Oct 16, 2019
Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. The United States, and Western democracies more generally, currently view Russia through the lens of their own internal crises, argues MARLENE LARUELLE, expert on Russian politics and author of Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation. In her discussion with political scientists and Mitchell Center interviewer Matthew Berkman, Laruelle describes how the focus on election interference distorts our vision of Russia, portraying it as a closed-off society under monolithic authoritarian rule, guided by an implacable opposition to free democracies rather than geopolitical interests. By placing Russia outside of “international norms,” Western democracies are also able to deflect the way in which they have progressively undermined many of those norms themselves, especially as anti-liberal and anti-democratic movements gain steam. Ultimately, Laruelle counsels against anti-Russian hysteria and for a more clear-eyed view of the world.