Abstract: Russia’s ability to challenge Europe and the West will depend in no small measure on the performance of its economy. Dr. Anders Åslund will discuss his book, Russia’s Crony Capitalism. The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy. The book explores how Vladimir Putin has consolidated his rule over Russia, including by appointing close associates as heads of state enterprises and securing control of the Federal Security Service and judiciary, enriching his business friends from Saint Petersburg in the process with preferential government deals. Thus, Putin has created a super wealthy and loyal plutocracy that owes its existence to his brand of authoritarianism. Dr. Åslund assesses Putin’s personal wealth and discusses what this system means for Russia and Russian power.
Anders Åslund is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He is a leading specialist on East European and post-Soviet economies and the author of 15 books, most recently Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy. Dr. Åslund has worked as an economic adviser to several governments, including the Russian and Ukrainian governments. He has also been a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics and was the founding director of the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford.