Dr. Kathryn Stoner joins the Fletcher community for a conversation on “Russia Resurrected: Its Power and Purpose in a New Global Order”

By Alex Thomas, MALD 2023 Candidate, The Fletcher School

On Thursday, April 14, 2022, Dr. Kathryn Stoner joined students, staff, and faculty of the Fletcher School as part of the 2022 Annual Political Risk Conference for a book talk on her latest piece, Russia Resurrected. In February, Dr. Stoner was awarded the third annual book prize of the Fletcher U.S.-Russia Relations Initiative for her groundbreaking work in Russia Resurrected.

In the piece, Dr. Stoner explores the ways that Russia has reasserted itself as a great power and offers a modern reassessment of the country. She accomplishes this through an analysis of Russia’s economic and social development as well as through an exploration of its domestic political processes.

As part of the Fletcher U.S.-Russia Relations Initiative award, Dr. Stoner was invited to present some of the key findings from her book with the Fletcher community and to partake in a book talk and discussion, moderated by Dr. Daniel Drezner. The event began with an introduction by Dr. Drezner and proceeded with a brief ceremony in which Dr. Stoner was given the physical award.

Afterwards, Dr. Stoner gave a presentation which outlined the crux of her book’s argument, the need for reassessing Western methods of gauging Russian power, and applied it within the context of the unfolding war with Ukraine.

“It’s imperative that we re-think the notion of how we understand power” Stoner said. “The argument that Russia is weak, and that Putin is a weak leader, is simply outdated.”

She then went on to speak about Putin’s soaring approval ratings and attributed them to the role that the state-sponsored media has played in censoring viewpoints critical of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

“It’s all about the perception among the Russian people that [Putin] controls. They’re supporting the war because of the information that they’ve been given, which we know isn’t the whole picture.”

After an overview of Dr. Stoner’s work and its application to current events, Dr. Drezner proceeded to moderate a brief discussion in which members of the audience were invited to participate. The topics that the questions covered ranged from Putin’s power and potential diplomatic offramps in Ukraine to future conflicts with the West and the relationship between Russia and China.

Dr. Stoner is the Mosbacher Director at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. She is also

Professor of Political Science (by courtesy), and a Senior Fellow (by courtesy) at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.


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