Home > News > Russia in 2020
125 views 3 min 0 Comment

Russia in 2020

- November 10, 2010

“Nikolay Petrov”:http://www.carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=370 of the “Carnegie Moscow Center”:http://carnegie.ru/?lang=en is heading up “an interesting project”:http://russia-2020.org/ aimed at forecasting what the major issues facing Russia will be in 2020. To do so, he’s assembled a team of scholars that is essentially half Russian and half non-Russian (primarily Western academics), and paired them up across various thematic areas (e.g., foreign policy, social and economic policy, political economy, etc.). The idea here is that:

bq. Policy challenges and ideas for addressing them are mapped out to 2020 – far enough in the future to avoid being held hostage to current circumstances, but not so far out as to lose connection with reality and sway towards utopian or dystopian visions. Each material focuses on two basic scenarios: the most likely, which would be inertial; and a more positive scenario, including policy proposals for achieving desired outcomes.To provide multi-dimensional analysis, each topic is addressed by two researchers, a Russian writing from an insider’s perspective, and an author writing from the outside…The materials are targeted for experts on Russia, policymakers in Moscow and other capitals, as well as students, researchers and other interested parties around the world.

A nice feature of the project is that it is attempting to incorporate Web 2.0 tools. So while like most projects of this nature papers were commissioned and a conference was held, the papers are now “up on the web”:http://russia-2020.org/ with opportunities for anyone to comment on them, with the hope that they will spark a wider discussion. While a number of them are in Russian, plenty are in English, so I hope readers interested in Russia will take a look and add to the discussion. I haven’t looked at all of them yet, but to date the comments look pretty sparse so that aspect of the project does not really seem to have gotten off the ground much – maybe readers of The Monkey Cage can help get the discussion going.

I have one other question for readers of The Monkey Cage related to this project. Obviously, this is not the first time that a gathering of academics has been asked to prognosticate about the future in a particular area (see for example this “ongoing project at NYU”:http://cgascenarios.wordpress.com/). But has anyone ever tried to look back on previous attempts to do so to judge them for their accuracy and usefulness? Seems like this might be an interesting project/question, and I was wondering if anyone had ever looked into it.