About the Lecture:
President Putin is still very popular and will easily secure re-election in 2018. However, he faces the challenge of a stagnant economy (made worse by the global oil surplus). The ongoing Western sanctions (due to Russia’s role in Ukraine) make it difficult for him to launch a new wave of market-opening economic reform. If budget cuts and eroding living standards lead to domestic unrest, Putin may turn to foreign adventurism to bolster his legitimacy. Putin has corroded the integrity of many political institutions and constructed a very personalistic regime. So the big question is what happens when Putin steps down (presumably in 2024). There is no obvious successor, nor any succession mechanism in place.
About the Speaker:
Peter Rutland is Professor of Government at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He has a BA from Oxford and a Ph.D. from the University of York. He has also taught at Columbia University, the European University in St Petersburg and Sophia University in Tokyo. His research focuses on economic policy in the former Soviet Union, with a side interest in nationalism. He has written two books, edited a third, and published articles on Russian foreign policy, the failure of Russia’s democratic transition, and the political economy of Russia’s oil and gas. Since 2013 he has been editor in chief of Nationalities Papers, the journal of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, along with serving as associate editor of Russian Review.