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VIDEO: Day-Long Conference, "Is Russia Undermining Democracy in the West?", Explores the Complexities of Russian Interference

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 1:15pm

Go here for videos of all four panels, as well as FPRI's full conference report.

Part of the Mitchell Center's year-long "Democracy in Trouble?" series, the conference was arranged in conjunction with the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and the Penn Department of Russian and East European Studies, and was co-sponsored by the Penn-Temple European European Studies Consortium.

Over the course of the day, a deep roster of expert panelists delved into what is known, and what remains mysterious, about Russia's mission to disrupt Western democracies. Is it motivated by ideology, geopolitics, or the narrow interests of Putin's ring of kleptocrats? Is Russia creating discord, or simply nudging it along where it already exists? Is control of the effort centralized in the person of Putin, or the product of numerous diverse actors? Are these attacks "cyberwar," and should western democracies mount a military response? Has Russia benefited from its own successes, or have they backfired? Finally, how do we judge the difference they have made in key events, notably Brexit and the 2016 American election?

Panelists and commentators include Adrian Basora (FPRI), Michael Carpenter (Penn Biden Center), Samuel Charap (RAND Corporation), Nikolas Gvosdev (FPRI), Claire Finkelstein (Penn Law), John Haines (FPRI), Kathleen Hall Jamieson (Annenberg School for Communications), Bob Hamilton (US Army War College), Marlene LaRuelle (George Washington University), Anna Mikulska (Penn Russian and East European Studies), Mitchell Orenstein (Penn Russian and East European Studies), Alina Polyakova (Brookings Institution), Rudra Sil (Penn Political Science), and Clint Watts (FPRI).