Lilia Shevtsova

Former Senior Associate
Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program
Moscow Center
Shevtsova chaired the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, dividing her time between Carnegie’s offices in Washington, DC, and Moscow. She had been with Carnegie since 1995.


PhD, Political Science, Academy of Social Sciences
MA, BA, History and Journalism, Moscow State Institute of International Relations





English; Russian


Lilia Shevtsova is no longer with the Carnegie Endowment.

Lilia Shevtsova chaired the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, dividing her time between Carnegie’s offices in Washington, DC, and Moscow. She had been with Carnegie since 1995.

Shevtsova was a professor at the Higher School of Economics, a professor of political science at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, deputy director of the Institute for International Economic and Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and director of the Center of Political Studies in Moscow. She has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University, and Georgetown University as well as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Shevtsova was also a member of the executive council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, founding chair of the Davos World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Russia, and member of the Global Agenda Council on Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Currently, Shevtsova is a member of the Editorial Board for the American Interest, Demokratizatsiya, and the Journal of Democracy. In addition to participating in the Davos World Economic Forum’s ongoing Global Redesign Initiative program, she is a senior research associate at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economics and an associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). She is also a member of the board for the Institute for Human Sciences at Boston University, the Women in International Security international association, the Liberal Mission Foundation, and the New Eurasia Foundation.

Shevtsova is the author and editor of fifteen books, including: Putin’s Russia (revised and expanded edition; Carnegie Endowment, 2005); Russia—Lost in Transition (Carnegie Endowment, 2007); Lonely Power (Carnegie Moscow Center and ROSSPEN, 2010; English edition: Carnegie Endowment, 2010); and Change or Decay with Andrew Wood (Carnegie Endowment, 2011).

  • Op-Ed Day October 21, 2014
    The Survival Paradigm

    The war in Ukraine has given Russia a pretext for the military and patriotic consolidation and militarist survival paradigm.

  • Op-Ed Financial Times September 29, 2014 Русский
    Putin Has Fought His Way Into a Corner

    By turning Russia into a war state, President Putin has unleashed a process he cannot stop and made himself hostage to suicidal statecraft.

  • Op-Ed American Interest August 28, 2014
    Putin Ends the Interregnum

    Vladimir Putin’s increasingly reckless interventions in Ukraine should force the West to reevaluate everything it thought it knew about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the past two decades of Western policy on Russia.

  • Op-Ed American Interest July 11, 2014
    Blurred Lines Between War and Peace

    Allowing Kiev to restore the country’s territorial integrity is the best way to bring real peace to Ukraine. At the same time, pressuring Kiev to declare a new ceasefire that will give the rebels another break will only prolong the conflict.

  • Commentary June 25, 2014
    How Long Russians Will Believe in Fairy Tale?

    Russian state and national identity are still based on the search for the enemy. However, the patriotic euphoria that followed Crimea has begun to wear off. As the Kremlin attempts to understand what to do next in Ukraine, it has become clear that Russians are not prepared to pay for it with their lives.

  • Op-Ed American Interest June 16, 2014
    Crowning a Winner in the Post-Crimea World

    Does liberal democracy depend on the existence of ideological and civilizational rivals to spur it into cycles of reinvention and renewal?

  • Commentary June 12, 2014
    Russia Day—Independence From Itself?

    On June 12, Russia is celebrating its national day, but the date continues to confuse Russians. It is on this day that Russia tries to celebrate its sovereignty without raising the uncomfortable question: sovereignty from whom?

  • Op-Ed American Interest June 3, 2014
    Obama Blinks

    Barack Obama’s recent remarks at West Point show that he doesn’t understand the rules of the game he’s playing with Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

  • Op-Ed American Interest May 26, 2014
    Bravo, Ukraine, Bravo!

    The elections in Ukraine demonstrate that Ukrainians have decisively chosen to turn toward Europe.

  • Commentary May 20, 2014
    Military-Patriotic Mobilization and How It Will End

    The worse the situation becomes in Russia, the better it looks in the eye of the people. This can be explained by mass self-deception and people’s desire to believe in a fairy tale. However, Russia is approaching a moment of truth when people will realize how serious the country’s problems are.

  • Carnegie Moscow Center May 13, 2014
    Interregnum: Russia Between Past and Future

    After the end of the political protests of 2011–2012, Russia has found itself in a troubled break between two eras. This is a time of conservatism, which, in its Russian incarnation, has morphed into a gloomy, almost medieval archaism.

  • Carnegie Moscow Center May 25, 2013
    Crisis: Russia and the West in the Time of Troubles

    Today, the two predominant political and social models—authoritarianism and liberal democracy—are experiencing simultaneous crises.

  • Change or Decay
    Washington October 31, 2011
    Change or Decay: Russia's Dilemma and the West's Response

    Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West has yet to adjust to the post-Soviet reality and Russia has not settled on its relationship with the rest of the world.

  • Moscow: Carnegie Moscow Center July 5, 2011 Русский
    20 Years Without the Berlin Wall: A Breakthrough to Freedom

    Enormous societal and political shifts 20 years ago opened prospects for a new, united Europe. Despite Russia’s role in this peaceful departure from totalitarianism, the country’s course in the subsequent two decades was not so straightforward. While the demolition of the Berlin Wall is no guarantee of success, democratic transformations are a necessary precondition.

  • Lonely Power
    Washington September 8, 2010
    Lonely Power

    While the "reset" in U.S.–Russian relations has come with closer cooperation on arms control, Afghanistan, and Iran, as long as Russia's system of personalized power rests on anti-Western principles, a true reset is unattainable.

  • Moscow: Liberal Mission Foundation December 25, 2008 Русский
    Path to Europe: Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, and East Germany

    Eastern European and Baltic countries that have recently joined NATO and the European Union have undergone social and economic reforms, but they have also faced significant challenges along the way. Can their experience be of use to Russia?

  • Washington September 5, 2007
    Russia—Lost in Transition: The Yeltsin and Putin Legacies

    Lilia Shevtsova searches the histories of the Yeltsin and Putin regimes, exploring within them conventional truths and myths about Russia, paradoxes of Russian political development, and Russia’s role in the world.

  • Washington December 28, 2004
    Putin's Russia (Revised and Expanded Edition)

    This revised edition explores the true nature of Putin’s leadership and how far he is willing to go and capable of going with further transformation. The book includes an examination of the recent presidential and parliamentary elections and their effects on Putin’s leadership and Russia.

  • Washington September 24, 2001 Washington, D.C.
    Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin: Political Leadership in Russia's Transition

    Focusing on Russia's three top leaders since 1985, this book examines their goals, evolving ideas, styles of rule, institution-building, and impacts on policy.

  • Washington May 1, 1999
    Yeltsin's Russia: Myths and Reality

    Combining keen political analysis with the unique perspective of a native observer, Lilia Shevtsova offers a valuable assessment of the forces that will shape the post-Yeltsin era.

  • NPR’s All Things Considered March 21, 2014
    Putin’s Perspective Abroad Swayed by Quest for Popularity at Home

    All of Putin’s actions, such as annexation of Crimea, trying to suffocate Ukraine, and trying to contain the United States and West in general, are a response to his domestic agenda. To survive, Putin wants to return to the old militaristic Russia and to become a war president.

  • RTÉ's News At One February 24, 2014
    Warrant Out for Arrest of Missing Ukrainian President Yanukovich

    Only the first stage of revolution in Ukraine is over. The serious challenge for Ukraine is how the common people will be involved in controlling the new power.

  • NPR’s Morning Edition February 20, 2014
    Russia Accuses Western Diplomats of Meddling in Ukraine

    The defeat of the Ukrainian regime was a severe blow to Vladimir Putin personally. Any victory of Ukrainian revolution could act as an inspiration for the Russian people as well.

  • euronews December 17, 2013
    Ukraine Protests Send Icy Blast Through Moscow and Central Asia

    The protests in Ukraine are a warning to all post-Soviet authoritarian states that the same thing may occur at any time in their countries and are likely to serve as a pretext for the authorities in Russia and in Central Asia to tighten their control.

  • WAMU's Diane Rehm Show March 5, 2012
    Russian Presidential Election Results

    Despite the Kremlin's need for domestic and international legitimacy, there was widespread irregularity and fraud in Russia's recent presidential elections.

  • Lilia Shevtsova
    NPR's Morning Edition December 26, 2011
    Russians Keep Up Protests For Free Elections

    Russian protesters hail from a new generation who are tired of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Given Putin’s refusal to give up power and the impending presidential elections, further unrest is likely.

  • Shevtsova
    NewsHour with Jim Lehrer February 29, 2008
    Election Marks Uncertain Milepost in Russian Democracy
  • NPR's Talk of the Nation May 31, 2007
    Cold War Rivalries Rekindled?

    As the United States and Russia argue over missile shields and develop new weapons to overcome them, some wonder if all this tough talk could rekindle old rivalries.

  • April 19, 2012 Washington, D.C.
    The Next Phase of U.S.-Russia Relations

    Following Senator Ben Cardin's remarks on the role of human rights issues in U.S.-Russia relations, a panel of experts discussed the likely future course of the bilateral relationship.

  • November 14, 2011 Washington, D.C.
    Change or Decay

    Relations between the West and Russia are still shifting as the West has yet to adjust to the post-Soviet reality and Russia has not settled on its relationship with the rest of the world.

  • November 14, 2011 Washington, D.C.
    20 Years of Ukraine's Independence

    The twentieth anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union comes at a moment of unique challenge and opportunity for the country, as Ukrainians look to their new leaders to resolve longstanding problems.

  • May 19, 2011 Moscow Русский
    Book Presentation “20 Years Without the Berlin Wall: A Breakthrough to Freedom”

    The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ushered in a time of momentous social and political change, including in Russia, but Russia’s development followed a different path than that of many Eastern European countries.

  • April 25, 2011 Moscow Русский
    Russian Opposition About the Russian Authorities, Upcoming Elections, the Current Situation, Foreign Policy, and Themselves

    The regime of personalized power that Russians have grown accustomed to is at risk of collapse. The People’s Freedom Party “For Russia Without Arbitrariness and Corruption” aims to play a role in helping change Russian politics through legitimate means.

  • Gunnar Wiegand and Lilia Shevtsova
    February 9, 2011 Brussels
    Russia's Future

    Russia is both a resurgent power on the international stage and a key partner for Europe. However, the country still faces a myriad of social and economic challenges.

  • Lilia Shevtsova and James Collins
    September 10, 2010 Washington, D.C. Русский
    Book Launch: Lilia Shevtsova’s Lonely Power

    Russia’s current push for economic modernization coincides with growing political activism and concerns, both among domestic groups and in the West, about the absence of political liberalization.

  • July 1, 2009 Moscow
    Moscow Summit: Expert Briefing Live From Moscow

    Ahead of the July 6-8 U.S.-Russia summit, Carnegie experts in Moscow discussed expectations for the visit, prospects for START negotiations, and areas for potential cooperation, including Iran, Afghanistan, and energy security.

  • Dmitri Trenin
    February 6, 2009 Washington, D.C.
    Is Russia Ready for Change?

    The international financial crisis may help sustain Russia's political and economic system in the short-term or it may usher in rapid change. Regardless, it is unsustainable in the long run.

  • Putin's Russia
    March 24, 2005 Washington, D.C.
    Russia 2005: The Logic of Backsliding

    Lilia Shevtsova on current state of Russian domestic politics and launches revised edition of Putin's Russia.


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