KURILLA I.I. Policy Toward Russia: American Expert Community Debating Future in the Fall of 2020

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.2.20

Ivan I. Kurilla

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor,

Faculty of Political Science, European University at Saint Petersburg,

Gagarinskaya St, 6/1A 191187 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. Contemporary Russian-U.S. relations have reached freezing point, but expert community continues to analyze possibilities and produce recommendations for the Russian policy of the incoming administration. The study of the debate is important not only for the political and diplomatic purposes but also for better understanding of the mechanisms shaping Russia’s image in the United States.

Methods and materials. The article provides an analysis of the exchange of expert opinions published in the USA in August – November of 2020, including five open letters published on Politico web site, report of the Atlantic Council and several articles addressing similar themes on the pages of American periodicals.

Analysis. Texts of the letters are analyses for their argument and recommendations and compared between each other. The author underlines the difference between the groups of the signatories, depending on their relative experience in working in and on Russia or in the Eastern Europe and suggests correction to the Tsvetan Todorov’ approach to the understanding of links between knowledge about and practice towards the “Other”.

Results. The author notes the existence of the centuries-old legacies of the American approaches to Russia: similar descriptions of Russia persist from the late 19th century to 2020. He also highlights an absence of a Russian position in the debate, while positions of Eastern Europeans and Ukrainians were provided by separate letters.

Key words: Russian-U.S. relations, American image of Russia, political debate in the USA, U.S. expert community, Biden administration.

Citation. Kurilla I.I. Policy Toward Russia: American Expert Community Debating Future in the Fall of 2020. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 237-244. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.2.20.

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Policy Toward Russia: American Expert Community Debating Future in the Fall of 2020 by Kurilla I.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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