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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Putin's Russia

Kelly M. McMann, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University
Friday April 28, 2017
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

By his own account, "I come from an ordinary family, and this is how I lived for a long time, nearly my whole life. I lived as an average, normal person and I have always maintained that connection."

According to Forbes magazine, he is the most powerful person in the world – "one of the few men in the world powerful enough to get what he wants – and get away with it." The controversies about possible relationships between President Trump's campaign – or government – and the Putin government have only added urgency to questions about the nature of Vladimir Putin's regime.

What is he doing in foreign policy? What is the intent of the seeming embrace of nationalist movements in the United States, France, and beyond? Is Russia pursuing a new policy of cyberwarfare?

How stable is his regime, and what is the basis of support? Could he lose an election? Is he creating a party-state that can survive his personal role? What is the relationship between how he stays in power and his foreign policy?

What has Putin meant for daily life in Russia, and how might economic prospects and social tensions shape the future of Russia and his regime?

Join us as Professor McMann, an expert in both Russia and democratization, addresses these and other questions about Putin's Russia.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Dr. Kelly M. McMann currently is conducting research on how democracy spreads within countries. Once a national government has introduced civil liberties and permitted elections how do these practices diffuse within a country? Or, alternatively, how do practices in a more democratic part of a country spread to other parts until these practices are ultimately adopted by the national government? She is using statistical data and case studies from around the world to study this. Related to this project, McMann is also the manager of the subnational politics section of Varieties of Democracy.

In other work McMann is examining the impact of democracy on corruption globally. This follows from her earlier research on market reform and corruption, published in the book, Corruption as a Last Resort: Adapting to the Market in Central Asia (Cornell, 2014). This book received honorable mention for the Ed A. Hewett Book prize for “an outstanding monograph on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe”. McMann has continued her research on Eurasia by collaborating in the spring of 2015 on mass surveys in the region about media usage and attitudes toward foreign countries.

Earlier, McMann investigated how citizens’ economic relationships with the state influence their willingness to engage in civic activities essential to democracy. She described the findings from this investigation in her book Economic Autonomy and Democracy: Hybrid Regimes in Russia and Kyrgyzstan (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

McMann’s research in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, and the International Research & Exchanges Board. Her courses include Introduction to Comparative Politics, Political Science Research Methods, Transitions to Democracy and Dictatorship, State-Building and State Collapse, Politics of Central Asia, Politics of Russia, and an interdisciplinary seminar entitled Evidence. Dr. McMann received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2000 and conducted research at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University before coming to CWRU.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library.

* Kelvin Smith Library requires all entrants to show identification when entering the building, unless they have a university i.d. that they can magnetically scan. We are sorry if that seems like a hassle, but it has been Library policy for a while in response to security concerns. Please do not complain to the library staff at the entrance, who are just doing their jobs.

The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

April 24, 2017

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Upcoming Events

The French Presidential Election

A Global Currents Discussion with Vincent Michelot, Ph.D., Professor of American Politics and emeritus Director of Sciences Po Lyon in France, Tuesday April 25, 2017, 4:30 p.m., Senior Classroom, Tinkham Veale University Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106. This program is made possible by the generosity of Ms. Eloise Briskin.

The first round of the 2017 French presidential election – the most unpredictable in decades — will take place on April 23. The unpopular incumbent, Francois Hollande, did not seek a second term, leaving five candidates chasing a place in the second-round runoff on May 7. With Hollande’s would-be Socialist successor Benoît Hamon on the margins, and main opposition Republican nominee Francois Fillon dogged by scandal, the race is wide open for the young maverick Emmanuel Macron – and for the National Front’s Marine Le Pen. Will France follow recent British and American election results down a populist, anti-immigrant path? This talk, to be held 48 hours after the first round returns, explores the issues and the stakes facing French voters in April, May and June, when parliamentary elections will decide who governs France for the next five years and whether the Fifth Republic is strong enough to withstand the combined challenges of populism and weakened parties.

Dr. Vincent Michelot is Professor of American Politics and emeritus Director of Sciences Po Lyon in France. This spring he is teaching comparative politics as visiting professor at the University of Virginia. He also serves on the board of Fulbright France and is vice-president of the research council of Institut des Amériques. Michelot is a frequent commentator on both French and American politics and has written widely about US elections, presidential power and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is currently at work on an essay on political parties in France and the United States provisionally entitled Weak Parties, Weak Democracies. A graduate of Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud, he holds a Ph.D. from Université de Provence and an Habilitation à diriger des recherches from Sciences Po Paris.

April 2017






































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