Doctoral Project Abstract
The Future of Russia in 2020
Thomas E. Ferleman
Russia is neither on the precipice of disaster nor the edge of greatness; it is not a nation preparing for catastrophe or a people of great global power. It is a country moving through history – from authoritarian to post-communist; from economic collapse to global integration. Many of these changes and the emerging prospects for Russia suggest a nation entering a new cycle of leadership. This report examines the current economic, social, cultural, and demographic conditions with consideration to near-term historical changes. It includes a futures assessment by exploring the influence of multifactor productivity in Russia until 2020 and considers the impact of wildcard events, as well as policy options driving the future of Russia.
Private and public sector organizations seeking to operate in Russia will be challenged to navigate the complex environment of both an emerging market and a well established economy with global influence. This report provides organizations with a window into the future; establishing a glimpse into emerging patterns, alternative courses of action, and risk that must be mitigated. While this report does not seek to answer each of these challenges, it does lay out the macro-economic horizon, cultural drivers, political influencers, and policy options under multiple conditions. It is an attempt to provide organizations an opportunity to think about the future, plan for alternatives, and avoid pitfalls when working with a sometimes troubled, always relevant, and occasionally enigmatic Russia. Business leaders will find this report helpful as they plan to do business in Russia, or choose to avoid it altogether; while governments will gain insight into the global future of a hopeful partner or frustrating adversary. Regardless of how leaders approach Russia, this report will provide them no choice but to consider Russia in their strategic decision-making.