Pisano Reimagines Politics in Staging Democracy

Become a Patron! Staging Democracy The distinction between democracy and autocracy has become difficult to ascertain with the proliferation of so many hybrid regimes around the world. Most autocratic regimes hold multiparty elections. Of course, they are neither free nor fair. Nonetheless, they make efforts to demonstrate some form of electoral legitimacy. Moreover, the unfairness... Continue Reading →

Is This Still a Hot Peace?

Become a Patron! Hot Peace Perhaps the book Michael McFaul is most recognized for is From Cold War to Hot Peace. It's his personal memoir from his time as the American ambassador to Russia. But like I said on the podcast it also provides a chronicle of US-Russo relations during a time of transition. McFaul begins... Continue Reading →

Power and Purpose Nearly Twenty Years Later

Become a Patron! Power and Purpose In the recent interview with Michael McFaul and Robert Person, we mention two different books written by Michael McFaul. It's likely you have read his most recent book From Cold War to Hot Peace. But we also mention an older book called Power and Purpose. McFaul coauthored this book with James... Continue Reading →

The Cycles of Russian Expansion

Become a Patron! The Cycles of Russian Expansion In March of 1918 Russia accepted humiliating terms to withdraw from World War I. It ceded any claims over Finland, the Baltic States, and most of Ukraine and Belarus. It lost additional territory in the Caucasus. All told Russia lost one third of its population. In this... Continue Reading →

Russia Continues to Escalate

Become a Patron! Russia Continues to Escalate Russian hypocrisy has no limits. They routinely warn the United States and Europe about steps that might escalate the conflict. Yet Russia continues to escalate the conflict with seeming impunity. Last Tuesday President Biden announced plans to provide Ukraine four HIMARS systems able to launch rockets a distance... Continue Reading →

Was the Russian Military Overestimated?

Become a Patron! Did we Overestimate the Russian Military Today's episode of The Daily highlights the systemic challenges and problems in the Russian military. The episode is titled "A Tactical Disaster for Russia's Military." It begins with an attempt of the Russian military to cross a river where they exposed their troops to catastrophic losses. The... Continue Reading →

The Russian Imperialist Project

Become a Patron! The Russian Imperialist Project After more than twenty years nobody has provided a clear explanation for what some call Putinism. Its dependence upon public opinion and mass mobilization resemble fascism. At the same time, Russia's economic dependence on state owned firms resembles socialism or even a shift back toward communism. Yet Putin... Continue Reading →

Soldiers Surrender at Azovstal

Become a Patron! Soldiers Surrender at Azovstal Over the past week about half of the soldiers at the Azovstal steel plant have surrendered. Most of the soldiers belong to the Azov battalion whom Russia has demonized as Nazis. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hinted at a prisoner exchange, but Russia has not made similar overtures. Instead,... Continue Reading →

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