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Irakli Gelukashvili

Introduction It has been almost ten years since the Five-Day War broke in August 2008 between Georgia, on one side, and Russia and South Ossetia, on the other. 1 This topic has been the subject of many debates inside and outside of academia. Pundits and journalists investigated the

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Russia and its Constitution

Promise and Political Reality


Edited by Robert Sharlet and Gordon Smith

The Constitution of the Russian Federation was ratified in 1993 amid great hopes and aspirations following the collapse of the USSR. The constitution proclaims the goal of establishing a “democratic, federal state” that functions according to rule of law and promises a broad array of social, political and economic rights to its citizens. But how well has the Russian government lived up to realizing these promises? Seven distinguished scholars on Russian politics and law examine the state of political accountability, federal power-sharing, judicial independence, press freedom, and criminal procedure in Russia today. The picture that emerges is decidedly mixed; they conclude that the Russian constitution remains a work in progress.
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Grigorii V. Golosov

electioneering involves “a deep understanding of the intricacies of electoral systems”. 22 Such an understanding involves learning not so much from the neighbouring autocracies but rather from democracies, even if distantly located. The case of Russia, especially if coupled with the focus on electoral

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Russia in Asia

A Record and A Study, 1558-1899

Alexis Krausse

First published in 1899, with a second edition following in 1900 – just four years prior to the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War – this in-depth study of Russia’s great expansion into Asia describes in detail the policies which brought it about. The author acknowledges close scrutiny of over two hundred authorities, including primary Russian sources and British official documents in the writing of this extensive volume.

In his Preface to the second edition, Krausse observes: ‘The developments in Russian affairs during the past fifteen months have been concerned rather in the continuation of the aims already recorded than in any new departure of policy; and the acquisition of the Liaotung peninsula, the Russification of Manchuria, and the completion of the Kushk railway to the Afghan frontier remain the latest definite achievements of Russian diplomacy. The attitude of Russia in regard to the question of the open door, her attempts on the independence of Korea, her pending struggle with Japan, and her aims in China, are yet in the evolutionary stage…’

Making it clear what the underlying thesis of his study is, Krausse concludes in his Prefatory Chapter, after anticipating the completion of ‘gigantic [Siberian] railway’, ‘And then, like a giant refreshed, Russia will once more gird up her loins and set forth on a renewed campaign for the conquest of the world’.

The relevance of this work continues into the present in the broad context of Asian Studies and the colonial history in the nineteenth century, Russian Tzarist history and Anglo-Russian diplomatic history, as well as in the context of post-1989 political history.
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Michael E. Aleprete

The debate about the Ukraine crisis appearing Foreign Affairs between John Mearsheimer, Michael McFaul and Stephen Sestanovich nicely encapsulates the divide among Western scholars and policy makers over how to interpret Russian foreign policy. McFaul and Sestanovich, echoing the prevailing

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Gulnaz Sharafutdinova

Introduction The endemic nature of corruption in Russia’s political economy has long become a common knowledge both inside and outside the country. The societal understanding of corruption issues is constructed, on one hand, by the Russian political opposition that uses official corruption exposure

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Michael O. Slobodchikoff

trade ties between Ukraine and the eu . Up to that moment, Yanukovych had been trying to get concessions from both the eu and Russia by playing the two powers off of each other. However, he was playing a dangerous game. While overall he was more sympathetic to Russian interests, he was still trying

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Derek S. Hutcheson and Ian McAllister

Introduction Many recent studies of Russian elections have paid relatively little attention to the election results themselves, and instead focused more attention on the integrity of the electoral process. A perception has grown among international observers, as well as many Russian citizens

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Paul du Quenoy

censorship looks carefully at the needs of the theater. It could be a lot worse. 1 This essay will explore late Imperial Russia’s performing arts censorship regime in comparison to the systems that prevailed in other states during the same era (roughly 1881 to 1917, or the reigns of the last two tsars

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Max Bader

Introduction Fraud and manipulation are common in Russian elections. Reports about widespread electoral fraud or manipulation, however, mask a complex picture of significant geographic variation. Analyses of the results of the 2016 State Duma election show that there was little to no election