Portrait of Professor Richard Sakwa

Professor Richard Sakwa

Professor of Russian and European Politics


Prof. Sakwa joined the School in 1987, was promoted to a professorship in 1996 and was Head of School between 2001 and 2007, and in 2010 he once again took over as Head of School until 2014. While completing his doctorate on Moscow politics during the Civil War (1918-21) he spent a year on a British Council scholarship at Moscow State University (1979-80), and then worked for two years in Moscow in the 'Mir' Science and Technology Publishing House. Before moving to Kent he lectured at the University of Essex and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prof. Sakwa is an Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (CREES) at the University of Birmingham and since September 2002 a member of Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.  

Research interests

  • Political development in Russia
  • International politics and the second Cold War
  • Nature of postcommunism
  • Global challenges facing the former communist countries
  • Problems of European and global order

Current Projects

  • Book on Deception: Russiagate and the New Cold War    
  • Book on The Second Cold War     
  • Book on The Future of Socialism    




I am currently supervising the following students:

Shwan Azeez - The Role of Natural Resources in the Development of Sovereignty: The Case of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Oleksiy Bondarenko -Regional Politics in Sverdlovsk: A Case Study Federal Bargaining and Regionalism in Post-Communist Russia

Huawei Zheng - The Eurasian Economic Union as an Order-Making Actor in the Post-Soviet Space: Exploring the Actorness-Order Nexus

Morvan Lallouet - Being a Liberal in Contemporary Russia: The Case of Alexei Navalny

Camille-Renaud Merlen -Russia and the post-sovereign world

Zach Paikin - Liberal Order in Crsisis? Post-Cold War Russia and the Evolution of International Society

Marwa Wasfy - NATO Heading South? The Transatlantic Security Community after the Arab Spring

Ronald Long Ki Yeung - The change of Strategic Culture of Taiwan: A Content Analysis



Showing 50 of 114 total publications in the Kent Academic Repository. View all publications.


  • Sakwa, R. (2019). BRICS and Sovereign Internationalism. Strategic Analysis [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09700161.2019.1669899.
    The article outlines four types of globalism contending for hegemony today. The struggle of what effectively represents different types of international order is one reason why international politics today looks so disordered. The BRICS association is firmly located as part of one of these orders, that of sovereign internationalism, but is challenged by the disruptive implications of the Trumpian mercantilist order. BRICS and its members as a result are drawing closer to the liberal internationalist model. However, this is made more difficult by liberalism’s shift towards some of the Trumpian exclusionary agenda. Despite some inner contradictions, the BRICS is one of the institutional and normative cornerstones of sovereign internationalism.
  • Sakwa, R. (2019). Russian Neo-Revisionism. Russian Politics [Online] 4:1-21. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1163/2451-8921-00401001.
    A revisionist state would seek to challenge the existing balance of power in the system and threaten the foundations of the system itself. This does not apply to contemporary Russia. It seeks to enhance its status within the existing framework of international society. Russian neo-revisionism does not attempt to create new rules or to advance an alternative model of the international system but to ensure the universal and consistent application of existing norms. Russia’s neo-revisionism represents a critique of western practices in defence of the universal proclaimed principles. It is not the principles of international law and governance that Russia condemns but the practices that accompany their implementation. This reflected Russia’s broader perception in the post-Cold War era that it was locked into a strategic stalemate, and that the country was forced into a politics of resistance. This has taken many forms, including the creation of an anti-hegemonic alignment with China and others. For Moscow, it was the West that had become revisionist, not Russia. Although the implementation of applicable norms was patchy, Russia did not repudiate them. In its relations with the European Union, Russia’s neo-revisionist stance means that it was unable to become simply the passive recipient of EU norms, and instead tried to become a co-creator of Europe’s destiny. The struggle is not only over contested norms, but also over who has the prerogative to claim their norms as universal. However, it was precisely at the level of practices that there was least room for compromise, and thus Russian neo-revisionism became another form of the impasse, and only intensified tensions between Russia and the Atlantic system.
  • Sakwa, R. (2018). One Europe or None? Monism, Involution and Relations with Russia. Europe-Asia Studies [Online] 70:1656-1667. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2018.1543762?.
    The crisis in relations between Russia and the European Union (EU) is part of the broader breakdown of the post-Cold War security order. This commentary focuses on structural interpretation and identifies four interlinked processes shaping the crisis: tension between the logic of the enlargement and transformation; a dynamic of involution and resistance; the problem of monism, whereby the expanding self is unable adequately to engage with the un-integrated other; and the recent emergence of ‘other Europes’ that may potentially overcome involution. The erosion of the Atlantic system provides an opportunity for delayed institutional and ideational innovation.
  • Sakwa, R. (2018). The End of the Revolution: Mimetic Theory, Axiological Violence, and the Possibility of Dialogical Transcendence. Telos [Online] 2018:35-66. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3817/1218185035.
    An exploration of the application of Rene Girard's mimetic theory to contemporary new Cold War politics and international relations, suggesting a typology of political behaviours. The current explosion in mimetic violence is the ground for the Second Cold war. The article explores alternative forms of interactions, called political dialogism, which may offer a way out of the intensification of axiological violence. Instead of the political practise of revolution, the article suggests a politics of transcendence.
  • Sakwa, R. (2017). Europe and the political: from axiological monism to pluralistic dialogism. East European Politics [Online] 33:406-425. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/21599165.2017.1326099.
    “The political” represents a moment in which actors recognise autonomy and equality as constitutive values in the agonistic search for appropriate open-ended political outcomes. The tutelary, pedagogical and disciplinary practices of the depoliticised European Union (EU) undermine the foundations of equality in diplomatic and political engagement between continental actors. The relationship becomes axiological, where issues are deemed to have been resolved through some sort of anterior pre-political arrangement. This is a type of ahistorical political monism that ultimately claims to speak for all of Europe. The return of “the political” allows a more generous and pluralistic politics to emerge based on genuine dialogical foundations in which self and other engage as equals and are mutually transformed by that engagement.
  • Sakwa, R. (2017). The Ukraine Syndrome and Europe: Between Norms and Space. The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review [Online] 44:9-31. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1163/18763324-04401003.
    It is no accident that the Euromaidan revolution from November 2013 was triggered by President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to postpone signing the Association Agreement with the European Union. This paper traces the connection between a certain type of Ukrainian state building, here labelled as monist, and the larger context of European institution building based on the EU, which from the pan-European perspective is also monist. These two monist projects, which fail systemically to allow for alternatives and pluralistic diversity, feed off and mutually reinforce each other. Neither in structural terms can imagine alternatives existing outside of themselves. Both are deeply plural internally, but claim certain hegemonic privileges. By contrast, projects for the constitutional incorporation of pluralistic diversity in Ukraine offer the perspective of national reconciliation, and this would be facilitated by the advancement of some sort of greater European pluralism that would obviate the need to choose between alternative integration projects. The Ukraine syndrome is part of the broader failure in the post-Cold War years to create an inclusive European political order.
  • Sakwa, R. (2016). Back to the Wall: Myths and Mistakes that Once Again Divide Europe. Russian Politics [Online] 1:1-26. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1163/24518921-00101001.
    Europe is once again subject to an epidemic of wall and barrier building. The war in Ukraine is accompanied by the fortification of its border with Russia, while the Baltic republics are creating the foundations for what is an embryonic new ‘iron curtain’ dividing the Atlantic community from Eurasia. Elsewhere fences are being built to halt the flow of refugees and migrants. These new barriers symbolize the failure to build a Europe ‘whole and free’ in the post-Cold War era, and the failure of the era of globalization to create the conditions for security and development in Europe’s neighborhood. The spate of ‘walling’ reflects not the strength of national sovereignty but its weakness, and not the power of the Atlantic community to spread prosperity, peace and security but the opposite. The era of globalization is accompanied by deepening disjuncture and contradictions, and European leaders have no coherent response. The roots of the crisis lie in the patterns established at the close of the original Cold War in the late perestroika years, with a power shift rather than the transcending politics espoused by Mikhail Gorbachev. The Malta summit of 1989 only partially repudiated the politics of Yalta. The asymmetrical end of the Cold War and the 25 years’ crisis represented by the subsequent cold peace contained within itself the violence and the new divisions that now predominate. The myths and mistakes of the cold peace era need to be challenged and a new transformative politics envisaged.
  • Sakwa, R. (2015). The Death of Europe? Continental Fates after Ukraine. International Affairs [Online] 91:553-579. Available at: http://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2346.12281.
    The unravelling of the post-Cold War security order in Europe was both cause and consequence of the crisis in Ukraine. The crisis was a symptom of the three-fold failure to achieve the aspirations to create a ‘Europe whole and free’ enunciated by the Charter of Paris in 1990, the drift in the European Union's behaviour from normative to geopolitical concerns, and the failure to institutionalize some form of pan-continental unity. The structural failure to create a framework for normative and geopolitical pluralism on the continent meant that Russia was excluded from the new European order. No mode of reconciliation was found between the Brussels-centred wider Europe and various ideas for greater European continental unification. Russia's relations with the EU became increasingly tense in the context of the Eastern Partnership and the Association Agreement with Ukraine. The EU and the Atlantic alliance moved towards a more hermetic and universal form of Atlanticism. Although there remain profound differences between the EU and its trans-Atlantic partner and tensions between member states, the new Atlanticism threatens to subvert the EU's own normative principles. At the same time, Russia moved from a relatively complaisant approach to Atlanticism towards a more critical neo-revisionism, although it does not challenge the legal or normative intellectual foundations of international order. This raises the question of whether we can speak of the ‘death of Europe’ as a project intended to transcend the logic of conflict on the continent.
  • Sakwa, R. (2013). The Cold Peace: Russo-Western Relations as a Mimetic Cold War. Cambridge Review of International Affairs [Online] 26:203-224. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2012.710584.
    In 1989–1991 the geo-ideological contestation between two blocs was swept away, together with the ideology of civil war and its concomitant Cold War played out on the larger stage. Paradoxically, while the domestic sources of Cold War confrontation have been transcended, its external manifestations remain in the form of a ‘legacy’ geopolitical contest between the dominant hegemonic power (the United States) and a number of potential rising great powers, of which Russia is one. The post-revolutionary era is thus one of a ‘cold peace’. A cold peace is a mimetic cold war. In other words, while a cold war accepts the logic of conflict in the international system and between certain protagonists in particular, a cold peace reproduces the behavioural patterns of a cold war but suppresses acceptance of the logic of behaviour. A cold peace is accompanied by a singular stress on notions of victimhood for some and undigested and bitter victory for others. The perceived victim status of one set of actors provides the seedbed for renewed conflict, while the ‘victory’ of the others cannot be consolidated in some sort of relatively unchallenged post-conflict order. The ‘universalism’ of the victors is now challenged by Russia's neo-revisionist policy, including not so much the defence of Westphalian notions of sovereignty but the espousal of an international system with room for multiple systems (the Schmittean pluriverse).
  • Sakwa, R. (2010). The Dual State in Russia. Post-Soviet Affairs [Online] 26:185-206. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2747/1060-586X.26.3.185.
    Russia today is characterized by two competing political orders. The first is the constitutional state, regulated by law and enshrining the normative values of the democratic movement of the late Soviet period and contemporary liberal democracies, populated by political parties, parliament, and representative movements and regulated by electoral and associated laws. The second is the administrative regime, which has emerged as a tutelary order standing outside the normative state although not repudiating its principles. Drawing on the political science literature to develop a dual-state model, this article examines the regime system—its constituent elements and dynamics—to provide a better theorized framework for understanding the dynamics of regime politics.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Poddanye ili grazhdane: prepyatstviya na puti osushchestvleniya suverennykh konstitutionnykh prav v sovremennoi Rossii (’Subjects or Citizens: Obstacles to the Achievement of Constitutional Rights in Contemporary Russia’). Konstitutsionnyi Vestnik 1:104-115.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Russian Political Culture Through the Eyes of Vladislav Surkov: Guest Editor’s Introduction. Russian Politics and Law [Online] 46:3-7. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2753/RUP1061-1940460500.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Putin: Character and Consequences. Europe-Asia Studies [Online] 60:879-897. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668130802161132.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Two camps? - The struggle to understand contemporary Russia. Comparative Politics 40:481.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Putin and the oligarchs. New Political Economy [Online] 13:185-191. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563460802018513.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). ’New Cold War’ or twenty years’ crisis? Russia and international politics. International Affairs [Online] 84:241-267. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2346.2008.00702.x.
    President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy can be characterized as a 'new realism', repudiating some of the exaggerated ambitions of Yevgeny Primakov's tenure as foreign minister in the late 1990s while asserting Russia's distinctive identity in world politics. Rather than acting as a classic 'balancing' power prescribed by classic realist theory as the response to the hegemonic power of a single state, Russia under Putin tended to 'bandwagon' and the country has been a vigorous 'joiner'. Putin insisted that Russia retains its 'autonomy' in international politics while moving away from earlier ideas that Russia could constitute the kernel of an alternative power bloc. However, the opportunity to integrate Russia into the hegemonic international order may have been missed because of what is seen in Moscow as the resolute hostility of groups in the West who continue to pursue Cold War aims of isolating and containing Russia. The Cold War was transcended in an asymmetrical manner, and this has given rise to four major failures: political, strategic, intellectual and cultural. The world faces the danger of the onset of a new era of great power bloc politics, thus restoring a Cold War structure to the international system. With none of the major strategic issues facing the international community at the end of the Cold War yet resolved, we may be facing a new twenty years' crisis.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Liberalism and Neo-Patrimonialism in Post-Communist Russia. Law in Eastern Europe 59:181-200.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). ‘Podotchetnost’, konstitutsionalizma i nekotorye modeli vlasti v postkommunisticheskoi Rossii’ (‘Accountability, Constitutionalism and Some Models of Power in Post-Communist Russia’). Sravnitel’noe Konstitutsionnoe Obozrenie (Comparative Constitutional Review):1-17.
    Choosing the form of organization of state authority became an urgent problem in post-soviet Russia. A specific model of government was reflected in the Constitution as a result of the struggle between the President and parliament. The article is concerned with the practice and theory of Russian constitutionalism in historical retrospective. Looking back the author tries to understand the events of modern political reality.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Constitutionalism and Accountability in Contemporary Russia: The Problem of Displaced Sovereignty. Law in Eastern Europe 58:1-21.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Putin’s leadership: Character and consequences. Europe-Asia Studies [Online] 60:879-897. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668130802161132.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Upravlyaemaya preemstvennost (’Managed Succession’). Vlast:128-139.
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  • Sakwa, R. (2020). The Putin Paradox. United Kingdom: I.B. Tauris.
    The Putin phenomenon is a response to the challenges facing Russia, but it is also the outcome of the complex reaction between the man and the system. Putin reflects the contradictions and paradoxes of contemporary Russia, but he is also a unique leader who is both more and less than the country that he rules. He is more, because of the extraordinary powers vested in the presidency by the December 1993 constitution. The president is designated as the ‘guarantor of the constitution’ (Art. 80.2), suggesting that they stand outside of the constitution in order to protect it, a paradox of power that cuts through the whole system. This helps explain the emergence from the very early days of a self-designated power system focused on the presidency but not limited to it, which effectively claimed supervisory or tutelary rights over the management of public affairs. The administrative regime derives its power and legitimacy from the constitution, but it is not effectively constrained by it. A ‘dual state’ emerged in which administrative and democratic rationality are entwined. This is why it is misleading to call Russia an ‘autocracy’. The authoritarian features are rooted in a non-democratic technocratic appeal to the pursuit of the public good. The priority under Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s was economic and political reform, and then under Putin from 2000 as economic development, state sovereignty, national unity and international status. Putin’s ability to articulate an agenda of progress, although in contrast to the Soviet years no longer embedded in a coherent vision of the future, helps explain his extraordinary and enduring popularity, which with some ups and downs has been maintained at levels far exceeding those normally found in liberal democracies.
  • Sakwa, R. (2017). Russia Against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order. [Online]. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Available at: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/russian-and-east-european-government-politics-and-policy/russia-against-rest-post-cold-war-crisis-world-order?format=HB#gXgCOBcRqa0coLys.97.
    In this book Richard Sakwa provides a new analysis of the end of the Cold War and the subsequent failure to create a comprehensive and inclusive peace order in Europe. The end of the Cold War did not create a sustainable peace system. Instead, for a quarter of a century a ‘cold peace’ reflected the tension between cooperative and competitive behaviour. None of the fundamental problems of European security were resolved, and tensions accumulated. In 2014 the crisis exploded in the form of conflict in Ukraine, provoking what some call a ‘new Cold War’. Russia against the Rest challenges the view that this is a replay of the old conflict, explaining how the tensions between Russia and the Atlantic community reflect a global realignment of the international system. Sakwa provides a balanced and carefully researched analysis of the trajectory of European and global politics since the late 1980s.
  • Sakwa, R. (2016). Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands. [Online]. London and New York: I. B. Tauris. Available at: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/frontline-ukraine-9781784535278/.
    The unfolding crisis in Ukraine has brought the world to the brink of a new Cold War. As Russia and Ukraine tussle for Crimea and the eastern regions, relations between Putin and the West have reached an all-time low. How did we get here? Richard Sakwa here unpicks the story of Russo-Ukrainian relations and traces the path to the recent disturbances through the events which have forced Ukraine, a country internally divided between East and West, to choose between closer union with Europe or its historic ties with Russia. As the first full account of the Ukraine crisis from the Euromaidan Protests to the catastrophe of MH17 and up to the October 2014 parliamentary elections, Frontline Ukraine explains the origins, developments and global significance of the internal and external battle for Ukraine. With all eyes focused on the region, Sakwa unravels the myths and misunderstandings of the situation, providing an essential and highly-readable account of the struggle for Europe s contested borderlands.
  • Sakwa, R. (2014). Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands. [Online]. London, UK: I.B.Tauris. Available at: http://www.ibtauris.com/books/society%20%20social%20sciences/politics%20%20government/frontline%20ukraine%20crisis%20in%20the%20borderlands.
    The unfolding crisis in Ukraine has brought the world to the brink of a new Cold War. As Russia and Ukraine tussle for Crimea and the eastern regions, relations between Putin and the West have reached an all-time low. How did we get here? Richard Sakwa here unpicks the context of conflicted Ukrainian identity and of Russo-Ukrainian relations and traces the path to the recent disturbances through the events which have forced Ukraine, a country internally divided between East and West, to choose between closer union with Europe or its historic ties with Russia. In providing the first full account of the ongoing crisis, Sakwa analyses the origins and significance of the Euromaidan Protests, examines the controversial Russian military intervention and annexation of Crimea, reveals the extent of the catastrophe of the MH17 disaster and looks at possible ways forward following the October 2014 parliamentary elections. In doing so, he explains the origins, developments and global significance of the internal and external battle for Ukraine.With all eyes focused on the region, Sakwa unravels the myths and misunderstandings of the situation, providing an essential and highly readable account of the struggle for Europe's contested borderlands.
  • Sakwa, R. (2014). Putin and the Oligarch: The Khodorkovsky - Yukos Affair. I. B. Tauris.
  • Sakwa, R. (2014). Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia. Routledge.
  • Sakwa, R. (2010). The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism and the Medvedev Succession. [Online]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Available at: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/russian-and-east-european-government-politics-and-policy/crisis-russian-democracy-dual-state-factionalism-and-medvedev-succession?format=PB.
    The view that Russia has taken a decisive shift towards authoritarianism may be premature, but there is no doubt that its democracy is in crisis. In this original and dynamic analysis of the fundamental processes shaping contemporary Russian politics, Richard Sakwa applies a new model based on the concept of Russia as a dual state. Russia's constitutional state is challenged by an administrative regime that subverts the rule of law and genuine electoral competitiveness. This has created a situation of permanent stalemate: the country is unable to move towards genuine pluralist democracy but, equally, its shift towards full-scale authoritarianism is inhibited. Sakwa argues that the dual state could be transcended either by strengthening the democratic state or by the consolidation of the arbitrary power of the administrative system. The future of the country remains open.
  • Sakwa, R. (2009). The Quality of Freedom: Putin, Khodorkovsky and the Yukos Affair. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Russian Politics and Society 4th Revised Edition. London & New York: Routledge.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Putin: Russia’s Choice. London and New York: Routledge.

Book section

  • Sakwa, R. (2019). Stasis and Change: Russia and the Emergence of an Anti-Hegemonic World Order. In: Dal, E. P. and Ersen, E. eds. Russia in the Changing International System. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 17-38. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21832-4_2.
    This chapter argues that after a quarter century of stasis, the pattern of world order is changing and the inter-cold war period of the cold peace is giving way not to a thaw, but to the re-entrenchment of bipolar confrontation between the expansive liberal international order and the resistance of a group of states including Russia. Like the First Cold War, the second is also about the conflicting views of world order as the U.S.-led liberal international order is challenged by the emergence of a putative anti-hegemonic alignment between Russia, China and their allies in the emerging alternative architecture of world affairs – especially the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). The clash between Russia and the West, in this sense, is only an early version – and ultimately perhaps not the most significant – of the challenges against the long-term stasis in international affairs. Although the sinews of a post-Western world are emerging, it remains to be seen whether bodies like SCO and BRICS will be able to sustain the multilateralism of the last seven decades in the absence of the hegemon that had provided the security and support for such multilaterialism to thrive.
  • Korosteleva, E. (2015). Belarus: neither with the European Union nor the Eurasian Customs Union?. In: Sakwa, R. and Dutkiewicz, P. eds. Eurasian Integration: The View from Within. Routledge, pp. 111-126. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9781138778979.
    Defining Belarus’ place in the regional geopolitical landscape is deceptively
    easy: despite its formal pronouncements it is neither entirely committed to the
    Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) or future Eurasian Union (EaU), nor is it
    fully integrated with the Eastern Partnership Initiative (EaP). With the accelerating
    pace and infrastructural development of both frameworks, Belarus
    finds itself increasingly at a crossroads, as a reluctant bystander facing an
    impending dilemma of choice between the European Union (EU) and Russia/
    EEU, of significant consequence for its economic and political future.
  • Pabst, A. (2013). People who want to change things must keep pushing for change: Manuel F. Montes in conversation with Adrian Pabst. In: Dutkiewicz, P. and Sakwa, R. eds. 22 Ideas to Fix the World: Conversations With the World’s Foremost Thinkers. New York City: Social Sciences Research Council and New York University Press, pp. 305-325. Available at: http://nyupress.org/books/book-details.aspx?bookId=12169#.UrL1ZBy2-cA.
    Manuel Montes brings a wealth of academic knowledge and a long list of credentials at various international and intergovernmental organizations to bear on the current economic crisis in his discussion with Adrian Pabst. He argues that the Asian Crisis of 1997 was in many ways a “dress rehearsal” for the current one, and was barely confined to the developing world. In the case of both crises, he suggests, the problem was both a massive deferral on matters political and economic to the financial sector and the foisting of excessively large loans on creditors by rapacious financiers. The current model has led de facto to the public sector bearing the costs for private sector missteps and the risks of investment being socialized while, paradoxically, the financial sector remains central to economic recovery.

    He concedes, however, that change will be difficult to enact and that we should avoid seeking easy answers in old economic models; he suggests provocatively that the talk of the so-called “Asian model” is overblown and we should not necessarily look to Asia, despite its successes, for lessons. Montes advocates more stringent regulation of the financial sector that would not so much curtail the total of its activities as decrease the emphasis on financial products while aligning finance with real economic productivity and addressing social concerns.
  • Sakwa, R. (2012). Leadership, Governance and Statecraft in Russia. In: Helms, L. ed. Poor Leadership and Bad Governance: Reassessing Presidents and Prime Ministers in North America, Europe and Japan. Edward Elgar, pp. 149-172.
  • Sakwa, R. (2011). Putin’s Leadership: Character and Consequences. In: Sakwa, R. ed. Power and Policy in Putin’s Russia. London: Routledge.
  • Sakwa, R. (2010). Putin’s Leadership. In: Wegren, S. and Herspring, D. eds. After Putin’s Russia. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 17-38.
  • Sakwa, R. (2009). Subjects or Citizens: Obstacles to the Exercise of Constitutional Sovereignty Rights in Contemporary Russia. In: Tadayuki, H. and Atsushi, O. eds. Post-Communist Transformations: The Countries Fo Central and Eastern Europe and Russia in Comparative Persepctive. Hokkaido: University of Hokkaido, Slavic Research Centre, pp. 27-46.
  • Sakwa, R. (2009). Liberalism and Neo-Patrimonialism in Post-Communist Russia. In: Simons, W. ed. Private and Civil Law in the Russian Federation: Essays in Honor of F.J.M. Feldbrugge. Leiden & Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, pp. 327-346.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Myth and Democratic Identity in Russia. In: Wöll, A. and Wydra, H. eds. Democracy and Myth in Russia and Eastern Europe. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 203-218.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Putin i vlast’ protivorechii (’Putin and the Power of Contradiction’). In: Lapina, N. ed. Dva Prezidentskikh Sroka V.V. Putina : Dinamika Peremen : Sbornik Trudov. Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences INION, pp. 10-31.

Edited book

  • Sakwa, R. (2009). Power and Policy in Putin’s Russia. Sakwa, R. ed. London and New York: Routledge.


  • Sakwa, R. (2008). On the Ideological Front: The Russian Intelligentsia and the Making of the Soviet Public Sphere. American Historical Review 113:1267-1268.
  • Sakwa, R. (2008). Seven years that changed the world: Perestroika in perspective. Slavic Review 67:728-731.
  • Sakwa, R. (2007). Russian conservatism and its critics: a study in political culture. International Affairs 83:209-210.
  • Sakwa, R. (2007). Boris Yeltsin and Russia’s democratic transformation. International Affairs 83:598-598.
  • Sakwa, R. (2007). The demise of Marxism-Leninism in Russia. Europe-Asia Studies [Online] 59:169-170. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668130601073090.
  • Sakwa, R. (2007). The dynamics of Russian politics: Putin’s reform of federal-regional relations, vol 2. Russian Review [Online] 66:166-167. Available at: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9434.2006.00433.x.


  • Everett, R. (2017). Russia’s Crisis Modernisation Fallacy: An Analysis of the 1998 and 2008 Economic Crises and Their Effects on the Development of the Central Bank of Russia.
    This study argues that Russia's post-Soviet economic transition is not complete and is trapped in partial reform equilibrium: former command economy institutions have not been eradicated, and the required institutions for a market economy are weak or have not been established. Furthermore, this study argues that economic crises have not catalysed or otherwise encouraged the economic transition, contrary to other scholars. Using process tracing, this is demonstrated through a case study of Russia's banking industry that analyses the Central Bank of Russia's responses to economic crises, and how these responses have failed to address the cause of the crisis. The study concludes that, as the Central Bank of Russia fails to fully address the cause of economic crises, institutions that would prevent further crises remain weak or non-existent, and a market economy does not yet exist.
  • Trimmer, M. (2015). How Does the EU Interpret and Implement “Religious Freedom” As Part of the Enlargement System?.
    This Thesis aims to examine the understanding of religious freedom used by the European Union when it considers the human rights element of the membership criteria for countries entering into the enlargement process. Because religious freedom is a less clearly defined right than most, multiple conceptions of it are possible, and understanding which the EU uses is crucial to future questions of external relations as well as internal human rights policy and enforcement.
    To gain this understanding, the EU’s “Regular Reports” that examine the readiness of countries to join will be examined. The content contained within these will then be compared to documents examining religious freedom situations produced by the United States State Department’s Office for International Religious Freedom. By comparing the simple description of the religious freedom situation produced by USSDOIRF to the documents highlighting particular religious freedom linked to EU membership standards, issues that the EU is concerned with can be separated from those which it regards as not relevant to potential membership.
    To gain the maximum possible data from the most appropriate sources, all countries that have been involved in the membership process since 1998 have been examined. This is the time when the EU’s membership processes were formalised. Also, countries that have become members have been examined alongside countries that are in various stages of applying, so as to give maximum range to the case studies involved.
    The conclusion of this research is that the EU has a bottom-up, de jure, and negative (in Isiah Berlin’s terms) conception of religious freedom.
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