Marlene Laruelle is research professor of international affairs and associate director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. She is codirector of PONARS-Eurasia and director of the Central Asia Program at GW.
Jean Radvanyi is professor of Russian studies and geography at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Cultures in Paris. He directed the French-Russian Center for Social Sciences and Humanities in Moscow from 2008 to 2012.
List of Figures, Maps, and Tables
1 Territorial Fatigue: New State, New Borders
2 A Troubled Identity: Diversity, Decline, and Migration
3 Society: Fragmented but Reinvented
4 The Political System: A Quest for Consensus
5 The Economy: Is There a Russian Disease?
6 Between Europe and Asia: The Double-Headed Eagle
7 Russia in the World: Besieged Fortress or New Crusader?
In this succinct exposition of Russia’s domestic developments and foreign policy, Marlene Laruelle and Jean Radvanyi de-emphasise the uniqueness of Russia’s path, comparing it to the stresses of transformation that many states confront. . . . The authors reject the premise that Russia acts as a spoiler globally. Rather, they describe it as a country trying to manage rapid change as it continues to seek a new global role and advocate for a new international order. To bring some perspective to the discussion, they remind us that Russia represents less than 2% of world GDP. It will soon face a choice between being a junior partner to the West, or to China.
At a time when some would argue that understanding Russia is impossible and perhaps even inadvisable, Laruelle and Radvanyi’s new book argues powerfully that not only can we understand Russia, but we must. This timely volume is certain to help many readers—from students to professionals to the simply curious—come to grips with the country that vexes our imaginations more than any other.