Eurasia and Asia: development in a rapidly changing world
For its flagship project in 2014–2016, the Valdai Club studied the dynamics and prospects of forming a Greater Eurasia and its relationship with processes underway in the Asia-Pacific region. The Valdai Club first addressed this question in late 2013, anticipating many of the political changes that subsequently occurred. It has since conducted a vast amount of research and organized a series of high profile events aimed at translating those findings into action. With the situation in the U.S., Europe, and the world undergoing major changes, this issue takes on added importance and the Valdai Club continues to expand its network of related contacts and joint research activities.
The transformation of Euro-Atlantic institutions: scenarios, risks, and opportunities
New political realities are exerting growing pressure on Euro-Atlantic institutions. In Europe, a system of asymmetric multi-polarity has de facto taken shape, increasing the risk of political tensions. NATO has once again cast itself as a tool for containing Russia, even while the Alliance itself experiences some uncertainty. The EU is discussing the creation of its own security structures, while the role of the OSCE – the only inclusive pan-European institution – has been undermined. The roles that Russia and Turkey play in the region are changing. The Euro-Atlantic policy of the U.S. remains unclear. Questions arise regarding possible institutional changes in Europe and the impact they would have on Russia, as well as the nature of the new system of European security.
U.S. policy and Russian-U.S. relations
United States domestic and foreign policy are both undergoing significant changes. With the election loss the U.S. political establishment suffered in 2016, the American domestic political philosophy began changing and the country’s political system has become the main arena for the struggle between supporters of the system that existed since the end of the Cold War, and the advocates of a new polycentric world whose contours remain unclear. U.S. foreign policy has consequently become more unpredictable while the country has entered a new phase of adaptation to a world that is changing largely at odds with its will and desires. Changes in U.S. policy alter the landscape of Russian-U.S. relations. Those relations are of critical importance to not only Russia’s foreign policy, but also international relations as a whole. U.S.-related issues have become a mandatory research focus for the Valdai Club, especially because the Russian-U.S. working group will resume its activities under the auspices of the Club.
The global revolt: widespread social changes and their consequences for the world order
The events of 2016 – particularly Brexit and Trump’s electoral win – illustrate the deepening tensions in leading Western countries between the elite and ordinary citizens. The struggle between the established “globalization for the elite” and the growing demand for a “globalization for all” has made the emerging social and political transformation of the West increasingly central to the global agenda. Against this backdrop, the Valdai Club has formulated the concept of a “global revolt” against the status quo. This program analyzes the social and political causes of that “revolt,” the activity of new rightist and leftist political forces, and the ways in which forces of the “old world order” are reacting to this change.
New factors in global development and future challenges
The technological revolution in conjunction with socio-political changes around the world is altering the nature of traditional processes – from military action and diplomacy to systems of governance in individual states and the international community as a whole. The increasingly complex international order, coupled with the advent of powerful new technologies and processes, is permanently changing the face of the world. This research attempts to identify the outlines of those indefinite but emerging trends.
The Russian economy in the face of evolving external challenges
The Russian economy remains highly dependent on external factors. It is therefore vitally important to understand any changes in those factors – from the global order and rules of the game to relations with such major world players as the U.S., China, and Japan. Another pressing concern is the vulnerability of the Russian economy – particularly the federal budget and capital flows – to external shocks. The acute shortage of drivers of economic growth necessitates a more effective use of foreign economic policy, including integration projects, as a means for spurring growth.