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Invited researcher William C. Wohlforth
Contract number
14.641.31.0002
Time span of the project
2018-2020
Head of the laboratory

As of 15.02.2021

5
Number of staff members
52
scientific publications
General information
Name of the project: Transformation of the system of international relations in the context of shift of the technological setup

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: д

Goals and objectives
Research directions: Meta-trends, international relations, evolution of the international system, the world order, new challenges and threats, scenario analysis and forecasting, big data analysis, shift of the technological setup

Project objective: Analysis and forecasting of threats to national security of Russia in the context of increase of conflict formation potential in international relations, conditions of regional instability in the presence of a shift in technological setup

The practical value of the study
  1. A typology has been developed for forecasting research in the field of international relations: we have introduced a distinction between «weak forecasts» (probabilistic predictions that arise as extrapolations based on of deductive nomothetic theories) and «strong forecasts» («ideographic» forecasts that imply the creation of scenarios of the possible development of events in particular situations with a specific set of participants);
  2. Modern tendencies of the development of propensity towards inter-state military conflicts have been analysed. As a result of the analysis, we have compiled a complex overview of the Russian vision of the future of war and military conflicts;
  3. We have operationalised the specifics of the impact of the anarchic structure of international relations on the logic of their historical development;
  4. We have prepared a basis for the creation of a software service to detect markers in the analysis of the foreign policy of a state using automated tools ensuring the collection, storage, primary processing, and split-level analysis of data;
  5. Our researchers have assessed the efficiency of the economic toolkit in the implementation of the policy of Russia in relation to Eastern European countries oriented towards integration with the European Union;
  6. Our researchers have determined the causes of the crisis of the modern western-central agenda of international development as well as the features of its perception in developing states (by the example of the BRICS group);
  7. The Laboratory has analysed the explanatory potential of the concept of war as the key propelling force of state-building to characterise the processes of the emergence of the countries of the post-Soviet region;
  8. We have analysed the development of American military development policy with respect to the missile defence programme after the end of the Cold War;
  9. We have compiled and presented short-term forecasts of the development of the international situation for 2019 («International threats 2019»), 2020 («International threats 2020»), and 2021 («International threats 2021»).

Implemented results of research:

As part of the Laboratory's work, we have staged periodic expert seminars on the key problems of international relations with the participation of members of the scientific community, the commercial sector, and the state authorities. The proceedings of the discussion found their reflection in the practical work of policy-forming and business communities of Russia, consistently receiving high appreciation from these parties.

Education and career development:

One Candidate of Science dissertation and three master's degree theses have been defended.

Organizational and structural changes: 

In January 2021, the Laboratory was incorporated into the structure of the Institute of International Studies (IIS) of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The IIS is the leading academic division of MGIMO that conducts fundamental research and implements applied expert evaluation and analytical projects in the field of international relations, provides expert assessment of internal affairs policy initiatives, and provides substantiation, publishes articles in highly-ranked Russian and foreign academic journals as well as publishes its own journals, shares expert evaluation reports on relevant international events with leading media, maintains the international discussion among experts and analysts. The institute works with major public governance bodies that form the foreign policy of Russia: the Executive Office of the President, the Security Council, Apparatus of the Government of Russia, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and others as well as with international organisations - the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

The incorporation of the Laboratory into the IIS is aimed at ensuring an efficient combination of existing international affairs competences with forward-looking methodologies of political problem analysis developed by the Laboratory.

Collaborations:

Over the course of the Laboratory's work, contacts have been established with leading foreign researchers of international affairs Martha Finnemore (professor at George Washington University), Deborah Larson (professor at the University of California, Los Angeles), and Peter Rutland (professor at Wesleyan University). The Laboratory's leading scientist professor William Wohlforth continues his collaboration with MGIMO within the implementation of research programmes of the university.

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Silaev N., Sushentsov A.
Strategic Security in Eurasia. Eurasia on the Edge: Managing Complexity / R. Sakwa, P. Dutkiewicz, F. Lukyanov (eds.). N.Y.: Lexington Books, 2018. Pp. 7–19.
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