Assessment of the state of Russian studies in the US on behalf of ASEEES
(August 14, 2015)
Current tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine and other issues have prompted discussions in the media and in policymaking circles about the state of expertise on Russia in the United States. Some observers argue that since the collapse of the Soviet Union the quantity and quality of Russia-related research and graduate training at US-based universities have declined and also that American perceptions of Russia remain stuck in a Cold War frame, leaving the American public and government poorly informed about contemporary Russia. However, there has been little or no concrete data that can be used to assess these arguments.
ASEEES commissioned a study, with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, to assess the state of the research and graduate training on Russia in USbased academic institutions. The study, which was carried out January-April 2015, included the following components: an institutional survey of 36 US-based universities that provide graduate-level training in Russian studies; an individual survey of 660 researchers who have conducted work on Russia during the last five years; qualitative interviews of nine current and former US government officials and scholars who work in think tanks, foundations, and networks that focus on Russia in Washington DC; and qualitative case studies of four institutions recognized to be among the top centers for graduate training in Russiarelated research. The full report on the results of the study is now available on the ASEEES website. This article summarizes the main findings and conclusions
[this article also appeared at http://www.ponarseurasia.org/article/assessment-state-russian-studies-us-behalf-aseees]