Political Scientist Rudra Sil Reconsiders Russia

Rudra Sil, the director of the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business, does research in the fields of comparative and international politics with a special interest in Russian and post-communist studies, Russian foreign policy, and United States-Russia relations.

One of his books, Russia Reconsidered: The Fate of a Former Superpower, has deliberately been delayed for a few years to allow Sil to broadly examine the topic through long-term evaluation. It is already under advanced contract from Cambridge University Press.

Of the work in progress, Sil says the truth is always more complicated than adversarial policy makers would have their populations believe.

“This is to make the point that we are letting our adversarial relationship with Russia in the last five years produce a rather stark, ‘black’ image of a country that is actually more different shades of grey,” says Sil, “depending on the pressures and challenges with which it’s coping.”

The book will examine the Russian political system and its economics, exports, foreign policy and other topics, putting Russia in a comparative framework with a set of relevant, non-Western nations. It will also take a long-term view of Russia-related issues and implications, looking backwards to the collapse of the Soviet Union as a superpower.

​​​​​​​“Each chapter provides a more nuanced view based on easily accessible open-source data points, like the World Bank, and calls into question black-and-white debates that have taken hold between our ‘correct’ storytelling about Russia and the ‘propaganda’ supposedly coming out of the Kremlin,” Sil says.

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