Culture and Civilization Matters

June 24, 2010

Exploring Russia’s Transitions and Tensions

Filed under: Term 5 St. Petersburg — Tags: , , , — wadatripp @ 4:51 am


Just as we examined the impact of culture and civilization on England, the Middle East, India and China through the prism of transitions and tensions, the CCL course in St. Petersburg will be grounded in the key transitions that Russia is experiencing and the tensions that have emerged as a result.

In this video excerpt, Dmitri Trenin, Author of “Getting Russia Right” provides a backdrop of the following transitions that Russia is currently undergoing.

You can view Trenin’s complete address on here

  1. Today’s Russia is powered by the two things that were absolutely antithetical to the Soviet Union: Private Money/Money and Open Borders/Open Minds
  2. The Tale of Two Cities: The City of the Kremlin and its Vertical Bureaucratic Political Power Structure and the City of Millionaire Citizens Who Increasingly Own More and More of Russia.
  3. The Ikea Index: An indicator that the common people whose economic lot is changing as they increase their participation in the emerging market economy.


During our time in Russia, we will explore how the following transitions:

  • Societal: From Soviet Serfdom and Control to Personal Freedom
  • Political:From Totalitarian Regime to Autocratic Rule
  • Economic:From a Centrally Planned Command Economy to a More Open Capitalist Economy

Additionally, we will explore the resulting tensions that have emerged as a result of these transitions:

  • Societal: From the perception of Government Backed Security and Predictability to the Uncertainty and Chaos of Market Opportunity
  • Political: From Soviet Communism to Russian Nationalism.
  • Economic: From Corruption and Oligarchy to an Emergent Consumer Society


The chart below summarizes the Societal, Political and Economic lenses through which we will explore the region:

We will explore the Societal, Political, and Economic transitions and associated tensions in more depth in subsequent pages of this blog.

Click HERE to return to the Russia Main Page

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