Infrastructure forms a link between the open global economic space and the non-public Russian political space. The question of how to manage the most important trade flows and understand their social importance is not, of course, solely seen as a matter of Russian politics. The research on Russia is also connected to the recent debate on the importance of increasing globalization and the mutual dependence of societies.
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“Market Reform and Socio-Economic Change in Russia” was the subject of an ambitious full-day seminar held October 6, focusing on the period since the fall of the Soviet Union.
In the short term it seems reasonable to assume that Putin wants to win the presidential elections in early March by an absolute majority in the first round. The election campaign will be a first pointer to where Russia is heading.
This Sunday, on December 4, parliamentary elections are held in Russia as the first step in the country’s electoral cycle that will end with the presidential elections in early March 2012.
Trying to understand where post-Soviet Russia is going seems to be a matter of understanding how the society is redefining itself: contradictory pictures are circulating of what precisely Russia and “Russianness” are. The official picture of a united and multicultural Russia is being challenged from several directions.
In literature, the opposition between Russian Christians and Muslims was established early on in the folk epics, in the “historical songs” told by the bards in the oral tradition. Several of them deal with the capturing of the khanate of Kazan, the northernmost Tatar realm. From the “Tatars” conquered by Ivan the Terrible in Kazan and depicted in Russian folk songs to Tolstoy’s thistle called “the Tatar” (tatarin) there is a winding line of literary works.
Roosa Vihavainen, Homeowners’ Associations in Russia after the 2005 Housing Reform, Helsinki: Kikimora , Publications Series A 20, 2009, 274 pages
Rationality versus irrationality, emotions versus calculations – these were the main issues to be discussed under a seminar in May, organized by the Aleksanteri Institute (Helsinki). Actually, the emotions theme became a starting point for the participants to approach the nature of Russian foreign policy and decision-making inside the post-Soviet bureaucracy.
Is Russia part of Europe? Russians answer this question in different ways. For many of them, Russia is not Europe but Eurasia, which is an alternate unit of civilization. I do not share this opinion, writes Adam Michnik here.
Russian financial markets have been a completely new element in the Russian post-Soviet economy. The level of development and the character of the financial market institutions in this country can tell us much about whether Russia will succeed or fail in evolving towards a well-functioning market economy. Professor Alexandr Abramov from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow is one of Russia’s leading experts on Russian financial markets. Ilja Viktorov from CBEES met him in Moscow to pose some questions concerning developments in the field.