30 Sep 2010

The same old modernisation game? Russian interpretations of modernisation

Félix Krawatzek / Roderick Kefferpütz

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The modernisation of Russia has been a topic of vigorous debate for centuries. It has also been an intensely divisive issue among Russia’s elite, and since President Dmitry Medvedev came to power, modernisation has become the leitmotif of the presidency. The global economic crisis hit Russia hard, meaning that the status quo in political, economic and social terms is no longer acceptable. However, there are a number of competing visions on modernisation within the Russian political elite and society as a whole. This Working Document aims to illustrate the diversity of and competition for the dominance of views on Russia’s future. In a second step, authors Félix Krawatzek, Visiting Researcher at CEPS and Roderick Kefferpütz, Associate Research Fellow, analyse the obstacles to a successful realisation of the ambitious modernisation agenda and outline the implications for the new EU-Russia modernisation partnership.