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April 2019 Conference: Agenda

Each session of the conference will feature presentations by Russian and American speakers, followed by discussion. To ensure interactive debate and allow sufficient time for interaction among participants, the speakers are requested to restrict their initial remarks to 5 minutes for the first session and 7 minutes for the second and third sessions. On the agenda, the title of each session is accompanied by a tentative list of questions for discussion.

Monday, April 1

Cabot 702, The Fletcher School

8.30 – 9.00: Breakfast and Registration
09.00 – 9.15: Welcome Session

  • Moderator: Daniel Drezner – Professor of International Politics, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

  • Ian Johnstone – Dean ad interim, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

  • Andrey Baykov – Vice President for Graduate and International Programs, MGIMO University

  • 9.15 – 12.00: Session 1. Understanding the Principle of Non-Interference in Domestic Affairs
    How do the United States and Russia define foreign “meddling” in domestic affairs, “hybrid warfare,” and “active measures”? What is the role of diasporas, foreign media, “undesirable organizations,” and “foreign agents” in influencing domestic politics? Are civil society protests and political candidates compromised by relations with foreign actors? What role does foreign influence play in “color revolutions”? What are the similarities and differences in Russian and American strategies in response to perceived threats of subversion? What role does cyberspace play in threats to domestic orders today? How are information and communication technologies distinct from past tools of influence operations?

  • Moderator: Chris Miller – Assistant Professor of International History, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

  • Tatyana Shakleina – Chair, Department of Applied Analysis of International Issues, MGIMO University

  • Carolyn Gideon – Assistant Professor of International Communication and Technology Policy, Director of the Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

  • Richard Weitz – Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis, Hudson Institute

  • Susan Landau – Bridge Professor in Cyber Security and Policy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

  • Igor Istomin – Associate Professor, Department of Applied Analysis of International Issues, MGIMO University

  • Richard Shultz – Lee E. Dirk Professor of International Politics, Director of the International Security Studies Program, The Fletcher School, Tufts University


  • To what extent are Russia and the United States properly assessing threats to domestic orders? How are the concepts of “public diplomacy,” “soft power,” and “sharp power” understood in the Russian Federation and the United States?

  • Marina Lebedeva – Head of World Politics Department, MGIMO University

  • Joseph Nye – Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University


  • What are the Russian and American approaches and interpretations of the legal principle of non-interference in domestic affairs? How is it applied in the post-Soviet region, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East? What do the United States and Russia agree and disagree are legitimate activities by foreign actors domestically? What is the likelihood that common norms will be developed on foreign interference in domestic affairs?

  • Andrey Sushentsov – Director of the Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University

  • Joel Trachtman – Professor of International Law, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

  • 12.00 – 13.30: Lunch
    17.00 – 17.30: Coffee Break
    17.30 – 19.00: Session 2. Russia’s Understanding of Alliances, Coalitions, and Partnerships
    How have the aspirations of the United States toward liberal hegemony affected the rise of counter-ideological alignments on the international arena? How do asymmetric alliances function in international politics? How does alliance formation differ for continental and maritime powers, and what are the consequences for Russia?

  • Igor Istomin – Associate Professor, Department of Applied Analysis of International Issues, MGIMO University

  • Andrey Sushentsov – Director of the Institute of International Studies, MGIMO University

  • Andrey Baykov – Vice President for Graduate and International Programs, MGIMO University

  • Discussant: Monica Toft – Professor of International Politics, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

  • Discussant: Mihaela Papa – Adjunct Assistant Professor in Sustainable Development and Global Governance, The Fletcher School, Tufts University; Co-Investigator, Rising Power Alliances project
  • 19.00 – 20.00: Dinner

    Tuesday, April 2

    Cabot 702, The Fletcher School 

    17.00 – 17.30: Coffee Break
    17.30 – 19.00: Session 3. Russia and the United States in the Evolving World Order
    What role do Russia and the United States play in the formation of the international order? How do ideological disagreements between Russia and the United States on the international arena affect bilateral relations? How can students and experts in the United States and the Russian Federation develop a better understanding of the foreign policies of each other’s countries?

  • Tatyana Shakleina – Chair, Department of Applied Analysis of International Issues, MGIMO University

  • Igor Istomin – Associate Professor, Department of Applied Analysis of International Issues, MGIMO University

  • Andrey Baykov – Vice President for Graduate and International Programs, MGIMO University

  • Discussant: Chris Miller – Assistant Professor of International History, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • 19.00 – 20.00: Dinner

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