Editor’s note: This year’s Gaidar Economic Forum featured a panel on global transformations, with statements by Wolfgang Streeck, Ho-Fung Hung, Mishaal Al-Gergawi, and Monica Prasad. We are pleased to share their written statements in full. You can also watch the panel on You Tube.
Introductory Remarks: A Russian Twist on Davos
New York University Abu Dhabi
The Gaidar Economic Forum in Moscow is a splendid occasion to practice the ethnography of ruling elites. Every January it convenes a crowd of several hundred people including acting and former politicians, central bankers, business journalists, corporate executives, provincial governors, and us, the academic ‘experts’. What makes it different from the bigger event in Davos is, of course, the peculiarity of Russian politics: both the awkward international marginalization of a former superpower and the long-running internal division of Russian elites into liberal modernizers and hardliners. Yet these conventional labels stand for more complex historical genealogies that one might think.