Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent at Canterbury, an Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House. Member of the Valdai Discussion Club.
Previous positions: the Moscow Mir Publishing House dealing with science and technology (1980-1982), lecturer at the university of California, Santa Cruz (1982-1987).
Research interests: Soviet and post-communist Russian politics, problems of democratic development in Russia and other post-Soviet states, as well as the global challenges facing the former communist countries.
Selected publications: published widely on Soviet, Russian and post-communist affairs. Recent books include: “Postcommunism“ (1999), “Contextualising Secession: Normative Aspects of Secession Struggles“ (2003) (co-edited with Bruno Coppieters) “Putin: Russia’s Choice“(2004), “Chechnya: From Past to Future“ (2005), “Russian Politics and Society“ (2008),“The Quality of Freedom: Khodorkovsky, Putin and the Yukos Affair“ (2009). He is currently working on“The Dual State in Russia: Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession“.
From the very beginning of his leadership Putin stressed that Russia must pursue its own path towards modernity and democracy, but he has not claimed that this path is special, in the sense that Russia represents an alternative modernity. On his return to the Kremlin in 2012 Russia’s uniqueness has been accentuated rather more.
The Valdai Discussion Club is a liberal body. But it is above all a learning process, and thus invaluable. As long as the Valdai International Discussion Club continues with the participation of politicians from Russia and abroad, then it will remain an important channel of communication.
The idea of folding the Academy into the University system has some merit, if done carefully, ensuring that appropriate departments are found, and that the University sector across the country benefits. None of these things can be guaranteed at this time, so it’s probably best that this idea is left to another day.
A grey cardinal, a con artist, fortune’s darling, the face of the era – Russian and foreign experts agree on one thing: the late Boris Berezovsky was an extraordinary and at the same time contradictory man.