Politics and International Relations


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.

Contact Information


Rutherford N4.W2

Academic office hours are available on the Moodle Student Guide

Expertise: Russian government and politics Communism and postcommunism Democratisation.   Languages: Russian [good] French [intermediate]

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Sakwa, R. (2016). Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands. London and New York: I. B. Tauris.
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.
Sakwa, R. (2014). Putin Redux: Power and Contradiction in Contemporary Russia. Routledge.
Sakwa, R. (2014). Putin and the Oligarch: The Khodorkovsky - Yukos Affair. I. B. Tauris.
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.
Sakwa, R. (2009). The Quality of Freedom: Putin, Khodorkovsky and the Yukos Affair. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sakwa, R. (2008). Putin: Russia's Choice. London and New York: Routledge.
Sakwa, R. (2008). Russian Politics and Society 4th revised edition. London & New York: Routledge.
Sakwa, R. (2004). Putin: Russia's choice. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Sakwa, R. (2003). Contextualising Secession: Normative Studies in a Comparative Perspective. Coppieters, B. and Sakwa, R. eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Edited book
Sakwa, R. ed. (2009). Power and Policy in Putin's Russia. London and New York: Routledge.
Sakwa, R. and Stevens, A. eds. (2006). Contemporary Europe. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sakwa, R. ed. (2005). Chechnya: From Past to Future. London: Anthem.
White, S., Gitelman, Z. and Sakwa, R. eds. (2005). Developments in Russian Politics 6. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sakwa, R. (2008). Upravlyaemaya preemstvennost ('Managed Succession'). Vlast:128-139.
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 and the oligarchs. New Political Economy [Online] 13:185-191. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563460802018513.
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). '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.
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). Constitutionalism and Accountability in Contemporary Russia: The Problem of Displaced Sovereignty. Law in Eastern Europe 58:1-21.
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.
Sakwa, R. (2008). Liberalism and Neo-Patrimonialism in Post-Communist Russia. Law in Eastern Europe 59:181-200.
Sakwa, R. (2008). Two camps? - The struggle to understand contemporary Russia. Comparative Politics 40:481.
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. (2007). 'Suverintet i demokratiya: Konstruktsii i protivorechiya' ('Sovereignty and Democracy: Constructions and Contradictions'). Sravnitel'noe Konstitutsionnoe Obozrenie (Comparative Constitutional Review):117-123.
Sakwa, R. (2006). From Revolution To Krizis: The Transcending Revolutions of 1989-91. Comparative Politics 38:459-478.
Sakwa, R. (2005). 'Perestroika and the Challenge for Democracy in Russia'. Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization 13:255-276.
Sakwa, R. (2005). The 2003-2004 Russian elections and prospects for democracy. Europe-Asia Studies [Online] 57:369-398. Available at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/09668130500073332.
Sakwa, R. and Webber, M. (1999). The Commonwealth of Independent States, 1991-1998: Stagnation and survival. Europe-Asia Studies [Online] 51:379-415. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668139998912.
Sakwa, R. (1999). Postcommunist studies: once again through the looking glass (darkly)? Review of International Studies [Online] 25:709-719. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0260210599007093.
Sakwa, R. (1997). Stabilising fragile democracies: Comparing the new party systems in Southern and Eastern Europe - Pridham,G, Lewis,PG. Party Politics [Online] 3:279-281. Available at: http://ppq.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/3/2/279.
Sakwa, R. (1995). Subjectivity, Politics and Order in Russian Political Evolution. Slavic Review 54:943-964.
Sakwa, R. (1995). The Russian Elections of December 1993. Europe-Asia Studies 47:195-227.
Sakwa, R. (2008). Seven years that changed the world: Perestroika in perspective. Slavic Review 67:728-731.
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. (2007). Boris Yeltsin and Russia's democratic transformation. International Affairs 83:598-598.
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.
Sakwa, R. (2007). Russian conservatism and its critics: a study in political culture. International Affairs 83:209-210.
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. (2000). Politics and government in the Visegrad countries: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Political Studies 48:179-180.
Sakwa, R. (2000). Gorbachev's glasnost: the Soviet media in the first phase of perestroika. International Affairs 76:892-893.
Sakwa, R. (1999). Gorbachev's revolution 1985-91. Slavonic and East European Review 77:381-382.
Sakwa, R. (1999). The counter-revolution in revolution: Images of Thermidor and Napoleon at the time of the Russian Revolution and Civil War. Slavonic and East European Review 77:562-563.
Sakwa, R. (1998). Democratization and revolution in the USSR, 1985-1991. Slavic Review 57:675-676.
Sakwa, R. (1997). Book Reviews. Political Studies [Online] 45:118-119. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.t01-1-00075.
Sakwa, R. (1997). How Russia votes - White,S, Rose,R, McAllister,I. World Today 53:167-167.
Sakwa, R. (1997). Democracy from scratch: Opposition and regime in the new Russian revolution - Fish,MS. Political Studies [Online] 45:118-119. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.t01-1-00075.
Sakwa, R. (1997). Tackling the transition: Still dancing on the volcano? . Europe-Asia Studies 49:1531-1532.
Sakwa, R. (1997). The agony of the Russian idea - McDaniel,T. Europe-Asia Studies [Online] 49:906-908. Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=9710012882&site=ehost-live.
Sakwa, R. (1997). Russia in search of its future - Saikal,A, Maley,W. Political Studies [Online] 45:118-119. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.t01-1-00075.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Constitution making in Eastern Europe - Howard,AED. Political Studies 44:136-138.
Sakwa, R. (1996). The Gorbachev Encyclopedia - Gorbachev the Man and his Times - Wieczynski, JL . Slavonic and East European Review 74:366-368.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Afghanistan: The Soviet Union's last war - Galeotti,M. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 25:184-186.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Social democracy in a post-communist Europe - Waller,M, Coppieters,B, Deschouwer,K. Political Studies 44:136-138.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Pluralism, socialism, find political legitimacy: Reflections on 'opening-up' communism - Barnard,FM. Political Studies 44:136-138.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Transition from communism in Russia and Eastern Europe - Menges,CC. Political Studies 44:136-138.
Sakwa, R. (1996). The age of Anxiety - Security and Politics in SOVIET Russia - Galeotti,M . Russian Review 55:526-527.
Sakwa, R. (1996). The rebirth of Russian democracy: An interpretation of political culture - Petro,NN. Europe-Asia Studies 48:1034-1035.
Sakwa, R. (1996). The rise of the Russian Democrats: The causes and consequences of the elite revolution - Devlin,J. International Affairs 72:406-406.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Building democracy? The international dimension of democratisation in Eastern Europe - Pridham,G, Herring,E, Sanford,G. Political Studies 44:136-138.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Internal factors in Russian Foreign Policy - Malcolm,N, Pravda,A, Allison,R, Light,M. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 25:759-760.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Gorbachev's failure in Lithuania - Senn,AE. Slavic Review 55:474-475.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Sources of Russian foreign policy after the Cold War - Wallander,CA. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 25:496-498.
Sakwa, R. (1996). Central and Easter Europe: The challenge of transition - Karp,RC. Political Studies 44:136-138.
Sakwa, R. (1996). The new great transformation? Change and continuity in east-central Europe - Bryant,CGA, Mokrzycki,E. Political Studies 44:136-138.
Sakwa, R. (1996). The Gorbachev Reader - Wieczynski, JL . Slavonic and East European Review 74:366-368.
Sakwa, R. (1995). Developments in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia . Slavonic and East European Review 73:182-183.
Sakwa, R. (1995). Russia at the Barricades. Europe-Asia Studies 47:531-531.
Sakwa, R. (1995). Legacies of the Collapse of Marxism. International Affairs 71:834-834.
Sakwa, R. (1995). Marxism and the Leap to the Kingdom of Freedom: The Rise and Fall of the Communist Utopia . Slavic Review 54:1022-1023.
Sakwa, R. (1994). Lenin Tomb - the Last Days of the Soviet Empire - Remnick,D . Slavonic and East European Review 72:575-576.
Sakwa, R. (1994). Black Hundred - the Rise of the Extrem-Right in Russia - Laqueur,W . International Affairs 70:819-819.
Sakwa, R. (1994). Red Sunset - the Failure of Suviet Politics - Roeder,PG . International Affairs 70:371-372.
Sakwa, R. (1994). The Rise of Russia and the Fsil of the Soviet-Union - Dunlop,JB . Slavonic and East European Review 72:575-576.
Sakwa, R. (1994). Russia and the new States of Eurasia - the Politics of Upheaval - Dawisha,K, Parrott,B . Slavic Review 53:1110-1111.
Sakwa, R. (1994). Rethinking Russia National Interests - Sestanovich,S . Slavonic and East European Review 72:773-774.
Book section
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). Putin i vlast' protivorechii ('Putin and the Power of Contradiction'). in: Lapina, N. Y. ed. Dva prezidentskikh sroka V.V. Putina : dinamika peremen : sbornik trudov . Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences INION, pp. 10-31.
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. (2005). Partial adaptation and political culture. in: Whitefield, S. ed. Political Culture and Post-Communism. Basinstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 42-53. Available at: http://www.palgrave.com/products/Catalogue.aspx?is=1403945209.
Sakwa, R. (2003). Chechnya: a just war fought unjustly? in: Coppieters, B. and Sakwa, R. eds. Contextualizing Secession: Normative Studies in Comparative Perspectives. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 156-186.
Showing 92 of 101 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

  • Democratic development in Russia
  • Nature of postcommunism
  • Global challenges facing the former communist countries
  • Problems of European and global order

Current Projects

  • Book on ‘Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands’, paperback edition
  • The Dual State and Reiderstvo in Russia
  • The Cold Peace: Russia and the Problem of International Order

Research Supervision

Camille-Renaud Merlen
Russia and the post-sovereign world

Rabekah Everett
The Partial Reform Equilibrium Revisited

Emir Kulov
Party System Institutionalization in the Post-Soviet region: The Case of Kyrgyzstan

Oybek Madiyev
Japan’s Nuclear Energy Policy in Central Asia

Nicolo Sartori
What is Energy Security?


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