The Voices of Russia's Future Leaders
Author: Ellen Mickiewicz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Political Science
How will the future leaders of Russia regard the world scene? How will they regard the United States, democracy, free speech, and immigration? What do they think of their current leaders? And what sorts of tactics will they bring to international negotiating tables, political and otherwise? No Illusions: The Voices of Russia's Future Leaders provides an engaging, intimate, and unprecedented window into the mindsets of the next generation of leaders in Russian politics, business, and economics. In this book, one hundred and eight students in Russia's three most elite universities, the training grounds for the nation's leadership, reveal their thoughts on international relations, neighboring countries, domestic and international media, democratic movements, and their government in focus groups; they speak candidly, passionately, and sometimes sardonically about America. As well, Ellen Mickiewicz, one of the world's foremost experts on Russian media, politics, and culture, shows how their total immersion in the world of the internet-an immersion that sets them apart from the current generation of Russian leadership and much of the rest of the country-frames the way that they think and affects their trust in their leaders, the media, and their colleagues. Their worldviews are complex and often contradictory, reflecting complicated personalities that are adaptable yet also subject to much internal strife and "splintering." For example, while many of them are planning to go into politics, they express ambivalence about voting; they have favorable views of democracy, but not of the American model; they are shrewd critics of government propaganda and yet have clearly absorbed residue of Cold War defensiveness. Mickiewicz also looks at the nation's massive protests and nascent political movements to show how they came about and to consider what promise they might hold even in times of narrowing opportunities. She profiles several of Russia's up-and-coming leaders, including charismatic and controversial activist and politician Aleksei Navalny, who, even during his legal trials and house arrest, remains the face of the opposition to the Putin regime. As this book shows, the next generation of Russian leadership promises to hold a rather different worldview from that of the current one, yet it is not a worldview that readily embraces American democracy. No Illusions is a thought-provoking and often surprising glimpse into the future of Russia's foreign relations.