"Russia is never so strong as it wants to be, nor as weak as it is thought to be," Winston Churchill once observed. In the last decade, Russia has invaded two neighbors, seizing territory from both, re-established a Soviet air base in Syria and intervened in a conflict outside post-Soviet borders for the first time in 25 years. Under Vladimir Putin, has Russia been resurrected as a major power barely a quarter century after the collapse of the Soviet empire? What is a great power in the 21st century? In reviving Russia’s international political aspirations, Mr. Putin implicitly has in mind metrics of power, as do international relations theorists, and foreign policy makers trying to understand Russia’s contemporary role in international relations. But what are they, exactly? Is Russia’s resurrection real or merely imagined? How can we tell and why does it matter? How are Russia’s global ambitions related to its domestic conditions? This presentation, based on a book project in process, will discuss some of the domestic determinants – both resources and constraints -- of Russia’s increasingly assertive conduct abroad.
Kathryn Stoner is a Senior Fellow at FSI and CDDRL, and (as of Sep 1, 2010) Faculty Director of the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Stanford in 2004, she was on the faculty at Princeton University for nine years, jointly appointed to the Department of Politics and the Woodrow Wilson School for International and Public Affairs. At Princeton she received the Ralph O. Glendinning Preceptorship awarded to outstanding junior faculty. She also served as a Visiting Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at McGill University. She has held fellowships at Harvard University as well as the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.
In addition to many articles and book chapters on contemporary Russia, she is the author of two single authored books:Resisting the State: Reform and Retrenchment in Post-Soviet Russia (Cambridge, 2006), and Local Heroes: The Political Economy of Russian Regional Governance (Princeton, 1997). She is also co-editor (along with Michael McFaul) of After the Collapse of Communism: Comparative Lessons of Transitions (Cambridge, 2004).
She received a BA and MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Government from Harvard University.