What will the next generation of Russian leaders be like? How will they regard the United States, democracy, free speech, and immigration? What do they think of their current leaders? And what sorts of tactics will they bring to international negotiating tables, political and otherwise? No Illusions provides an engaging, intimate, and unprecedented window onto the mindsets of the next generation of leaders in Russian politics, business, and economics. In it, Ellen Mickiewicz, one of the world's foremost experts on Russian media, politics and culture, draws on interviews with students in Russia's three most elite universities, the training grounds for all of the nation's leadership. Allowing these students to speak in their own words, she shares their thoughts on international relations, the domestic and international media, democracy, and their government. She also shows how their total immersion in the world of the internet - an immersion that sets them apart from the current generation of Russian leadership and much of the rest of the country - frames the way that they think and affects their trust in their leaders, the media, and their colleagues.
They view the world around themselves with soberness and deep skepticism. Their worldviews are complex and often contradictory, reflecting complicated personalities who are adaptable, yet also subject to much internal strife. Many plan for future careers in politics while expressing ambivalence about the political process; they proclaim cosmopolitan worldviews and deeply xenophobic attitudes at the same time; they have favorable views of democracy, but not of the American model; they are shrewd critics of government propaganda and yet clearly have absorbed residue of Cold War paranoia. Mickiewicz also looks at the nation's recent protests and nascent political movements to show how they came about and to consider what promise they might hold for a more democratic Russia. She profiles several of Russia's up-and-coming leaders, including charismatic and controversial activist and politician Aleksei Navalny, perhaps one of the more formidable threats to the Putin regime. As this book shows, the next generation of Russian leaders will almost certainly hold a worldview different from the current one, but it is not likely to be a worldview that readily embraces American democracy.
No Illusions is a thought-provoking and often surprising glimpse into the future of Russia's foreign relations.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc