№ 1 January/March 2012
A Focus on the Middle East
The Nature of Power
  • Russia in Global Society


    A power resource (a component of power) is important not by itself but when applied to circumstances where it can be used, or to a specific form of relations between states. The component of power that plays the key role in specific relations is viewed as the key indicator, and a new balance of power can be defined on its basis.

Post-Soviet Moods
  • An Eternal Ghost

    At this point the ambitious Eurasian project promising to unite Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus into a single economic space is not so much an attempt to generate an original economic model and, consequently, an economic strategy, but rather is an attempt to integrate into an intensive exchange of commodities between the EU and Asia by offering a shorter route for cargo shipments.

  • Returning to a Place That No Longer Exists

    Entire generations of people born in the former Soviet Union would wholeheartedly support unification, but a logical question arises: With whom are we going to unite? A country that has assimilated the worst from Western capitalism, rampant with xenophobia and domestic racism, and which is suffering from a demographic and technological decline? A country whose economy is controlled by the mafia and oligarchs?

  • The SCO as a Rising Master of the Heartland

    Russia and China make up the backbone of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Equating the ongoing search for a positive balance of Russian and Chinese interests with an incessant tug of war for asserting one’s hegemony would be a biased conclusion that would be contrary to the way the SCO is organized and functions.

Not-So-Newly Independent States
  • The Spiral of Independence

    The irony of history is that it was Lukashenko – a fighter against nationalism and a politician who promised to restore the Soviet Union – who became, in a sense, the founding father of the modern independent Belarusian state. Even within the framework of quasi-Soviet national ideology, pro-European attitudes in Belarus keep growing.

  • Between Adolescence and Adulthood

    Ukraine is always said to be at a “crossroads.” It has so many existential dilemmas of national identity and foreign policy direction. But this time its partners are demanding answers and its options really are narrowing. It is in danger of becoming a dysfunctional semi-autocracy and a double periphery rather than a mutual neighborhood.

  • Each Unhappy in Its Own Way


    After gaining independence, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan have been plagued by wars and ethnic conflicts, they have lost transport links, and government agencies have collapsed. Yet the respective political regimes have had diverse fates: although the starting points and international situation were similar when they launched their policies, the outcome is fairly different.

The Caucasus in Transitions
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Publisher's column

A new world order: A view from Russia

Since around 2017–2018, the world has been living through a period of progressive erosion, or collapse, of international orders inherited from the past. With the election of Donald Trump and the rapid increase of US containment of Russia and China—which is both a consequence of this gradual erosion and also represents deep internal and international contradictions—this process entered its apogee.

Editor's column

Will US pullout from Syria increase risk of conflict with Russia?

The announcement of the US pullout from Syria was received with caution in Moscow. Besides the security and political challenges it may bring about, the Trump decision could mean the end of a practical, relatively constructive US-Russian approach to conflict at flashpoints.

The World Needs Europe

Having emerged from centuries of bloodshed to become the poster child for integration and collaboration, Europe has a distinct service to offer the rest of the world. With the international order coming apart and populist nationalism on the rise, now is the time for the European Union to show leadership, both at home and abroad.

Political Multipolarity vs. Economic Unipolarity: 2018 Results and 2019 Intrigues

Summing up the results of 2018, one is tempted to lay emphasis on a number of major events and trends. However, that carries the risk of neglecting systemic issues that generate the diversity of individual phenomena. The understanding of these issues provides us with an analytical ability that helps us attribute numerous events to a more or less understandable model.

Entering 2019: Challenges and Opportunities

We should fully reject the concept of Western, or liberal, universalism in favor of developmental pluralism.

China’s Geoeconomics and the ‘New Cold War’

Chinese geoeconomics is making a great leap forward to adjust to rapid technological developments and a changing international distribution of power. The world is entering a new industrial revolution that further decouples the relationship between capital and labour, which incentivises Beijing to abandon its reliance on low-wage competitiveness and instead take the lead in developing high-tech strategic industries with its digital Silk Road.

Why We Must Prohibit Cyberattacks on Nuclear Systems: the Case for Pre-Emptive US–Russia Arms Control

Almost 35 years ago, US President Ronald Reagan settled down in the White House to watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster WarGames as part of his regular Sunday film night. The film, starring a young Matthew Broderick, depicted a teenage computer hacker accidentally breaking into top-secret Pentagon supercomputers that controlled US nuclear weapons.

In the next issue

Between Old Lessons and New Challenges

The year 2019 is a year of landmark anniversaries: a centenary of the Versailles-Washington world order; the 90th anniversary of the Great Depression, which reverberated throughout the 20th century; the 80th anniversary of World War II; the 70th anniversary of the nuclear parity and NATO, the start of the Cold War confrontation; the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran; the 30th anniversary of changes in Eastern Europe; and the 20th anniversary of NATO’s war against Yugoslavia.