Current political affairs and long-term trends – including the evolution of Russia’s leadership structure – are studied in depth and in comparative context. The program studies Russia’s political institutions, shifting balances of power between the federal center and the regions, changing public attitudes towards democracy, and theoretical issues of politics, economics, power and business.
Stalin stands in for the lack of modern heroes, and overshadows all the most important historical events of the twentieth century, symbolically compensating for the failures, defeats, and setbacks of more recent years.
The U.S.-Soviet alliance during World War II has often been presented in Russia as a paragon of ideal relations between Moscow and Washington: co-equal, realist to the core, and successful. Even during the Cold War it was praised as an example of what the two powerful countries could do if only they were united by a compelling common cause.
The experience of the Soviet-American-British wartime coalition was unique and inimitable. Pulling the U.S.-Russian relationship back from the brink of confrontation to less antagonistic rivalry will only be possible in the event of major changes in the domestic politics of one or both countries.
The communication channels between the president and society are shrinking. Some events are apparently too important for the president to discuss seriously with the public, while others are uninteresting or unpleasant for him, so they aren’t discussed either, no matter how big those issues might be.
A generational shift will take place if young Russians decide to break with the values of an antiquated state. This process could take a very long time and include periods of regression, but it could also happen much quicker than expected.