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Russia in 2020

Russia in 2020: Scenarios for the Future

MARIA LIPMAN
NIKOLAY PETROV
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 685
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt6wpj1s
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  • Book Info
    Russia in 2020
    Book Description:

    As Vladimir Putin prepares to return to the presidency in the 2012 elections, the prospects for Russia's future are unclear.Russia in 2020brings together leading experts to analyze the possible scenarios for Russia's development in the next decade and the risks that lie ahead.

    Despite Putin's eminent return, the authors believe that the so-called Putin Era is over. This does not mean that Putin will soon give up power, but the political and economic system he created is incapable of dealing with Russia's rapidly changing conditions. Crises are likely unavoidable unless Russia changes and modernizes.

    eISBN: 978-0-87003-265-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-x)
    Thomas Carothers

    For more than ten years, the signal characteristic of Russian politics has been stability. It is a stability that has exacted a serious price with regard to hopes for reform yet also brought reassurance to many Russians unsettled by the events of the prior decade. Russia’s leaders appear set on trying to maintain that stability throughout the present decade as well. Whether they will manage to do so is a defining question for the country. It is also the question that animates this book.

    In 2010 Maria Lipman and Nikolay Petrov assembled a remarkable group of experts on Russian politics,...

  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. INTRODUCTION: RUSSIA in 2020—DEVELOPMENT SCENARIOS
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
    Maria Lipman and Nikolay Petrov

    Russia–2020, a project of the Carnegie Moscow Center, was officially launched in early 2010. On the tenth anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s model of state governance and on the eve of the next election cycle, it seemed like a logical time to analyze and reevaluate Russia’s prospects for development. How sustainable is the political and economic system put in place by Putin? Can the status quo be maintained for the long term, or does Russia face major changes? These were the fundamental questions that underlay this work on development scenarios for Russia in the coming decade. Ten years was chosen...

  6. PART I. RUSSIA IN THE WORLD

    • CHAPTER ONE RUSSIA and THE WORLD
      (pp. 3-24)
      Thomas Graham

      Russia emerged as a major European power in the eighteenth century. It was a huge success for nearly three hundred years, until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991—if success is measured in terms of augmentation of territory, expansion of political sway, or accumulation of military victories. Indeed, no other country can match that three hundred years of geopolitical advance; few have mattered as much in international affairs. The Russian victories over Napoleon and Hitler and the Russian Revolution—all events with world-historical consequences that enhanced Russia’s power—are only the high points of a remarkable story.

      At...

    • CHAPTER TWO RUSSIA in WORLD-SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE
      (pp. 25-44)
      Georgi Derluguian and Immanuel Wallerstein

      Since its formulation as a critique of modernization theory in the early 1970s, world-systems analysis has met with considerable resistance in Russia and among Russia experts. The reasons were mainly ideological. Official Soviet ideology, which in the 1970s and 1980s proclaimed the existence of a “world socialist system,” certainly could not accept that the USSR was merely a semiperipheral state still facing the perennial problems of technological development, even if this state was ideologically eccentric and exceptionally militarized.¹ Needless to say, in the 1970s Soviet censors found scandalizing the prediction that Moscow might soon abandon its obsolete official ideology and...

    • CHAPTER THREE RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY OUTLOOK
      (pp. 45-66)
      Dmitri Trenin

      If, in the future, the European project is able to overcome its current difficulties, it would strengthen Moscow’s “European vector” policy and would encourage Euro-Russian integration. The failure of the project, on the contrary, would deprive Russia of a natural “anchor” in the world arena.

      Since 1992, Russian foreign policy has gone through several stages. Initially, until about 2003, it focused mainly on the country’s integration into the Western community. During the Yeltsin years, there was talk of Russia’s immediate integration into transatlantic and European institutions. At the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s administration, emphasis was placed on alliances with the...

    • CHAPTER FOUR RUSSIA’S PLACE in the WORLD OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, or MURPHY’S LAW AND ORDER
      (pp. 67-88)
      Fyodor Lukyanov

      During the past quarter of a century, Russia has repeatedly found itself at a historical crossroads: strategic, when the future of its statehood was at stake, and tactical (but no less crucial), when the long-term scenario depended on a decision yet to be made. At some point—after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and at the dawn of the new Russia—it seemed that the main choice had already been made; but the more time passed, the clearer it became that this is not exactly so. Russia, together with the whole world, has entered a period of fundamental change...

    • CHAPTER FIVE RUSSIA and the NEW “TRANSITIONAL EUROPE”
      (pp. 89-108)
      Arkady Moshes

      Many experts have described the political development of Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova—the nations in the western part of the post-Soviet area—during the past two decades as the emergence of a “strategically unviable no man’s land between a united West and an increasingly hostile Russia.”¹ They argue this point of view by saying that, on the one hand, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova have no visible prospects of joining the European Union and NATO, but on the other hand, Russia has not gained full control over developments in the region. Moscow can block what in its point of view are...

    • CHAPTER SIX THE SOUTH CAUCASUS in 2020
      (pp. 109-122)
      Thomas de Waal

      Since 1991, the South Caucasus has embarked on an entirely new historical path. The name “South Caucasus” itself indicates that the era that began in 1801—during which the region was called by its Russocentric name, the “Transcaucasus,” and was implicitly linked to Russia—is now over. The region has regained the “in-between” status it had in 1918–1921, whereby it is no longer part of any neighboring power but the object of the competing interests of several. However, this time there is an important difference: The independence of the three states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia is internationally recognized;...

  7. PART II. POLITICAL ECONOMY AND ECONOMICS

    • CHAPTER SEVEN the “third cycle”: IS RUSSIA HEADED BACK TO THE FUTURE?
      (pp. 125-148)
      Kirill Rogov

      Russia has entered the third cycle of its post-Soviet history. Although this cycle’s contours are not yet clear, we are already in it, and its results will be summed up around 2020—and precisely these results will then form the country’s image.

      Indeed, if one looks at the twenty years of post-Soviet history from a bird’s-eye view, one is struck primarily by the presence of two periods whose main characteristics are as different as night and day. The first period, the 1990s, and can rightfully be calledtransformational. It consisted first and foremost of large-scale institutional changes and a no...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT RUSSIA’S POLITICAL ECONOMY: THE NEXT DECADE
      (pp. 149-164)
      Daniel Treisman

      Prognostication has a bad name. When it comes to predicting how societies will evolve, the record of forecasters is poor, and specialized knowledge does not appear to help very much. In a recent twenty-year study, psychologist Philip Tetlock tracked “the accuracy of hundreds of experts for dozens of countries on topics as disparate as transitions to democracy and capitalism, economic growth, interstate violence, and nuclear proliferation.” He found that the specialists’ forecasts rarely outperformed the guesses of “dilettantes, dart-throwing chimps, and assorted extrapolation algorithms.”¹

      There are obvious reasons why deducing the future of complex systems is close to impossible. A...

    • CHAPTER NINE the russian economy through 2020: THE CHALLENGE of MANAGING RENT ADDICTION
      (pp. 165-186)
      Clifford G. Gaddy and Barry W. Ickes

      Russia was one of the best-performing economies in the world in the first decade of the 2000s. But this success was an anomaly, based on the extraordinary rise in the world prices of the primary sources of Russia’s wealth, its oil and gas. Russia will not see another decade with those kinds of price rises. This will make for a radically different situation in the future, with implications for politics as well as economics.

      In the coming decade, problems that were largely ignored during the decade of windfall resource wealth will become unavoidable. The most important problems stem from the...

    • CHAPTER TEN the RUSSIAN ECONOMY in LIMBO
      (pp. 187-212)
      Vladimir Milov

      Since it was hit hard by the global financial crisis, things have been difficult for the Russian economy, which needs to somehow return to sustainable growth, beyond just postcrisis recovery. Such a return to growth is essential for the survival of the social and political model that was established in Russia during the early 2000s. Almost a decade of unstoppable and impressive economic growth from 1999 to 2008, which had resulted in sharp rises in real personal income and improvements in the quality of life, were an extremely important factor in the gradual elimination of political competition in Russia, and...

  8. PART III. POLITICAL SYSTEM

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN INSTITUTION BUILDING and “INSTITUTIONAL TRAPS” in RUSSIAN POLITICS
      (pp. 215-232)
      Vladimir Gelman

      As the Nobel Prize winner Douglass North has stated, “Institutions are not . . . usually created to be socially efficient; rather, . . . [they] are created to serve the interests of those with the bargaining power to devise new rules.”¹ In other words, the deliberate creation and maintenance of inefficient institutions that lead society toward institutional decay should be perceived as a norm of institution building rather than an exception. The countries of post-Soviet Eurasia, meanwhile, can serve as a sort of “laboratory” for testing partial and temporary solutions that lead to cyclical unstable patterns of institution building,²...

    • CHAPTER TWELVE TRANSITION as a POLITICAL INSTITUTION: TOWARD 2020
      (pp. 233-254)
      Richard Sakwa

      Russian political institutions often appear mimetic, mere copies of Western institutions that lack an inner vitality of their own. This is a problem common to all societies that have engaged in radical transitions in the recent era, yet most soon engage in adaptive practices that ensure that the “transplants” take root in different societal contexts, thus tempering their specifically mimetic character. The context of the transplantation of what we can call the “standard package” of constitutionalism, liberal democracy, and free markets varies widely. Three fundamental types can be identified: animposedprocess, such as those that took place in postwar...

    • CHAPTER THIRTEEN can the machine come to life? PROSPECTS FOR RUSSIA’S PARTY SYSTEM in 2020
      (pp. 255-276)
      Henry Hale

      The post-Soviet political history of Russia can largely be understood as the construction of a giant political machine with a monopoly on the national electoral market. This machine itself is not a continuation of the Communist Party’s monopoly on power in the USSR, but was constructed out of the detritus the Soviet Union left as it dissolved. President Boris Yeltsin played the key role in creating and arranging the essential elements of the machine, though it was his apprentice and successor Vladimir Putin who tightened both design and implementation to produce the system that existed at the end of the...

    • CHAPTER FOURTEEN SCENARIOS for the EVOLUTION of the RUSSIAN POLITICAL PARTY SYSTEM
      (pp. 277-300)
      Boris Makarenko

      The 2011 parliamentary elections have become an unavoidable point of the Russian political party system’s bifurcation into two possible scenarios: “moderate liberalization,” or “stagnation.” A scenario-based study of the party system as a whole—and of the party system of today’s Russia in particular—presents a special challenge, given that it is difficult to define both the dependent and the independent variables in the analysis of the parties. Like the lobsters in the mad quadrille fromAlice in Wonderland, they long to be swapped (in Carroll’s book, lobsters are changed, not swapped). There are three main reasons for this.

      First,...

  9. PART IV. STATE

    • CHAPTER FIFTEEN the EXCESSIVE ROLE of a WEAK RUSSIAN STATE
      (pp. 303-328)
      Nikolay Petrov

      The Russian state is big but weak. Its weakness is related to its internal ineffectiveness and omnipresent facade, given the inadequacy of its legal institutions, the functions of which have become “privatized” and are used to further individual, group, or corporate interests. Finally, the state is weak because of overcentralization, whereby the center of gravity during all important decisionmaking processes rests at the top and the entire system becomes sluggish.

      The Russian state system is afflicted by administrative paralysis—it can only stand in place by resting on raw returns. To move it in any direction, it is necessary to...

    • CHAPTER SIXTEEN CENTER-PERIPHERY RELATIONS
      (pp. 329-348)
      Robert Orttung

      The conduct of center–periphery relations in Russia is a battle over resources between the federal government and the regional elite. The amount of resources available for contestation grows and shrinks and the balance between the center and the periphery constantly changes, but the struggle continues endlessly.

      This chapter examines recent trends in Russia’s center–periphery relations and seeks to explain how these trends will evolve over the next ten years. It first looks at key drivers in the relationship between the federal government and the regions. It then examines how these trends have evolved from the collapse of the...

    • CHAPTER SEVENTEEN the CONTINUING REVOLUTION in RUSSIAN MILITARY AFFAIRS: TOWARD 2020
      (pp. 349-370)
      Pavel K. Baev

      A particular feature of the intellectual exercise of drawing possible trajectories for the transformation of the Russian Armed Forces toward 2020 is the very short basis for extrapolation. Normally, making a reasonably sound ten-year forecast requires data for a similar period, and preferably twice that. In principle, the two post-Soviet decades of Russia’s history provide exactly this basis for prognostication. However, the problem is that since the fall of 2008, the Russian military organization has entered into a phase of reforms so radical in their aims that they can only be compared with Yegor Gaidar’s “shock therapy” that reshaped Russia’s...

    • CHAPTER EIGHTEEN the ARMED FORCES in 2020: MODERN or SOVIET?
      (pp. 371-392)
      Alexander Golts

      In the next decade, Russian military and political leaders will face a difficult dilemma: to decide whether or not it is necessary to divert substantial economic resources to the modernization of the armed forces at a time when there is virtually no military threat. In 2010–2011, the Russian armed forces will approach a point of bifurcation where the country’s military and political leadership will need to choose, with a greater or lesser degree of certainty, one of two or three scenarios for future development. Meanwhile, it is not out of the question that these scenarios will directly contradict one...

  10. PART V. REGIONS

    • CHAPTER NINETEEN RUSSIA’S REGIONS and CITIES: SCENARIOS for 2020
      (pp. 395-416)
      Natalia Zubarevich

      A ten-year forecast of regional socioeconomic development is much easier and safer for an expert’s reputation than political predictions. Space is inertial, and Russian space in particular—due to weak infrastructure, great differences in the level of development, low mobility of the population, and other reasons.

      Scholars specializing in regional studies are lucky with their object of research: Even a Soviet textbook on economic geography can still serve as a source of information. But, true to the law of compensation, regional policy is the sphere where the Russian authorities unleash their imaginations, and thus try to implement way-out projects at...

    • CHAPTER TWENTY POLITICAL SYSTEMS in the RUSSIAN REGIONS in 2020
      (pp. 417-434)
      Alexandr Kynev

      One of the biggest factors that shaped political development in the Russian regions during the 1990s and 2000s were the events of October 1993, when lower-level soviets, including the Moscow City Soviet, had their powers revoked by presidential decree, and many regional soviets dissolved themselves or were dissolved by the governors. The presidential decrees did not affect the republics, but many of them were run by authoritarian regimes that had been in place since the communist days and were headed by former local party bosses who had simply changed their job titles. The new Russian Constitution instituted a hyperpresidential republic...

    • CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE 2020: THE LAST CHANCE for the NORTH CAUCASUS?
      (pp. 435-456)
      Alexey Malashenko

      This attempt to predict the state of affairs in the Russian North Caucasus in ten years’ time is based on two probable scenarios—an optimistic one, and an inertia-based, or negative, one. Neither scenario is likely to unfold in full measure due to the contradictory and even mutually exclusive trends in the region’s internal situation, and also the effect of the subjective factor that is individual politicians’ acts and decisions. In the semi-traditional Caucasus society, this personal factor has always played a big and sometimes decisive role.

      The North Caucasus is part of Russia and it is not easy to...

  11. PART VI. SOCIETY AND CIVIL SOCIETY

    • CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO SOCIETY, POLITICS, and the SEARCH for COMMUNITY in RUSSIA
      (pp. 459-476)
      Samuel A. Greene

      The degree to which contemporary discussions of Russia avoid dealing with Russian society is striking.¹ This was not always (and is still not entirely) the case. Cultural historians in particular have long studied the evolution, revolutionary dismantling, and partial persistence of the institutions underpinning social relations, and the end of the Soviet Union brought a revival of interest in the long story of Russian society. The difficulties of Russia’s post-Soviet transition, however, and its “failure” to democratize, have led many to take society out of the picture: Because the social factors that may have led to Russia’s retrenched authoritarianism seemed...

    • CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE the INERTIA of PASSIVE ADAPTATION
      (pp. 477-498)
      Lev Gudkov

      The demand for forecasts that we see so clearly today in many quarters of Russian society has its roots in the growing awareness of Russia’s stagnation in recent years under the rule of Vladimir Putin and his team. The sense of perspective has been lost. No one knows where change will come from, and there is no sense of the forces that could transform the current situation. This makes those in and around the elite (no matter what their party or ideological views) particularly sensitive to any forms of social protest, and always on the lookout for tensions that could...

    • CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR the NOMENKLATURA and the ELITE
      (pp. 499-530)
      Nikolay Petrov

      The private and/or personal dimension of the processes unfolding in Russia is one of the keys to understanding the country’s future development. This chapter seeks to show, first, that there have been big changes vis-à-vis the nomenklatura and the elite; and, second, that these changes have often been in different directions at the federal and regional levels. In the first case, the main trend has been the transformation of the administrative staff into the ruling elite; in the second case, the situation has been the other way around.

      To simplify the present situation, it could be described as a wishywashy...

    • CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE the EVOLUTION of CIVIC ACTIVENESS
      (pp. 531-550)
      Jens Siegert

      Only an increasingly closed political system that goes as far as actual political repression would be able to stop the continued development of civil society in Russia. Such a scenario cannot be completely ruled out at the moment, but it is not very probable.

      The constitutional right to freedom of association is one of the big differences between the current Russian regime and the Soviet regime, even if, in practice, this right is severely constrained by the authorities. This concerns political parties above all, but also applies to civil society organizations, of which there are now several hundred thousand. These...

  12. PART VII. IDEOLOGY AND CULTURE

    • CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX RUSSIA and the NEW “RUSSIAN WORLD”
      (pp. 553-572)
      Igor Zevelev

      As the first decade of the new century came to a close, ethnic Russian nationalism had not become a serious political force inside Russia itself, and did not have any real influence on policy toward Russia’s neighbors. Could this situation change by 2020?

      The Soviet Union’s collapse left millions of people who considered themselves Russians divided by political borders. For the first time in many centuries, these people found themselves scattered across a number of countries neighboring Russia. Starting in 1992, Russia pursued what could be described as a cautious and restrained policy toward this new challenge. Russia did not...

    • CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN SOCIETY and the STATE on the INTERNET: a CALL for CHANGE
      (pp. 573-592)
      Alexey Sidorenko

      In the coming decade, the Internet will become the most important factor influencing the social and political situation in Russia. For now, both society and the state are still getting used to the new technology, trying both new and old mechanisms to communicate and to fight with each other. The state is attempting to impose elements of control over the virtual social sphere, though not always successfully. By itself, the virtual social environment is simultaneously both poisonous and constructive. Civil society and proto–civil society formations of a new sort are being created within it: regional forums, groups on the...

  13. CONCLUSIONS Maria Lipman and Nikolay Petrov
    (pp. 593-614)

    The Putin era is over. Vladimir Putin may still remain Russia’s uncontested national leader eleven years after he first became the president. Moreover, in 2011 he appears to have secured another twelve years of the presidency for himself. Yet, the political and economic system created under Putin’s leadership in the first decade of the twenty-first century has largely exhausted itself. It is not capable of dealing with rapidly changing conditions, and Putin and his team will need to make many modifications if they hope to stay in power in the years ahead.

    To hold on to power, Putin masterminded a...

  14. INDEX
    (pp. 615-680)
  15. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 681-684)
  16. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    (pp. 685-686)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 687-687)