The Valdai Discussion Club was established in 2004. It was named after Lake Valdai, which is located close to Veliky Novgorod, where the club’s first meeting took place. The club’s goal is to promote dialogue betweenRussian and international intellectual elite, and to make an independent,unbiased scientific analysis of political, economic and social events inRussia and the rest of the world.
Over 800 representatives of the international scholarly community from almost 50 countries have taken part in the club’s work. They include professors of major world universities, including Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Stanford, Carleton University, the University of London, Cairo University, the University of Teheran, East China University, the University of Tokyo, Tel Aviv University, the University of Messina, Johns Hopkins University, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, Sciences Po and the Sorbonne.
The intellectual potential of the Valdai Club is highly regarded both in Russia and abroad. The President and the Prime Minister of Russia meet with the club’s members, and politicians and public figures from Russia and other states take part in its work.
The club’s regional programs have drawn attention from the expert community, including the Eurasian dialogue, Asian dialogue, Euro-Atlantic dialogue, Mid-Eastern dialogue, the Russia Development Index and the Research Grant Program.
The club’s 10th annual meeting in September 2013 was a success, and opened new vistas for its activities. After observing its 10th anniversary, the club is continuing to develop. It is shifting from a format of telling the world about Russia to practical efforts to shape the global agenda. The Valdai Club has proved its worth as a discussion platform on Russian issues, and is aimed at consolidating the world intellectual elite to find ways of overcoming current global crises.
The 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club is underway in Sochi. Scholars of international studies and experts from around the world gather for this annual event to discuss global politics and Russia’s place in it.
We are now confronted with the limits of global governability in the field of security, but this does not imply a need to overhaul the rules of the global order. The order should continue to be based on established international laws and the nation-state system.
The international community has long been working to create an effective system of agreements that would suit the requirements of all members of the international community, but it is at the time of crisis that these discussions are especially important, say the authors of a report, published ahead of the 11th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.
For long years under the yoke of Arabs, Turks and Iranians, the Kurds saw in the demise of Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq and now in the dismemberment of the other Arab autocracies an opportunity to join the new Great Middle Eastern Game that was unleashed by the Arab Spring.