U.S.-Russia relations have reached one of their lowest points since the end of the Cold War. Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, public distrust, and the West’s response in the form of sanctions and NATO’s reconsidered stance towards Russia are all signs of a growing rift in bilateral relations. This talk examines potential explanations for recent tensions—including the nature of great power politics, U.S. policy towards Russia, and Russian domestic politics—and considers the implications of deteriorating relations for U.S. policy.
Michael McFaul is professor of political science, director and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-12), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-14). McFaul has authored several books including Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can (2009); Transitions to Democracy: A Comparative Perspective (with Kathryn Stoner, 2013); Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (with James Goldgeier, 2003); and Russia’s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin (2002). His current research interests include American foreign policy, great power relations, and the relationship between democracy and development. McFaul received his B.A. in international relations and Slavic languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European studies from Stanford University in 1986. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed his D. Phil. in international relations at Oxford University in 1991.
Sponsors: WCED, CREES