(ETH Zürich) For many decades, Soviet and Russian propagandists put a premium on “controlling the message.” With the ascension of Vladimir Putin, however, we’ve seen a qualitatively different approach to information warfare (IW). As Deborah Yarsike Ball sees it, instead of trafficking in petty disinformation, forgeries, leaks, etc., Russian IW now attempts to reinvent reality and create “mass hallucinations” that translate into political action...
PONARS Eurasia 06 Mar 2017
Last month a major battle broke out between Russian-backed insurgents and Ukrainian forces in the town of Avdiivka in Ukraine. Alongside the return of such violence in the Donbas, Ukrainian society has changed greatly since 2014 in ways that impact the chances for conflict resolution. In this two-part commentary series, PONARS Eurasia members argue for the importance of properly understanding regional divergences in identity, public political...
PONARS Eurasia 06 Mar 2017
Last month a major battle broke out between Russian-backed insurgents and Ukrainian forces in the town of Avdiivka in Ukraine. Alongside the return of such violence in the Donbas, Ukrainian society has changed greatly since 2014 in ways that impact the chances for conflict resolution. In this two-part commentary series, PONARS Eurasia members argue for the importance of properly understanding regional divergences in identity, public political...
Ayşe Zarakol 03 Mar 2017
The International Studies Association (ISA) convention theme this year was “Understanding Change in World Politics.” The theme is set every year by the president and program chairs in an attempt to introduce an overarching coherence to the program. The president invites noted scholars to organize roundtables and panels linked to the conference theme. This year’s call for proposals observed that: “[m]uch of international relations theory is...
Marlene Laruelle 03 Mar 2017
(Intersection Project) Why Ivan Ilyin is not Putin’s Ideological Guru - Since Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000 and began reasserting Russia’s influence on the international scene, Western pundits have tried to discern the Russian president’s “brain” or “guru”, convinced that they would be able to identify some shadowy Svengali-like character who would inspire him. Unfortunately, this quest is a lost cause: Putin has had several “gray...
Marlene Laruelle 03 Mar 2017
(Ifri) This paper analyses the phenomenon of “Kadyrovism” as a relatively coherent ideology which possesses its own internal logic and propaganda tools and which reflects the reality of Ramzan Kadyrov’s rule, based on submission to Vladimir Putin while also being marked by provocative acts directed at the paternal figure of the Russian President. Kadyrovism is defined by two major appropriations: first, of the anticolonial Chechen narrative and...
PONARS Eurasia 02 Mar 2017
(Russia Direct) Numerous mantras and truisms about “predictable unpredictability” have become commonplace among pundits and politicians today. Paradoxically, quite predictable moves from global and regional stakeholders make the world less predictable and more vulnerable today. Here are three examples to illustrate the trend, from the United States, Russia and China.   U.S. President Donald Trump seeks to modernize America’s nuclear arsenal and...
Ayşe Zarakol 01 Mar 2017
I was part of six panels at the International Studies Association (ISA) convention. One of the more interesting ones was on Russia and NATO. It was organized by Kimberly Marten (Barnard College) and included, along with me and Kimberly, Deborah Yarsike Ball (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Olga Oliker (CSIS), and Elizabeth Wishnick (Montclair State University). Each panelist was asked to reflect on where they thought Russia and NATO...

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