Russia’s dependence on its oil and gas wealth is much deeper than generally recognized. Since their privatization in the 1990s, a small number of oligarchs have taken control of the economy, and the fates of millions of Russians. Vladimir Putin’s system of personal protection has been successful in keeping peace among these oligarchs and Russia’s industrial heartland but can it continue?
In Russia’s Addiction, Clifford Gaddy and Barry Ickes argue that the country’s addiction to oil and gas are a comparable to a physiological compulsion the country understands that it is destroying itself by continuing down this road, but is unable to stop. They investigate the country’s dependence on oil, and how Putin manages to run his corrupt system, focusing on keeping oligarchs happy and expecting their full support in return. And they ask the important question: What will happen to this system when Putin is gone?
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Clifford Gaddy, an economist specializing in Russia, is a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program's Center on the United States and Europe. He is a co-founder and senior scientific advisor of the joint Russian-American Center for Research on International Financial and Energy Security, based at Penn State University, USA. He is the co-author of Bear Traps on Russia’s Road to Modernization (Routledge, 2013). His earlier books include The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia Out in the Cold (Brookings Institution Press, 2003); Russia’s Virtual Economy (Brookings Institution Press, 2002); The Price of the Past: Russia's Struggle with the Legacy of a Militarized Economy (Brookings Institution Press, 1996); and Open for Business: Russia’s Return to the Global Economy(Brookings Institution Press, 1992). Gaddy is also the co-author of the recently released second edition of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (Brookings Institution Press, 2015).Gaddy earned his doctorate in economics from Duke University, USA. He has held teaching and research positions at Duke, Georgetown University, and Johns Hopkins University, USA. He has traveled widely in Russia and been a guest scholar at various research institutes in the country, including the Institute for Economic Forecasting in Moscow, the Kostroma Agricultural Institute, and the Perm Technology Research Center. In the mid-1990s, he was an advisor to the Russian finance ministry and regional governments on issues of fiscal federalism for the U.S. Government’s Tax Reform Oversight Project for Russia.
Barry Ickes is a Professor of Economics and Associate Head, Department of Economics, The Pennsylvania State University, USA. Ickes is also a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; Director, Center for Research on International Financial and Energy Security, Penn State; Chair of the Research Committee, New Economic School in Moscow; and the President of the American Friends of the New Economic School in Moscow.
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