INSOR Russia: Institute of Contemporary Development
Updated June 28, 2019

Igor Yurgens: Russia Looks to Its Future

February 8, 2012

INSOR Chairman Igor Yurgens delivered the annual John Erickson Lecture, which was organized by Edinburgh University’s Princess Dashkova Centre. In his lecture, ‘Modernisation in Russia: Things to Come, Things to Overcome’, Professor Yurgens gave an overview of Russia’s recent history, concentrating on the Medvedev presidency since 2008 and the consequences of Vladimir Putin’s probable return to the Presidency after March 2012.

Arguing that Russia’s main problems are resource dependency, corruption and the pervasive legacy of autocracy, he contended that the solution was a modernisation of the political and economic system, including the expansion of democratic procedures and citizen involvement.

While expressing disappointment at Mr Medvedev’s decision to stand aside for the return of Mr Putin, and strongly critical of aspects of Putin’s rule, Professor Yurgens argued that the recent electoral protests were the sign of an emerging Russian middle class that will continue to develop and articulate demands for peaceful democratic reform and overall modernisation.

The full text of the lecture can be found here. Igor Yurgens also sat for an interview with Dr Luke March, Deputy Director of the Princess Dashkova Centre, which can be viewed here.