Civil society actors have become key players in conflicts, especially in intra-state ones. This has been facilitated by the transformation of conflicts, increasingly characterized by high-intensity intra-border ethno-religious tensions and strong international influence by proxy.
The hackneyed saying “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” is as relevant today as never before, but there is no stopping to the audacious flight of imagination. Popular as it is, extrapolation of current trends to future periods does not work as something always gets in the way, while attempts to draw a completely different picture look like imaginative writing. And still we have taken the risk.
Civil society actors have become key players in conflicts, especially in intra-state ones. This has been facilitated by the transformation of conflicts, increasingly characterized by high- intensity intra-border ethno-religious tensions and strong international influence by proxy.
As a manifestation of higher-order wisdom than just the election needs of concrete leaders or political parties, national interests should discipline politicians and significantly restrict the freedom of their action. The selfrestricting function of the declaration of national interests is particularly important for Russia.
Society is ready for new national interests to appear that will pave the way for effective and long-term policies “for all.” Now the situation hinges on those who will formulate them correctly.
Ukraine today has three systemic problems: national and territorial disintegration, economic insolvency, and social and political chaos. Their further aggravation is fraught with a major threat to stability and to the very existence of the Ukrainian state.
The new post-Crimean risk for Russia’s political system is not so much in putting political participation on freeze as in forcing this participation, which might push the country onto the road to ideology-driven authoritarianism.
One would think that proponents of the Eurasian choice would seek to build bridges between Russia and the Islamic world, but they often manifest biased attitudes towards the Muslim civilization as such.
Society should find the optimal balance between a need to preserve its identity, on the one hand, and a readiness for continuous change and an active search and battle for its place in the new global landscape, on the other.
A significant number of non-governmental actors can justifiably be regarded as an integral part of modern diplomacy, if by diplomacy we mean the communication system available to the international community.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
The April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.
If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.