The Western Pragmatists Explain Russia
By the end of 2014 the pragmatists recognized that their narratives needed revising, but they still couldn’t recognize the sources of Russia’s deep domestic decay.
Mad about Medvedev
How Western Russia experts fell for “Medvedev the reformer,” and why many of them buy into the Kremlin’s “humiliation” narrative.
Shades of Pragmatism
Western analysts have failed to understand Russia for many of the same reasons they failed to understand the Soviet Union: a rejection of normative criteria.
The ironies of the pragmatists’ approach to US-Russian relations.
What Do the Normativists Stand For?
How do Russia and the West see one another? What are the experts’ views on the confrontation between Russia and the West? How do the pundits explain the Russo-Ukrainian war and Russia’s Syrian gambit? What are the roots of the mythology about Russia in the West, and why has the West failed to predict and understand Russia’s trajectory? These questions and more will be discussed in this essay and in the series to follow.
Russian recklessness is aimed at coercing the West into accepting a grand bargain on the Kremlin’s terms. But whether it accepts or rejects this bargain, the West (and Russia) will pay a heavy price.
The End of an Epoch
The third act of Russia’s civilizational drama is near. The price Russia and the outside world will pay for the end of the former’s system will be much higher than they paid for the Soviet Union’s demise.