Russian Communication Association

Виртуальное сообщество Российской Коммуникативной Ассоциации (РКА)

Russian Politics Group (APSA Related Group)

Response to last year’s announcement of the formation of a Russian politics group within the American Political Science Association (APSA) has been resoundingly positive. We received just short of 100 expressions of interest. The group is now officially registered as an APSA Related Group (RPG)

We had hoped to move quickly to get the group up and running. However, in light of the troubled state of relations between Russia and the United States, it seemed advisable to proceed cautiously, and consult broadly. At the forthcoming Annual Meeting of the APSA, there will be only one RPG panel, an organizational meeting, and informal consultations.

JOURNAL ON RUSSIAN PUBLIC POLICY: The Policy Studies Organization has proposed that the RPG launch a journal on public policy in Russia, as part of their series of public policy journals. This project will be discussed at the forthcoming APSA Annual Meeting. Let me know if you are interested in participating in such a journal, and send any thoughts you may have about what directions it should take.

APSA PANEL: ROUND TABLE ON “RUSSIA: A NORMAL COUNTRY”: In 2003, Andrei Schleiffer and Daniel Treisman published an article entitled “A Normal Country,” in which they argued that, after a tumultuous transition, Russia had finally become a normal country While Schleiffer and Treisman thesis seemed commonsensical to some, others took strong issue with it. Stephen Rosefielde replied with rejoinder entitled “An Abnormal Country” it should be interesting to return to such issues in light of developments since the debate sparked by Schleiffer and Treisman, Does the dominant paradigm in post-Soviet studies of Russia take for granted that Russia is an abnormal country?


1. Organization of panels: RPG has been allocated one panel at the 2014 Annual Meeting this month. Depending on attendance, it may be allocated more panels at future Annual Meetings. The group can be involved in more panels by cross-listing with Program Divisions, Organized Sections, and other Related Groups.

2. Plenary sessions with well-known experts and/or high-level Russian officials and U.S. officials who deal with Russia: RPG can recommend to the APSA Program Committee plenary speakers who would be of interest to the broader political science community. Examples might be: Ambassador Michael McFaul, Ambassador Jack Matlock, Dmitry Trenin, Dmitry Simes, Condoleeza Rice, Thomas Graham, Fyodor Lukyanov, the Russian Ambassador to the United States or to the United Nations.

3. Receptions: Sponsorship would be needed, but this might be a sensitive issue in light of the current state of U.S.-Russia relations. This needs to be discussed.

4. Working groups: A working group is a seminar integrated with the APSA Annual Meeting. It draws on the meeting presentations for content and focuses on a single topic or theme. A volunteer coordinator, who is expected to facilitate discussion, but not lecture on it, leads the group. Participants meet at the outset of the annual meeting and collectively develop a list of panels related to their topic that they will attend, convene during the meeting to discuss the panels and their own work and meet at the end of the meeting for a wrap-up session.

6. Short courses: APSA offers short courses sponsored and organized by APSA organized sections, related groups, and other non-APSA affiliated organizations. They are held on the Wednesday prior to the start of the annual meeting. Short courses are half- or full-day sessions that provide diverse opportunities for professional development and offer attendees the chance to connect with scholars from a range of backgrounds.

7. Floating group: Following the example of some Research Committees of IPSA, RPG could meet in other settings. It could meet concurrently with other associations, such as IPSA, ISA, ASEEES, AHA, АСА, and meetings of foreign associations. It could organize conferences and symposia in cooperation with universities and other academic institutions.

8. Cooperation with the Russian institutions: Political Science Association (RAPN) the Russian Society of Political Scientists (ROP) and other Russian organizations and academic institutions. An RPG panel will

9. Liaison between non-Russia specialists and Russian colleagues: Within the framework of the APSA-RAPN inter-association agreement, RPG could help APSA members who are not Russia specialists to establish contact with Russian political scientists working in their fields of specialization.
10. Web site:


Let me know if you would be interested in participating in discussions relating to the development of the RPG, if you have thoughts about the group, and if you are interested in a leadership or organizational role in the group.

Fred Eidlin, provisional organizer. 519-841-3469

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