Eurasia in the 21st century: Russia’s role and prospects for the future
The emergence of Eurasia as a unified interdependent entity is a complex process reflecting both the logic of regional development and global trends towards the ‘new regionalism’. Nevertheless, the process of Eurasian regional integration is subject to complex and contradictory ambitions, with the possibility of achieving significant public goods for Eurasia itself as well as for the region’s partners in greater Europe and greater Asia. Eurasia is currently one of the strategic directions for Russian development. The programme focuses on discussion of models of development for a new Eurasia and its possible configurations.
The Middle East: An arena of confrontation or collective action?
As old ties in the region are being broken and new relations emerge, the crisis of statehood has entered the stage of the de facto disintegration of states, a ‘war of all against all’, the shaping of new political and military realities, and the possible creation of new states on the ruins of the Sykes-Picot system, whose hundredth anniversary will be marked this year. The scourge of radical Islamism is spreading across the world, affecting Europe and Russia as well as many other countries which have become the subject of terrorist attacks. The objective of this thematic strand is to research the fundamental dynamics of developments in the region, the impact of the Middle East crisis on Russia and Eurasia, to identify the most probable scenarios, as well as to outline potential solutions. The factors shaping Russia’s approach to regional crises and challenges will be an important part of this programme.
War and security in the 21st century
In conditions of growing confrontation, the role of military power in international politics is growing. Those who possess military power strive to improve their capacities and are finding new ways to deploy their forces. At the same time, co-operative elements have not disappeared, and there remains significant potential to find new forms of engagement and conflict resolution. This poses the question of establishing a new global security regime and maintaining strategic stability. The objective of this programme is to analyse the transformation of military power, new forms of its use, its potential as a foreign policy tool, and to explore new opportunities for trust building and risk minimisation.
Regionalisation of the world and the new type of interdependence
The emergence of trade mega-blocs on the one hand and increasingly obvious impact of politics on the economic processes on the other, signal the end of ‘universal’ globalisation of the sort previously based on the WTO and some other institutions of international governance. The combination of economic interdependence and geopolitical rivalry shapes a new type of international associative life and creates new interstate groupings that are both more exclusive that the earlier ‘universal’ institutions and more explicitly tied to geopolitical configurations. The objective of this programme is to research the possibility of new approaches to cooperation in a world that is fragmented but ultimately integral in principle and substance. The analysis will also focus on ways of managing contradictions and minimising mutual harm when economic conflicts arise.
Russia and the EU in a changing Europe
The old model of relations between Russia and the European Union has run out of steam, but both sides face serious development problems, which force them to revisit their strategies. The programme objective is to try to understand how Russia-EU relations could look after the current crisis.