Abstract: Since the Ukraine crisis, the dominant perspective on Russian foreign policy has come to emphasize its increasingly confrontational, even revanchist, nature. Experts have focused on discontinuities in Russian foreign policy either between the ostensibly more pro-Western Yeltsin presidency and the anti-Western Putin presidency or between the more cooperatively inclined early Putin (2000-2007) and the more confrontational late Putin (2007-present). Dmitry Gorenburg argues that Russian foreign policy preferences have been largely continuous since the early 1990s. These preferences have focused on the quest to restore Russia’s great power status and maintain a zone of influence in states around its borders as a buffer against potential security threats. Throughout this period, Russian foreign policy has been neither revanchist nor expansionist in nature. However, perceptions of Russian foreign policy during this period among other powers and outside observers have changed markedly as a consequence of a gradual increase in the extent of Russian relative power vis a vis its neighbors and especially vis-a-vis Western powers.
Bio: Dmitry Gorenburg is Senior Research Scientist at CNA, a non-profit think tank in the Washington, DC area. an expert on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, and ethnic politics and identity. His current research projects focus on decision-making processes in the senior Russian leadership, Russian naval strategy, and Russian foreign policy media narratives. Gorenburg is author of “Nationalism for the Masses: Minority Ethnic Mobilization in the Russian Federation” (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and has been published in journals such as World Politics and Post-Soviet Affairs. In addition to his role at CNA, he currently serves as editor of Problems of Post-Communism and is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. From 2009 to 2016, he edited the journal Russian Politics and Law. Gorenburg previously served as Executive Director of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). He received a B.A. in international relations from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. He blogs on issues related to the Russian military at Russian Military Reform. He is a native Russian speaker.
A sandwich lunch will be served at 12.40