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  • Author: Theodore P. Gerber
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The role of nationalism within the Russian public is an under - examined but potentially important aspect of the crisis surrounding Russia's annexation of Crimea and its continuing involvement in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. As commentators have sought to comprehend President Vladimir Putin's motives, many have asserted or assumed that such actions enjoy tremendous Russian public support. Indeed, public opinion polls from Russia indicate that Putin's popularity soared in the wake of the Crimean annexation and that large majorities have supported the government's policies in Ukraine, sympathizing with the Kremlin's negative portrayals of U.S. motives and actions. However, it is not clear whether this wave of public support is a fleeting "rally around the flag" phenomenon or the result of an organic, deeper tendency toward nationalism and xenophobia in the Russian public.
  • Topic: Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine
  • Author: Harsh V. Pant
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The term BRICS_/referring to the association of emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa_/dominated the headlines in March 2013 as Durban hosted the annual group summit. South African President Jacob Zuma suggested that the nascent organization's leadership has ''firmly established BRICS as a credible and constructive grouping in our quest to forge a new paradigm of global relations and cooperation.'' The meeting resulted in a much-/hyped proposal to create a joint BRICS development bank that would finance investments in developing nations.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Andrew C. Kuchins, Igor A. Zevelev
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The imminent return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency of the Russian Federation in 2012 raises many questions about the future of Russian foreign and security policy as well as U.S.—Russia relations. To what extent will Putin seek to continue and implement the goals of current President Dmitri Medvedev's modernization program? Will Putin reform the political system in the direction of decentralization of power and pluralism? Will the ''reset'' in U.S.—Russia relations endure? Even with these issues up in the air, the return of Putin as president will not significantly alter the course of Moscow's foreign policy. Some argue that Putin never relinquished authority over foreign policy in the first place, and that may well be true. But even if it is, there are deeper structural reasons involving debates among Russian elites about foreign policy and Russia's place in the world that are more important in explaining why Putin's return will not usher in a significant policy shift
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There are about 22,000 nuclear warheads in the world today.Reducing that number_eventually to zero_is a major element of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy. To date, his administration's progress toward this goal has been modest, even with agreement on a new round of U.S.—Russian cuts with the New START treaty. Nonetheless, opponents of his agenda, particularly in Congress, worry that any further arms control will pitch the United States down a slippery slope toward zero. Simultaneously, supporters increasingly complain that Obama has not been bold enough. Their frustration, which is felt in capitals across the world, risks compromising the willingness of key states to support important U.S. foreign policy objectives, especially those related to nonproliferation.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Thomas Sherlock
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Attempting to reverse the decline of the Russian state, economy, and society, President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have paid increasing attention over the past two years to the modernization of Russia's socioeconomic system. Aware of the importance of cultural and ideological supports for reform, both leaders are developing a ''useable'' past that promotes anti-Stalinism, challenging the anti-liberal historical narratives of Putin's presidency from 2000—2008. This important political development was abrupt and unexpected in Russia and the West. In mid—2009, a respected journal noted in its introduction to a special issue on Russian history and politics: ''turning a blind eye to the crimes of the communist regime, Russia's political leadership is restoring, if only in part, the legacy of Soviet totalitarianism.. . .'' In December 2009, Time magazine ran a story entitled ''Rehabilitating Joseph Stalin.''
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Hans Kundnani
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Berlin's March 2011 abstention on the UN Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya has raised questions about Germany's role in the international system. By abstaining on Security Council Resolution 1973, Germany broke with its Western allies and aligned itself with the four BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Whether or not the decision signals a weakening of what Germans call the Westbindung, it illustrates the strength of Germany's ongoing reluctance to use military force as a foreign-policy tool even in a multilateral context and to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Over the past few years, as the number of German and civilian casualties has increased in Afghanistan, the German public has become more skeptical about the mission of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in particular and about the deployment of German troops abroad in general. Like Germany, other EU member states such as France and the United Kingdom are cutting their defense budgets, but Germany shares few of their aspirations to project power beyond Europe.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, China, India, Libya, Brazil, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: William Varettoni
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It was, perhaps unfortunately, a picture broadcast round the world. Ditching decorum, Ukraine's protesting parliamentarians hurled eggs, set off smoke-belching flares, poured glue in voting machines, and duked it out (literally) within their legislative chamber on April 27, 2010. At issue was the parliament's ratification of a lease extension for Russia's Black Sea Fleet in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol, Crimea. The lease was due to expire in 2017, but will now (most likely, although nothing is ever set in stone in Ukrainian politics) continue through 2042. In exchange, Ukraine will receive a roughly 30 percent discount on natural gas imports from Russia, worth up to $40 billion over 10 years. If it works as advertised, Kyiv sold some of its sovereignty for a stronger economy. Given the current economic environment, few dispassionate observers would begrudge Ukraine this singular tradeoff.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Liviu Horovitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Arms control supporters are impatient with the Obama administration as it completes its third year in office. Neither the strength nor the pace of nuclear policy reform has been to their liking. In retrospect, the credit they gave the administration for the New START treaty with Russia appears somewhat tarnished. Once the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in December 2010, the obvious next step on the agenda was to push for ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). But in spite of the promises made by the White House, the prospects for a swift CTBT approval process are grim. The administration traded away all its chips in exchange for New START support, and the political landscape for the rest of President Obama's term appears anything but promising. The road to success requires a new approach.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India
  • Author: Lincoln A. Mitchell, Alexander Cooley
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Russia—Georgia war of August 2008 had repercussions well beyond the South Caucasus. The war was the culmination of Western tensions with Russia over its influence in the post—Soviet space, while the fallout exposed divisions within the transatlantic community over how aggressively to confront Moscow after its invasion of undisputed Georgian territory and its permanent stationing of troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.1 The conflict also called into question Georgia's relationship with the United States, as well as U.S. credibility as a regional security partner in light of Washington's apparent inability either to restrain Tbilisi from launching an attack against Tskhinvali in August 2008 or to help its ally once the war began.2 Since the war, both the United States and Europe have provided significant financial support to help rebuild Georgia and have denounced the continued presence of Russian forces in the breakaway territories. The transatlantic community, however, has failed to develop a forward-looking strategy toward those territories.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Moscow
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has been widely blamed for the recent financial crisis. As the U.S. economy floundered and China continued to grow in the great recession of 2008—2009, Chinese authors launched ''a flood of declinist commentary about the United States.'' One expert claimed that the high point of U.S. power projection was 2000. The Chinese were not alone in such statements. Goldman Sachs advanced the date at which it expects the size of the Chinese economy to surpass the U.S. economy to 2027. In a 2009 Pew Research Center poll, majorities or pluralities in 13 of 25 countries believed that China will replace the United States as the world's leading superpower. Even the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council projected in 2008 that U.S. dominance would be ''much diminished'' by 2025. President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia called the 2008 financial crisis a sign that the United States' global leadership is coming to an end, and even a sympathetic observer, Canadian opposition leader Michael Ignatieff, suggested that Canada should look beyond North America now that the ''the noon hour of the United States and its global dominance are over.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Canada, North America