Public seminar: Power and Economy under Putin and Beyond

Venue: Wergeland, Litteraturhuset in Oslo

Event date: 21 January 2020, 0900-1430

Please sign up here

Russia is faced with a dual, «creeping» crisis: economic decline and the succession problem. At this open seminar, the RUSECOPOL project has gathered leading international experts to address the ensuing fundamental questions: 


  • How does the intra-elite battle for power and resources shape Russian politics? 

  • And how do current policies influence power relations within the elite?


Under the surface of a stable regime, a multitude of actors within the power elite are struggling for power, resources, and, above all – the future of Russia. At the one extreme, wealthy businesspeople push for market reform and rapprochement with the West. At the other, ‘warriors’ see the West as an existential threat and favour a mobilizational economy under tight state control. This continuous power struggle shapes Russian policies on a daily basis and is key to understanding where Russia is heading when the Putin era is approaching its end. 




Registration and coffee



Opening remarks by IFS Director Kjell Inge Bjerga



Panel 1: The Russian Ruling Elite and its Challenges


Chair: Helge Blakkisrud (Norwegian Institute for International Affairs)


Andrey Yakovlev (Higher School of Economics, Moscow): “The Ruling Elite in the Face of External Pressure and Lost Vision for the Future”


Ekaterina Schulmann (Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Moscow): “Russia’s Ruling Class: the Bureaucrats, the Commissars and the Agents”


Geir Flikke (University of Oslo): “The Role of Political and Professional Organizations in the Struggle for Reform”



Coffee break



Panel 2: State-Business Relations in Russia


Chair: Arild Moe (Fridtjof Nansen Institute)


Ingvill Moe Elgsaas (Institute for Defence Studies, Norwegian Defence University College, Oslo): “State-Business Relations in the Murmansk Region”


Ingerid Opdahl (Institute for Defence Studies): “A Strong State in the Russian Arctic? Tasking Oil and Gas Companies for Regional Development”


Janis Kluge (German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin): “The Role of Business Elites in Russia’s Turn to the East”







Panel 3: Informal Actors in Russian Politics


Chair: Håvard Bækken (Institute for Defence Studies)


Jardar Østbø (Institute for Defence Studies): “Outsourcing Great Powerhood? The Non-State Element in Russia’s African Strategy”


Mark Galeotti (Institute for International Relations Prague): “Problems, Proxies, Partners: Organised Crime and Kremlin Policy at Home and Abroad”





Closing remarks