Upcoming conference reflects on 20 years since fall of Soviet Union
To mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union, the UCLA Center for European and Eurasia Studies is bringing together international experts to discuss the political, economic and socio-cultural changes that have taken place in Russia and its successor states over the past two decades.
Published: Monday, October 10, 2011
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 provoked dramatic transformation in the world order, ranging from the independence of the post-Soviet republics to the end of the Cold War and the emergence of a global market economy in the former Soviet Union.
In recognition of the 20th anniversary of such momentous change, the UCLA Center for European and Eurasia Studies, in collaboration with the Communist and Post-Communist Studies journal and with support from the UCLA International Institute and the California State University, Long Beach, College of Liberal Arts, has organized "Assessing the Collapse of the Soviet Union Twenty Years Later," a two-day conference that will bring international political scientists, economists, historians, sociologists and journalists together to discuss the political and socio-economic impact that the fall of the Soviet Union has had over the past two decades. The event will be held Oct. 21 and 22 in the UCLA Faculty Center.
The conference’s keynote speaker is Lilia Shevtsova, an expert in Soviet politics and policies. Shevtsova is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington) and the Moscow Carnegie Center, a member of the Women in International Security Advisory Board, an associate fellow at the Chatham House (London), chair of the Global Council on Russia at the Davos World Economic Forum and a member of the Davos Council on Terrorism. She also serves on the boards of the Institute for Humanities (Vienna), the Liberal Mission Foundation and the New Eurasia Foundation, and sits on the editorial boards of the American Interest journal and the Journal of Democracy. An accomplished author, Shevtsova has written “Yeltsin’s Russia: Myths and Reality,” “Putin’s Russia,” “Russia –Lost in Transition: The Yeltsin and Putin Legacies,” “Lonely Power: Why Russia Has Failed to Become the West and the West is Weary of Russia.” She has also co-authored “Change or Degradation” (forthcoming).
The conference will also feature a series of panel discussions that will address the political and economic implications of the collapse, the political economy of oil and gas in a post-Soviet world, and developments in the Soviet Union’s successor states. Speakers include UCLA political scientists Daniel Treisman and Michael Ross; Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics; Vladimir Mau, rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; and Vladimir Milov, president of the Institute of Energy Policy in Moscow, among others.
In addition, Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland’s second-largest daily newspaper; and Valery Naydenov, founding editor-in-chief of 24 Chasa, one of Bulgaria’s largest daily newspapers, will come together in a panel discussion titled “Perspectives from Journalism,” which will be moderated by Los Angeles Times writer Carol Williams, who covered the fall of the Soviet Union.
“The world is very much in a state of flux,” says Professor Gail Kligman, director of the UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies.“The situation in Russia itself has recently been clarified with respect to the United Russia party’s presidential nominee in 2012, who is its current Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin. The speakers will undoubtedly have much to say about that.”