What Can Russia Teach Us about Change? Status-Seeking as a Catalyst for Transformation in International Politics

“Although a general task of social science is to measure and predict change, international relations (IR) paradigms and theories have been unable to keep up with the rapid pace and destabilizing effects of change in international politics. When addressing Russia, IR’s “change problem” becomes clearer: the world’s largest country is treated as an object struggling to adjust to changes rather than a protagonist introducing them into the system. Yet, twice within the last quarter century, Russia has acted as a catalyst for changes in international politics that few saw coming and which confounded IR paradigms. The Soviet leadership’s decision to withdraw from the Cold War standoff and dismantle its empire in Eastern Europe…”


Ronald A. Marks, M.A.

Yuval Weber, Ph.D., is Daniel Morgan Graduate School’s inaugural DMGS-Kennan Institute fellow. Most recently, Dr. Weber taught at Harvard University, where he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department on Government and a Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis Research Fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. His work has appeared in Problems of Post-Communism, International Studies Review, Survival, Cold War Studies, Orbis, and the Washington Post.