Interview with Dr. Kathleen Smith Introduction and Background The Russian government’s closure of Memorial, a well-respected human rights […]
This year’s collection challenges long-held assumptions about democracy, human history, and American exceptionalism, as well as current understandings of populism and a more assertive Russia.
By Jennifer Raymond Dresden, Ph.D., Associate Director As we bid farewell (and good riddance) to 2020, we here […]
Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (via Kremlin)
By Avram Reisman
At a time when democracy is in recession and facing new challenges, it is worth looking back on essential literature written when democratic change was similarly challenged by authoritarian powers. Transitions from Authoritarian Rule, by Guillermo O’Donnell and Phillippe Schmitter, was a paradigmatic publication that set parameters and expectations for democratic transitions in U.S. policy and for democratic opposition groups in many parts of the world. Looking with a contemporary critical lens, it’s clear the sands of time have eroded the model’s validity. However, with some adaptation, the model provides some direction for new international landscape.
Photo: Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan leads “Take a Step, Reject Serzh” campaign. (Photo by Yerevantsi via Wikimedia)
By Aleksandra Zaytseva
A day before “Victory Day”, on May 8th, former newspaper editor, MP, and political prisoner, Nikol Pashinyan, was elected interim Prime Minister of Armenia, 59-to-42, in a historic exchange of power. This peaceful cessation of power by those who sought to keep it indefinitely, especially in a former Soviet republic, is undeniably an event to be celebrated. “Your victory is not that I was elected Prime Minister; your victory is that you decided who should be Prime Minister,” Pashinyan said. It is widely lauded as a new velvet revolution with many public figures sending public congratulations. Yet, many Eurasia watchers are uneasy.
By Aleksandra Zaytseva
On Monday, January 29th, two big announcements came out of Washington. First, the U.S. Treasury Department released a “name and shame” list of 210 Russian officials and business people, as had been mandated by a law passed earlier this year. Second, an official from the White House promptly announced that the administration would be throwing out this list, and that they would not be announcing any new sanctions. Instead, according to the White House, the threat of sanctions was already acting as a sufficient deterrent to potential customers of Russian trade. The announcements quickly provoked a mix of outrage and mockery from both Washington and Moscow, while the public was left perplexed as to the significance of these developments in light of the ongoing Russian investigations.