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

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Political Analyst and International Relations Scholar at MGIMO University 

He is also managing partner with the Moscow-based consulting agency Foreign Policy Advisory Group. 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 (2014), and Essays on U.S. Politics and Regional Conflicts (2014) published in Russian, as well as articles and reports on U.S.-Russian relations and Russian policies toward Georgia and Ukraine. In his field-based research, he pays special attention to collision of U.S. and Russian interests in post-soviet space, particularly in Ukraine and in the South Caucasus. He edited a volume of Russian perspectives on international security issues titled Contours of disturbing future. Russia and the World in 2020 (2015).

Andrey Sushentsov was a visiting researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (2007) and at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (2008). He was a visiting professor at Rome LUISS University (2013) and at Armenian State University of Economics (2014). He was an EASI-Hurford fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2015).

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

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Director of Programmes at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) 

He is responsible for the intellectual performance of RIAC, managing its programmes 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 Euro-Atlantic Security programme at the Valdai Discussion Club. 

Before joining RIAC, Ivan Timofeev was the Head of Analytical Monitoring Centre and Associate Professor at MGIMO University (2009–2011). He was awarded a doctoral degree in Political Science at MGIMO (2006).
Ivan Timofeev is an author and co-author of more than 70 publications, issued in Russian and foreign academic press. He is a member of editorial board at the Comparative Politics. He was elected as a Professor of the Academy for Military Science (2013).

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

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Deputy Director at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Dmitry Suslov conducts research on various issues of international relations, including US foreign and domestic policy and Russia-US relations, Russian foreign policy, Russia-EU relations. He regularly consults the Russian government institutions and business enterprises on these and other issues. He is also a Senior lecturer at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the National Research University Higher School of Economics since 2006, as well as Deputy Director for Research at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy since 2004. Dmitry Suslov has co-authored several books (incl. The U.S. Policy in Asia Pacific (2014), Non-Military Instruments of the Russian Foreign Policy: Regional and Global Mechanisms (2012); Russia: a Strategy for the New World (2011); Russia vs. Europe. Confrontation or Alliance? (2009); Russia and the World. A New Epoch (2008); The World Politics (2008); The World Around Russia: 2017 (2007). At the Higher School of Economics (School of World Economy and International Affairs) he teaches courses on the US Domestic and Foreign Policy, Introduction to International Relations, Global Governance, US-Russia Relations, and Russia-EU Relations.

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

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Professor of MGIMO University; Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences

As a programme director of the Valdai Club Foundation he is сoordinating the expert programme on Global Alternatives; Academic Director of the European Studies Institute at MGIMO University since 2015; Professor at School of World Economics and Global Politics at National Research University Higher School of Economics since 2009.

Previous positions: Lecturer, History faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University (1994–1996); Senior Research Fellow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (1997–2004); Associate Professor, Professor at MGIMO University since 2000; Head of Directorate for Research Policy at MGIMO University (2005–2008); Head of Department of EU Politics at European Studies Institute at MGIMO University (2007–2014).

Co-author of the Valdai Discussion Club publications on ‘Creating Central Eurasia’, on relations of Russia with China and U.S., 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 of the Valdai Discussion Club; Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics

PhD in political sciences, Saint Petersburg State University (1999). The coauthor of more than 200 analytical materials for public authorities of the Russian Federation concerning internal development of the European Union and the Russia-EU relations in 2004–2009. Аnalytical reviews were being prepared by a working group, comprising representatives of Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (CFDF) and the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis (ISSA) and headed by Sergey Karaganov.

As a researcher specializes in Russian-European relations, foreign policy of the European Union, public-private relations in Europe, the European and international security. The author of the academic works published in Russia and abroad.