Angela Stent

Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, Georgetown University

Putin’s World: The Dawn of the East and the World Political Order

About the Topic

Styled like the Davos World Economic Forum, Putin’s Valdai International Discussion Club annually assembles politicians, academics, and journalists to explore global themes, albeit through a Russian lens. The message from this year’s conference in Sochi, writes Stent, “The U.S.-led hegemonic world order is over, Pax Americana is dead and soon Russia, along with China, will lead the way in promoting a new, ‘democratic’ world order.” Having attended every gathering since its 2004 launch, Stent notes, “This year’s Valdai, unlike all previous meetings, ignored the West, focusing entirely on Russia, Asia, and the Middle East.” The conference ended on October 3. Barely two weeks later, Russian troops claimed American positions in Syria as the U.S. departed, richly rewarding Putin's Middle East focus. Why was the West so wrong after the Soviet collapse, believing Russia wanted to integrate with the West? How has Putin's Russia, with a GDP the size of Italy's, a declining population and excessive dependence on energy revenues, resurrected itself as a world player? Is there a more productive way for the West to deal with Russia?

About the Speaker

One of the West’s foremost Russia experts, Angela Stent is Director of Georgetown’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies. Previously, she served Republican and Democratic administrations, including as a national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council and as an advisor to NATO Supreme Allied Commanders Admiral James Stavridis and General Philip Breedlove. Her most recent book Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest (2019) won praise for its “coherent, compelling analysis of contemporary Russian behavior,” walking readers “through Moscow’s relations with every region in the world, avoiding the hysteria that warps discussion of the country.”