2017 Plenary 5: Rapprochement with Russia: Post-Putin Prep

Was 1989 the last good year? The Berlin Wall crumbled, dictators fell and communism ended across Europe. Fukuyama predicted the ‘end of history’ as liberal democracies would become the world’s de facto system of government and many agreed. Today, democracy is showing cracks and tyrants consolidate power. How did we get it so wrong? Panelists discussed Russia’s active role in the post-Cold War world in an aim to set the record straight. All agreed that Putin has been waging a cyber war with the West, undermining its institutions, while waging a real war in Georgia and Ukraine. Putin’s shadow looms large over NATO members, particularly Poland and the Baltic States, who continue to beef up defences against the Russian threat. With Russia’s intervention in its neighbourhood and beyond and a presidential election in 2018, uncertainty remains as to whether or not 1989 was truly the last good year.