Colloquy Downeast – Understanding Russia Today

10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Howard Room, Blue Hill Public Library
5 Parker Point Rd, Blue Hill

Facilitator – Courtenay Haight
Date and Time – Fridays, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Feb 26, Mar 4, 11, 18.
Location – Howard Room, Blue Hill Public Library

This colloquy will be divided into two segments:
A) The historical and political basis of why Russia and its leadership is presently acting on the world stage as it is. A brief review of post-Soviet era Russia and it’s leadership in the 1980’s and 1990’s, might help explain the popularity of a leader such as Putin within his own country.

B) What should be the West”s and the U.S. reaction to present Russian aggression in the Ukraine and elsewhere both presently and into the future? There is a debate about what our reaction should be—those suggesting a re-imposition of the policy of sustained “containment” which dominated the West’s policy toward the Soviet Union for many years prior to the collapse of the Soviet state; and those suggesting a more “liberal” view which acknowledges Russia’s “sphere of influence” vis-à-vis its neighbors. This latter view also acknowledges that sustained NATO expansion ever closer to Russia’s borders has taken place, despite assurances that this expansion would not happen.

Recommended Reading Material

A. “The Man without a Face”, Masha Gessen, Riverhead, 2013
B. “Putin’s Russia, Life in a Failing Democracy”, Anna Politovskaya, Henry Holt Company, 2007
C. “The Russian Moment in World History”, Marshall T. Poe, Princeton University Press, 2013.
D. “Armageddon Averted”. Stephen Kotkin, Oxford Univ. Press, 2008
E. “The Limits of Partnership”, Angela E. Stent, Princeton Univ. Press 2014

Articles from Foreign Affairs Magazine:

  • Sep/Oct 2014
    • pp 87 ff, by John Mearsheimer
    • pp 90 ff, by Mary Elise Sarotte
  • Nov/Dec 2014
    • pp 167ff, by Michael McFaul, et al.
  • Jan/Feb 2015
    • pp 96ff, by Matthias Matthijs & G.F. Treverton
    • pp 108ff, by Hans Kundnani
    • pp 150ff, by Sarah E. Mendelson-a book review
  • May/Jun 2015
    • pp 48ff, by Ivan Krastev & Mark Leonard
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