Security and War Studies

Dedicated to researching contemporary trends in the analysis of conflicts – civil, international and hybrid conflicts. The main area of emphasis is the differences between Western and non-Western approaches to such notions as “stability”, “development”, “conflict”, “democracy”, “progress”, and “security”.
Programme director:

Andrey Sushentsov

Andrey Sushentsov is a Programme director at the Valdai Discussion Club and a chair of a program “New Factors in Global Development and Future Challenges”. The program produces research, events and publications on issues of modern warfare, geopolitics, technology, modern security threats and great power strategies in the 21st century.

Sushentsov is a political analyst and international relations scholar at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and a managing partner with the Moscow-based consulting agency Foreign Policy Advisory Group, where he heads strategic advisory practice. He holds diploma in history of Lomonosov Moscow State University and a PhD in international relations of MGIMO-University.

His publications include books on U.S. politics and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, “America’s Small Wars” and “Essays on U.S. Politics and Regional Conflicts,” both published in Russian in 2014, as well as articles and reports on U.S.-Russian relations and Russian policies toward Georgia and Ukraine. In his field-based research, Sushentsov pays special attention to collision of U.S. and Russian interests in the Middle East and post-soviet space, particularly in Ukraine and in the South Caucasus. In 2015, with co-author Andrey Bezrukov he edited a volume of Russian perspectives on international security issues looking ahead to 2020 titled “Contours of disturbing future. Russia and the World in 2020”. In 2016, he edited a collection of essays on Russia’s foreign and domestic politics, “Civilization Veiled as a Nation”. 

Sushentsov was a visiting researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies in 2007 and at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 2008. Since then he held visiting positions at several establishments including Rome LUISS University (2013), Armenian State University of Economics (2014), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2015), Harvard University (2016), Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (2017) and Yale University (2017).

He is a member of International Studies Association and participating in a Working Group on the Future of U.S.-Russia Relations established by Higher School of Economics (Moscow) and Harvard University.

The Contemporary State

Dedicated to researching the transformations of the modern state as a political institution and a key actor in international relations. The programme focuses on such issues as regime change, the transformation of state sovereignty and of methods of state interventionism in the economy and citizens’ private lives, contemporary bureaucracy and mechanisms of social control over bureaucracy, the state’s competitors for the monopoly of power, and the correlation between organisation of the state and its foreign policy.
Programme director:

Ivan Timofeev

Ivan Timofeev leads the program “Contemporary State” at Valdai Discussion Club. Also he has been a Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) since 2011.

Ivan Timofeev has been a Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) since 2011.  He is responsible for the intellectual performance of RIAC, managing its programs and projects.  His personal background at RIAC includes working with Russian and foreign diplomats, governmental officials, experts, businessmen and NGO-leaders regarding Russia’s foreign policy and public diplomacy.

Since 2015 he also heads a “Contemporary State” program at Valdai Discussion Club.

Before joining RIAC, Dr. Timofeev was the Head of Analytical Monitoring Center and Associate Professor at MGIMO-University (2009-2011).He was awarded a doctoral degree in Political Science at MGIMO in 2006. He has a Master of Arts in Society and Politics (Lancaster University and Central European University, 2003) and a B.A. in Sociology (Saint-Petersburg State University, 2002).

Dr. Timofeev is an author and co-author of more than 60 publications, issued in Russian and foreign academic press. He is a member of editorial board at the “Comparative Politics” – an academic journal on foreign policy and political science.


Globalisation and Regionalisation: the Changing Global Environment

Focuses on studying mainstream development trends of the world economy and international relations, which are changing the configuration of the global economic and international political environment and, consequently, the factors with the greatest impact on state politics and the patterns and models of international relations. Considerable attention is paid to the complex and nonlinear combination of globalisation and regionalisation trends in the world economy and politics, and the competitive and collaborative relations between global and regional, Western and non-Western, hard-line and flexible, and formal and informal tools of global governance.
Programme director:

Dmitry Suslov

Dmitry Suslov conducts research on various issues of International Relations, including the US Foreign Policy and Russia-US relations, EU evolution and policies and Russia-EU relations, Russian Foreign Policy. He regularly consults the Russian government institutions and business enterprises on these and other issues.

 He is Senior lecturer at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the NRU – HSE (since 2008), as well as a Deputy Director for Research at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (since 2004). Mr. Suslov is also the Russian coordinator and member of the Working Group on the Future of the US-Russia Relations, which is a joint venture of the NRU - Higher School of Economics and Harvard University (since 2010). Mr. Suslov has co-authored several books (incl. The U.S. Policy in Asia Pacific (Moscow, 2014), Non-Military Instruments of the Russian Foreign Policy: Regional and Global Mechanisms (Moscow, 2012); Russia: a Strategy for the New World (Moscow, 2011), Russia vs. Europe. Confrontation or Alliance? (Moscow, 2009), Russia and the World. A New Epoch (Moscow, 2008), The World Politics (Moscow, 2008), The World Around Russia:2017. (Moscow, 2007). At the NRU– Higher School of Economics (School of World Economy and International Affairs) Mr. Suslov teaches courses on the US Domestic and Foreign Policy (for BA and MA students), Introduction to World Politics and International Relations (for BA students), Global Governance (for MA students), US-Russia Relations After the End of the Cold War (for MA students), and the Russia-EU Relations (for MA students).

Global Alternatives

The goal of this programme is to analyse the content and to assess the realism of the key alternatives to the Western liberal mainstream. Alternatives are studied in the context of ideology and values. Socio-economic alternatives to the liberal mainstream of both intra-Western and extra-Western origin are another subject of analysis. The programme focuses also on political (including military-political) alternatives to the Western liberal model.
Programme director:

Oleg Barabanov

Head, Department of EU Politics at the European Studies Institute at Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the MFA of Russia (MGIMO University) (since 2007); Research Fellow, Valdai Club Foundation.

Professor, School of World Economics and Global Politics at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (since 2009). Ph.D (Politics).

Previous positions: Lecturer, Department of History, Moscow State University (1994–1996); Senior Research Fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (1997–2004); Head of Directorate for Research Policy at MGIMO University (2005–2008).

Co-author of Valdai Club reports on relations of Russia with China and USA.

Author of publications at the Valdai Club site on educational policy in Russia, on relations of Siberian regions with China, and on ‘nuclear fears’ after the Ukrainian crisis. Author of 6 research monographs.


The goal of this programme is to form an image of Eurasia as an integral entity, and to facilitate the establishment of positive-sum game mechanisms in Greater Eurasia. The process is governed by an established trend of constructive interaction between Russia and China. The political leaders of Russia, China, Kazakhstan and countries of Central Asia have formed a fundamental understanding that realisation of any large-scale economic (including transport and logistical) projects in Eurasia are only possible with broad multilateral cooperation.
Programme director:

Timofei Bordachev

Programme Director, Valdai Club Foundation. Ph.D. in Political Science; Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Director of Studies, Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP); member of the Advisory Committee of the Eurasian Economic Commission.

Research interests:

  • Eurasia; Russia’s Pivot to the East; Silk Road Economic Belt, Eurasian economic integration

  • EU development

  • Russia – EU relations,

  • EU foreign policy,

  • European and international security.

Co-author of Valdai Discussion Club reports including the series “Toward the Great Ocean” (Toward the Great Ocean, or the New Globalization of Russia; Toward the Great Ocean—2, or Russia’s Breakthrough to Asia; Toward the Great Ocean - 3. Creating Central Eurasia. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the Priorities of the Eurasian States' Joint Development; Toward the Great Ocean 4: Turn to the East. Preliminary results and new objectives), numerous analytical reports for public authorities of the Russian Federation on the internal development of the European Union and Russia – EU relations, author of numerous articles in Russian and foreign media.

Selected books (or chapters):

In co-authorship with  Skriba A., Kazakova A. Conjunction of the EAEU and Silk Road Economic Belt, in: Asia-Pacific News Brief. New context and economic cooperation opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and Eurasia / Отв. ред.: M. V. Larionova. Issue 1 (4). M. : RSPP, 2016. (Chapter).

Eurasian Russia in the 21st century, in: Russia's "pivot" to Eurasia. L. : European Council on Foreign Relations, 2014. Ch. 2.

Skriba A., Bordachev T. V. Russia’s Eurasian Integration Policies, in: The Geopolitics of Eurasian Economic Integration. L.: London School of Economics and Political Science, 2014. Ch. 2.

Selected articles:

Russia's pivot to Asia has mixed results, say experts //The Straits Times. 14/12/2016.

Bordachev T. V., Kazakova A. V., Skriba A.S. Institutions for Peaceful Eurasia // International Organisations Research Journal. 2016. Vol. 11. No. 2. P. 24-39

Russia and the European Union: Lessons Learned and Goals Ahead/ Россия и Европейский союз: извлеченные уроки и намеченные цели // Strategic Analysis. 2016. Vol. 40. No. 6