Merry Visits Russian Far East

Related Categories: Democracy and Governance; International Economics and Trade; Russia
Related Expert: E. Wayne Merry

AFPC Senior Associate Wayne Merry participated in a major conference on “Asia-Pacific Realities, Perspectives, Projects: XXI Century” at Russia’s Far Eastern State University in Vladivostok, from November 29th to the 31st, 2002.

This university is one of six in Russia supported by the Carnegie Corporation, the MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Institute as centers for international contacts.  Far Eastern State University is one of the most vibrant of Russia’s contemporary universities, having moved beyond the Soviet intellectual mode while preserving the best of Russian pedagogical traditions.

The conference brought together eighty expert participants from six Pacific Rim countries for intense discussions of Russia’s future in the East Asian region.  The quality and intellectual freedom of the proceedings were notable, with Russian participants displaying considerable candor in addressing their country’s problems.  Mr. Merry presented a grim assessment of Russia’s prospects as an Asian power, drawn from his forthcoming AFPC monograph, Russia and Chinain Asia: Changing Great Power Roles.

While in the Russian Far East, Mr. Merry also led a seminar on the U.S. role in the contemporary world to the senior students at the Vladivostok Institute for International Relations.

Far Eastern State University plans to host follow-on conferences on the same general topic every two years, with online roundtable debates in the intervening periods.  AFPC hopes to continue its’ involvement with Far Eastern State University as part of its work on Russian-Chinese relations and regional security in Asia.