmental bodies, NGOs, and academic institutions have devoted considerable attention to defining and studying the various migratory processes and the effects of clusters of immigrant populations on countries in the developed world.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union, Palestine
  • Author: John B. Dunlop
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: One perceptive observer of the Russian political scene, Francoise Thom, noted as far back as 1994 that fascism, and especially its “Eurasianist” variant, was already at that time displacing Russian nationalism among statist Russian elites as a post-communist “Russian Idea,” especially in the foreign policy sphere. “The weakness of Russian nationalists,” she emphasized, “stems from their inability to clearly situate Russian frontiers. Euras[ianism] brings an ideological foundation for post-Soviet imperialism.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia
  • Author: Joshua Handler
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: The history of anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defenses is long and controversial. From the late 1990s and until today, what to do about missile defenses and the 1972 ABM Treaty has been one of the central problems in U.S.-Russian relations. Several times the United States and Russia appeared to have been on the verge of a new Cold War over this question. This paper reviews the history of the missile defense debate and offers some observations on a way forward. On balance, it may be best for the international community to downplay the Bush administration's missile defense plans and instead focus on promoting diplomatic solutions to the missile proliferation problem. Moreover, the international community should examine the possibilities of banning long-range ballistic missiles. This would make U.S. plans for a national missile defense (NMD) redundant, while at the same time improving international security in general.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Alexei Malashenko
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Despite the interest for Islam in Russia, for the Islamic factor in the country's domestic and foreign policy, and despite the growing number of publications on the subject, the Russian Muslim community remains largely a thing in itself, an enigma. In other words, there are more questions than answers here.
  • Topic: Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Louise Shelley
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: The globalization of the fruits of Russian organized crime and corruption have affected Russia's international image and undermined state capacity. The departure of illicitly gained billions quickly diminished the capacity of even a once formidable power. It deprived Russia of the resources it needs to rebuild the state infrastructure, service its debts and pay the salaries and pensions of its citizens. The failure of a former superpower to meet the basic needs of its citizens has served as a powerful lesson to the international community. This occurred, in part, because those who controlled the state's capital could move money abroad in enormous amounts and great rapidity.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Virginie Coulloudon
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: One of the main difficulties in examining corruption both under the Soviet regime and in post-Soviet Russia lies in its definition. Ever since Yurii Andropov launched systematic anticorruption campaigns in the late 1970s and raised the level of awareness of this social disease, all Soviet and Russian leaders have emphasized the necessity of eradicating corruption without really clarifying what particular phenomenon they had in mind. When analyzing Russian corruption, one is surprised to see how many forms it takes: from rule evasion and bribe taking to rent-seeking, abuses of power, embezzlement, bureaucratic extortion, and insider dealing. Adding to this already complex picture, the causes of such infringements of the law and endemic corruption are perceived differently in different contexts – whether under the Soviet regime or in post-Soviet Russia, or if such actions were motivated by the necessity to survive in an economically and politically hostile environment or merely by a thirst for personal gain.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Oleg Bukharin
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Two factors were of critical significance in shaping the international peace and security agenda after the Cold War: the emergence of nuclear security and proliferation dangers in the wake of the Soviet collapse, and the unprecedented level of cooperation between Russia and other countries to address these problems. As a result of cooperative international and Russia's domestic efforts, important progress has been made in recent years in reducing nuclear arsenals, protecting Russia's nuclear materials, and preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons expertise from Russia. Much work, however, remains to be done.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Svante Cornell
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Ethnopolitical conflict has, especially since the early 1990s, been a growing source of concern in the international arena. Having grown since the 1960s, it culminated after the cold war with the eruption of conflict in the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. Ethnic mobilization among minority populations in multiethnic states has often led to demands for self-rule or to secession. Especially in defined geographical areas where minorities are compactly settled, the creation of a separate state is seen as a feasible goal and control over territory often becomes a chief issue of conflict. Many theorists have found that solutions involving regional autonomy are effective in dealing with ethnic conflict. Ted Gurr, for example, has argued that "negotiated regional autonomy has proved to be an effective antidote for ethnopolitical wars of secession in Western and Third World States." Regional autonomy implies the introduction of ethnoterritoriality - linking territorial control to ethnicity. This is the case either when a region is explicitly created as a homeland for an ethnic group or when a minority group constitutes a large majority of the population of an autonomous state structure and perceives it as its own. Advocates of ethnofederalism argue that autonomy solutions are effective conflict-resolving mechanisms and that further federalization of multiethnic states along ethnic lines will help prevent ethnic conflict. In some of the literature, ethnofederalism has been characterized as what David Meyer terms a "cure-all prescription" for ethnic tensions. There is, however, considerable reason to argue that the institution of territorial autonomy may be conducive not to interethnic peace and cooperation but may in fact foster ethnic mobilization, increased secessionism, and even armed conflict.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Caucasus, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Sonia Ben Ouagrham
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Since September 11th, the American anthrax-laced letters and the war in Afghanistan have revived the interest of government officials, researchers and the general public to the state and security of former biological weapon (BW) facilities in the Former Soviet Union (FSU). In the popular press, reports of the general economic crisis and the political unrest that characterize FSU countries tend to emphasize the proliferation threat from these countries. Very little is said, however, about the nuances of this threat, its nature and degree of probability. Some reports tend to overestimate the number of employees at former BW facilities, thus inflating the risks of brain drain. While at the same time, other major sources of proliferation, such as the diversion of pathogens or the illicit transfer of specialized equipment are usually ignored. The present paper aims to characterize more precisely the threat stemming from former BW facilities in the FSU by determining what type of resources are available at former BW facilities and to what extent they are accessible to states of concern or terrorist groups. Although the existing open source information enables us to determine more clearly the categories of personnel, the type of equipment and material that pose the greatest proliferation threat, it does not measure properly the extent of the threat, i.e. an inventory of past and present facilities, expertise, equipment and material. Nevertheless, we can conclude that specialized knowledge, equipment and dangerous pathogens are available at former BW facilities in the FSU and can become accessible to state or non-state actors wishing to start or develop covert BW programs. This is particularly true in Central Asia, where economic and security factors, associated with the geographic characteristics of this region all converge to form a chain of proliferation: seekers of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their related technologies, potential suppliers and deliverers.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, America, Central Asia