News Archive

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kimberly Marten Interviewed on Charlie Rose This Week about U.S.-Russia Relations

Kimberly Marten (Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, and Director of the Harriman Institute's Program on U.S.-Russia Relations) appeared on Charlie Rose This Week (April 14, 2017) to talk about the current state of U.S.-Russia Relations following Rex Tillerson's visit to Russia and his meetings with Sergey Lavrov and Vladimir Putin. 

You can find the interview here. Marten's interview with Rose begins at 10.28.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Timothy Frye Interviewed on CNBC about Tillerson's Meeting with Putin

Timoth Frye (Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy) was interviewed on CNBC about the meeting between Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin (April 12, 2017).
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Into the Unknown: U.S.-Russia Relations Unhinged" by Robert Legvold

In his thoughtful essay "Into the Unknown: U.S.-Russian Relations Unhinged" (Valdai Paper #64), Robert Legvold (Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus, Columbia University, and Director of the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative) explores the Trump administrations's policy on Russia.

From the opening:

"If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy. More fundamentally, how likely is it that he really means to abandon a leadership role for the United States in global politics and substitute a stark realpolitik approach to foreign policy issues? Already in the fourth week after a tumultuous first three weeks in office, he and his team had retreated on their more extreme positions: on a “One China” policy in a renewed pledge to Xi Jinping; on the Iran nuclear agreement in a pledge to Federica Mogherini; and on the U.S. mutual defense pact with Japan in a pledge to Shinzō Abe. Toward Russia the language quickly hardened in the speeches of senior foreign and defense policy officials. Thus, early signs suggested that the radical departure implied by the President’s pre- and post-election comments would melt away once harsh reality and difficult choices set in. But who could say for sure?"

The essay is available in English and Russian translation here. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Kimberly Marten in Foreign Affairs and on NPR's "All Things Considered" on US-Russia relations and Rex Tillerson's Visit to Moscow

NPR's Ari Shapiro talked to Kimberly Marten (Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, and Director of the Harriman Institute's Program on U.S.-Russia Relations) ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Moscow. Marten, who believes that cooperation with Russia is possible after the airstrike on Syria, stated that "Russia also has an incentive to try to find some cooperation so that Putin can come out of this with a win for his domestic population and demonstrate that he is an important and equal player with the United States and that the United States is taking him seriously by making this visit."
You can find the interview and transcript here. 
You can also read an opinion piece by Marten in Foreign Affairs, where she argues that the Tillerson visit "actually achieved some success."
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Timothy Frye's "Property Rights and Property Wrongs" Published by Cambridge University Press

Timoth Frye (Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy) is the author of Property Rights and Property Wrongs: How Power, Institutions, and Norms Shape Economic Conflict in Russia (Cambridge University Press, March 2017). 

Secure property rights are central to economic development and stable government, yet difficult to create. Relying on surveys in Russia from 2000 to 2012, Timothy Frye examines how political power, institutions, and norms shape property rights for firms. Through a series of simple survey experiments, Property Rights and Property Wrongs explores how political power, personal connections, elections, concerns for reputation, legal facts, and social norms influence property rights disputes from hostile corporate takeovers to debt collection to renationalization. This work argues that property rights in Russia are better seen as an evolving bargain between rulers and rightholders than as simply a reflection of economic transition, Russian culture, or a weak state. The result is a nuanced view of the political economy of Russia that contributes to central debates in economic development, comparative politics, and legal studies.

Cambridge University Press, 2017


Monday, April 10, 2017

Kimberly Marten on PBS Newshour

Kimberly Marten, Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, and Director of the Harriman Institute's Program on U.S.-Russia Relations, appeared on PBS Newshour with Hari Sreenivasan. She argued that, despite all the noise, the recent U.S. airstrikes on a Syrian government airbase are unlikely to damage U.S.-Russian relations.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Padma Desai to Receive Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters

Padma Desai, Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor Emerita of Comparative Economic Systems, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters at Columbia University Commencement on May 17, 2017. Desai is a leading scholar of the Soviet Union, Russia, and Transition Economies. She was a pioneering female student in economics at Harvard University and received her Ph.D. there in 1960. She came to Columbia in 1980 after spending time at Delhi University and at the Harvard Russian Research Center. Over the course of her academic career she has contributed a robust body of scholarship and commentary including 15 books and monographs and numerous articles. Desai held the Gladys and Roland Harriman Professorship with considerable distinction for over two decades until her retirement in 2014. She was President of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies in 2001.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Valentina Izmirlieva Receives Columbia Distinguished Faculty Award

Valentina Izmirlieva, Professor of Slavic Languages and Chair of the Department of Slavic Languages, is the recipient of the Columbia Distinguished Faculty Award (2016-17). The award was created in 2005, when University Trustee Emeritus Gerry Lenfest ('58 LAW, '09 HON) made a gift to the University to establish a new category of awards honoring exceptional teaching in the arts and sciences. The awards are given annually to faculty of unusual merit, across a range of professional activities--including scholarship, university citizenship, and professional involvement--with a primary emphasis on the instruction and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students. 
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Harriman Institute Stands with CEU

On April 4, 2017, the Hungarian Parliament passed an amendment to the Hungarian national law on higher education that will severely restrict the operations of foreign universities in Hungary, particularly of Central European University (CEU). For the past twenty-five years, CEU has been instrumental in providing exceptional learning and research opportunities to the international academic community; it is currently the highest-ranking Hungarian university in the world. If this amendment is signed into law, it will make the operations of CEU in Hungary nearly impossible.

The Harriman Institute at Columbia University is a leading academic institution for the study of Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe with longstanding ties to CEU. Not only are some of our alumni on CEU’s faculty, but our faculty frequently collaborate with their colleagues at CEU, and CEU scholars frequently participate in Harriman events. We are extremely troubled by the passage of this bill and the threat it poses to the academic freedom of CEU and other higher learning institutions in Hungary. The amendment, proposed by a European Union member state, is a major setback not only for Hungarian higher education, but for academic freedom worldwide.

The Harriman Institute firmly believes that academic freedom, free inquiry, and freedom of expression should be the foundation of any higher learning institution. We view this amendment as an attack on our core values and urge the Hungarian Parliament to reconsider it.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Alexander Cooley Discusses Dictators Without Borders on RFE/RL

Alexander Cooley, Director, Harriman Institute; Claire Tow Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, discusses his new book, Dictators Without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia (Yale University Press, 2017), with co-author John Heathershaw, on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

"Central Asia often seems like a remote region. You don’t hear much about Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan playing roles in international affairs. There is an impression that the five countries are tucked away in the heart of the Eurasian landmass with only the most tenuous of ties to the world outside.

A new book, Dictators Without Borders: Power And Money In Central Asia, argues that this is far from the case, that the elites of these countries are, in fact, very well connected to the outside and are also very knowledgeable about laws and regulations in the world beyond Central Asia." Listen to the podcast here.