With the election of the new president Russia has entered a new political cycle. This time, however, with the previous president Vladimir Putin remaining on the political scene in the role of the prime minister the balance between the continuity and change in Russia remains unclear.
On the one hand, part of the political establishment feels the need to resolve the problems that have been put on the back burner during the previous presidency, understanding that the traditional paradigm of Russia’s survival is not sustainable; and on the other, the fear that any change may lead to an unpredictable chain of events still dominates the elite. Meanwhile, there are factors beyond the control of the elite that could trigger new developments. It is too early to make a final assessment of the trajectory of the new rule and how ready the new leadership will be to modernize Russia. Still the timing is ripe to start the discussion on the future Russian dilemmas.
The following questions seem to be inevitable: What is the nature of the Russian political system, and is it a driver of modernization or an obstacle? What are the causes behind Russia’s economic success and how sustainable is it? What is the state of Russian “human capital”? What is the model of the foreign policy and does it help Russian modernization or hinder it? What are the moods within Russian society and how perceptive is it to liberal ideas?