Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for Governance and Public Policy at Carleton University, Ottawa. Member of the Valdai Discussion Club Advisory Board.
Previous positions: Fellow of St. Peter's and Nuffield Colleges in Oxford, Visiting Professor at Berkeley University, Institute for International Relations (USA), taught at Warsaw University, Poland (1977-1989) and Queen's University (1990-1993) in Kingston, Ontario. Editor-in-Chief of a 21-volume series on “Local and Regional Development in Poland and Eastern Europe“ (1986-1989) and co-editor of 12 books.
Director of four large-scale projects on regional development, unemployment insurance, labor market and social policies, expert for youth at risk project in Russia, a member of a Canadian Official State delegation to Russia in 2003.
Selected publications: “New Europe. The Impact of the First Decade, Volume 1: Trends and Prospects”; “Theory and Practice of the Civil Society in Russia”, “Basics of Local Governance”, “NATO Looks East”, “Ukraine: Social and Economic Transformation”, “The Worst is Over?”, “Democracy Without Liberalism”, “Unemployment Insurance in Canada“ (all are co-edited). He is also the author of many chapters in books and articles in professional journals.
Received the Russian Federation’s Order of Friendship from President Dmitry Medvedev (2009).
Valdai Club this year was indeed a big political event, dominated by the Russian President who is and will be the dominant political force for the years to come. And the significance of 2013 Valdai cannot be underestimated as its main messages will stay with Russia and the world for a long time.
According to Valdai Club experts, the search of President Evo Morales’ plane at a Vienna airport was not so much a violation of international law as it was a breach of international norms. The Europeans demonstrated to the Bolivian president that his country, like other countries of Latin America, has peripheral status.
Russia is pretty immune from the influence of outside leaders or thinkers. There is, however, a social stratum that influenced how others view Russia – a “Russian creative/middle class”; it showed that Russian society is dynamic, self-critical and future oriented – a partner for global society.
Putin has succeeded Yeltsin as a modern leader who renewed the old partocratic elites, becoming a fresh face in the Russian politics. Today he is becoming a representative of the older generation, which is not a tragedy in itself, as statecraft largely comes from experience.
So far Russian protesters are not anti-systemic – they are just counterrevolutionary (if what we saw in Russia from 1991 - 2012 was a revolution). They are nationalistic and do not think about the restoration of the past, rather about the replacement of the current ruling group. That will be the main challenge for Russia next electoral cycle.
This book seeks to “re-think democracy.” Over the past years, there has been a tendency in the global policy community and, even more widely, in the world’s media, to focus on democracy as the “gold standard” by which all things political are measured. It became a sort of untouchable, western liberal religion. However, as often happens with religion, as Jonathan Nitzan has remarked, the greater the belief, the fewer the questions. This volume serves to re-examine democracy as idea, desired ideal, and practice.
What is missing is a master plan, a strategic map of relations with Russia supported by an efficient coordination mechanism that will energize both the public and private sector; our activities are scattered, lacking coordination and clearly spelled out strategic goals. Canada does not know as a country what we want from the Russians, how to make it happen, and what would be a measure of our success or failure.