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Why "Globalization" Didn't Rescue Russia

Thursday, February 1, 2001

Russia has not lived up to its hype. After nine years of independence and tens of billions of dollars in international assistance — not to mention voluminous foreign advice — Russia is far from having met the expectations of a bright future so widespread in 1991, the time of the fall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union. Rather, Russia remains a poor, semi-authoritarian country — a considerable disappointment.

Boris Yeltsin’s surprise resignation just over a year ago rekindled long-frustrated hopes for rapid improvement. Instead of the ailing and erratic Yeltsin, who appeared to lack both the will and the political muscle to advance a radical reform agenda in his last years in office, Russia would have a younger, more vigorous leader backed by a newly supportive parliament. In fact, on Vladimir Putin’s first full day in office as president, President Clinton called the new Russian leader to tell him that he was "off to a good start" and that his appointment was "encouraging for democracy." Secretary of State Madeleine Albright soon said that she was impressed by his "can-do approach."

Despite this initial optimism from Clinton administration officials, however, Russia’s transformation under Putin has begun to look like one step forward and two steps back. While the country is experiencing modest economic growth, largely attributable to windfalls from high oil prices and a cheap currency, its political system and its foreign policy are increasingly troubling. The "dictatorship of law" proclaimed by the Russian president seems to be taking shape as simply a more effective version of the semi-authoritarian system created by Yeltsin; justice is still dispensed selectively and is used in full force only against political opponents of the regime. Internationally, Moscow seems to be strengthening its ties with former Soviet allies such as North Korea while reviving decades-old efforts to expand and exploit differences between Washington and European capitals.

Taking into account these realities, we must ask why Russia has still not met the expectations that so many held for its future. Were our expectations realistic? If not, why not? What should we do?

Great expectations

That 1992 — the first year of Russian independence — should be a year of high hopes is hardly surprising. After all, the last months of 1991 were enormously exciting: They saw the end of 70 years of the Soviet empire and produced the enduring and heroic image of Boris Yeltsin fighting for freedom atop a tank in front of the Russian parliament building. The fact that the events of 1991 took place just after those of 1989, when Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, contributed to a widespread sense that democracy was sweeping the globe.

But by the end of 1992, Russia was plagued with hyperinflation, sharp political conflict, and considerable human suffering. By the end of 1993, Yeltsin had illegally — by his own admission in his memoir, The Struggle for Russia (1994) — disbanded the Russian Supreme Soviet and written a new constitution granting vast powers to the country’s president, himself. The years 1994 and 1995 brought further troubling developments, most notably Russia’s first brutal war in Chechnya and the odious "loans-for-shares" privatization. Yet throughout this period, and well beyond it, great expectations persisted regarding the development of democracy, the market, and "partnership" with the United States. Why did these expectations endure?

Part of the reason is, of course, that Russia was indeed making some progress. Since independence, Russia has held two presidential elections and three parliamentary elections. Each of these elections has been largely free, though most have been far from fair. Moreover, though cynical perspectives on Russia’s underdeveloped democracy are widespread, many Russians have come to see elections as an essential component of their government’s political legitimacy. Russia also managed to conquer hyperinflation — though at a terrible social cost — and at least nominally privatized a substantial portion of its economy. Finally, Russia avoided armed conflicts with its new neighbors, a fact that was morally and strategically appealing to the West; the former USSR did not become Yugoslavia writ large. Taken together, these developments allowed those already convinced of Russia’s success to maintain their illusions.

Perhaps more important, however, was the fact that Russia’s transformation took place in an environment dominated by an exciting new paradigm: the theory of globalization. Probably best elaborated by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, the globalization thesis argues, in its simplest form, that the unstoppable flow of information across national borders is exposing a larger and larger share of the world’s population to the West’s prosperity. This creates domestic pressures for economic growth that can be met only with massive foreign investment which, in turn, depends upon the creation of political and economic institutions hospitable to a global "electronic herd" of investors. Not coincidentally, Friedman suggests, those very institutions also promote political democracy and market-based economics. Ultimately, because the electronic herd also dislikes the instability that results from interstate conflict, globalization also promotes peace among nations.

Though Friedman’s book on globalization, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, was not published until 1999, the fundamental tenets of the paradigm were already widely accepted — though not necessarily identified as such — by the early 1990s. In fact, they were clearly the foundation of the Clinton administration’s policy of democratic enlargement and its policy toward Russia in particular. In a September 1993 speech at Johns Hopkins’s School for Advanced International Studies outlining the "strategy of enlargement," National Security Advisor Anthony Lake summarized this thinking, noting that "democracy and market economics are ascendant in this new era" and arguing that "to the extent democracy and markets hold sway in other nations, our own nation will be more secure, more prosperous, and more influential, while the broader world will be more humane and more peaceful." The administration’s adoption of the globalization paradigm was evident not only in rhetoric but in action; less than one month after his inauguration, Clinton had already announced his intention to appoint a new undersecretary of state for Global Affairs with responsibility for a grab-bag of issues given heightened importance in the era of globalization, such as human rights, the environment, and narcotics trafficking.

The failure of shock therapy

The strategy developed to "globalize" Russia was known as "shock therapy." Its implementation began with the January 1, 1992 elimination of price controls on most goods. The objective of shock therapy was, in essence, to create a market economy in Russia as quickly as possible. This was to be achieved by freeing prices and liberalizing trade policies, which would stimulate competition; and by privatization, which would create private property with all its attendant behavioral incentives for enterprises. At the same time, it was essential to make the ruble convertible and ensure that its value remained relatively stable. This meant controlling inflation and, therefore, keeping tight control of currency emissions and government spending.

Successful economic reform was to create a new middle class that would become a powerful political constituency favoring the consolidation of economic and political reform in Russia. As Anthony Lake suggested, this would serve larger American interests by promoting peace between Russia and other democracies and, therefore, enhance American security.

Despite severe economic hardship and widespread dissatisfaction, which led to the replacement of acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar at the end of 1992, the Clinton administration quickly took up the banner of shock therapy upon entering office in 1993. In fact, administration officials applied heavy pressure to Boris Yeltsin to stick with the program throughout 1993, despite growing opposition in the Russian legislature. Only after Yeltsin’s forcible dissolution of the Supreme Soviet in October and the victory of Communist and nationalist parties in the State Duma elections that followed did Strobe Talbott, then the coordinator of U.S. policy toward Russia, admit that Russians needed "less shock and more therapy." Nevertheless, the administration continued for years to press for rapid privatization, tight monetary policy, and other key components of the shock therapy program.

In a highly critical 1999 review of the role of the United States and international financial institutions in Russia’s transition, former World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz suggests that the shock therapy approach, which he termed "the Washington Consensus," failed in Russia because it represented a fundamental misunderstanding of the reform process. He argued that policymakers adhered too strictly to neoclassical economic dogma and consequently gave little attention to the laws and institutions required for an effective market economy, to concepts such as corporate governance, or to the qualitative impact of their plans on Russia’s citizens. Russia would have been much better off, Stiglitz suggested, if it had been advised to take a more gradual, consensus-based, bottom-up approach to reform that developed at least some key institutions before the conduct of large-scale privatization programs.

The eventual outcome of Russia’s reform process is all the sadder when one takes into account the fact that from the vantage of 1992, Russia was supposed to be an "easy" case for globalization. At the time, in addition to having plentiful natural resources and a highly educated population, Russia was blessed by a vibrant free media, a leadership determined to pursue radical economic reform and rapid integration into the global economy, and a population eager to soak up American culture in any and every possible form. After a decade, Russia should have been well on the way to becoming a prosperous and friendly democracy. The fact that a country having so many advantages has failed to follow the course projected by globalization theory should raise serious questions.

This is not to say that the globalization model is not useful; after all, it is readily apparent that the world has changed in fundamental ways in the past 10 years and that the globalization paradigm can explain much of what has happened. What is also clear, however, is that it does not explain everything — and that it can easily lead policy makers astray.

Russian exceptions

The Russian case highlights four serious flaws in the globalization paradigm that facilitated unduly high expectations for Russia’s transformation. First of all, domestic pressures for change have not been nearly as strong in Russia as globalization seems to suggest they should be. While "new Russians" in Moscow and some other major cities rapidly became conspicuous consumers, most Russians just wanted what they called a "normal" life and did not feel particular yearnings to share in America’s post-industrial way of life. The continuing prevalence of nostalgia for the modest comforts of the Brezhnev era demonstrates that despite the wide dissemination of American and Western films and television programming — and the easy availability of other information about life abroad — most Russians are not yet so driven by a desire for specialty coffees, computer games, and sport utility vehicles to press for political or economic liberalization. Russians simply have not adopted Western lifestyles as the standard by which to judge their own.

In fact, a small but significant minority of Russians — including many in the first generation coming of age in the immediate post-Soviet period — are overtly hostile to American consumerism. Consider the popularity of a song called "Kill the Yankees," which is not only a symbol of growing anti-American sentiment in Russia but a call to "kill the values of liberal, post-industrial society," according to its author. The communal legacy of pre-Soviet rural Russia — and the storied ability of the Russian people to suffer any hardship — also limit pressure on the government to reform.

Second, because some investment will make its way to Russia even if the country makes only minimal political and economic progress, the economic pressure for reform is also not as significant as globalization predicts. To begin with, Russia’s abundant natural resources and large domestic market will draw investment from large multinational corporations unwilling to risk being shut out of Russia in the future. Thus Friedman’s "electronic herd" is not the only source of investment capital for Russia. Rather, firms producing goods and services (as opposed to portfolio investors) need to make a certain investment to establish the business infrastructure and relationships necessary to succeed in Russia if and when its overall economic conditions improve sufficiently to merit full-scale efforts. Unlike investors in hedge funds, for example, they cannot simply decide on a particular day to invest in the country and push a button to make it happen. Moreover, because the potential profits in the energy sector in particular are quite substantial, diversified global firms have been willing to take risks.

As a related matter, the reality of the global economy is that multinational corporations compete more effectively when they enjoy economies of scale in both production and distribution. As a result, large multinationals must compete with one another for both global markets and substantial and diverse productive capacity. This similarly encourages modest investment in Russia — a market of 150 million — even in the face of continuing economic difficulties and political uncertainty. The fundamental condition required for investment of this type — and for the "place holding" investment described above — is predictability, not economic liberalism or even necessarily the rule of law.

Another reason Russia is likely to win investment even in the absence of dramatic progress is more unique: The country’s massive capital flight during the 1990s virtually ensures a return of funds (now "foreign"). Again, the return of these funds does not require the consolidation of democracy or market reform; it demands only a sense of security that the state will not seek to recapture lost assets. This is, of course, a limited pool of money, some of which may already have been spent on consumption or invested in illiquid assets. But over the short term, it could provide a significant amount of capital for the Russian economy.

Finally, of course, for much of its post-independence history, Russia has been able to substitute massive multilateral credits for investment. This, too, is attributable to conditions specific to Russia: Because of its ominous nuclear arsenal, Russia was considered "too big to fail." While this new form of "nuclear blackmail" is not accessible to most countries struggling with the global economy, some — such as North Korea — have been particularly successful at exploiting fear of their weakness to encourage foreign assistance. Vladimir Putin’s Russia has, of course, pointedly indicated that it no longer requires credits from international financial institutions (though Moscow is eager to reschedule Soviet-era debt).

It is true that none of these sources of investment are likely to provide sufficient funds to support meaningful long-term economic growth in Russia. Moreover, these sources of investment for Russia have no relevance for other nations struggling to cope in the global economy. In Russia, however, the combined total investment from these sources may well reduce pressure on the government sufficiently to permit the leadership to muddle along for some time.

A third flaw in the globalization paradigm that has been prominent in the Russian case is the lack of a persuasive relationship between economic reform and democratization. In fact, Russia’s radical economic reformers were more often than not quite willing to cut corners in their pursuit of democracy to ensure the success of their economic agenda. Yeltsin’s forcible dissolution of the Supreme Soviet after months of conflict over his economic plans in 1993 is the prime example; the regular circumvention of the Russian Duma through "reform by decree" is another.

Developments in Vladimir Putin’s Russia also raise questions about the inevitability with which democratization will follow economic reform. The economic goals identified by Putin’s government seem to be precisely those recommended by advocates of the globalization paradigm; yet, the Kremlin’s political program seems increasingly authoritarian. Almost immediately after his inauguration, Putin began a two-front war on the only practical political checks on his power — Russia’s regional governors and the so-called oligarchs. Although his success against the governors remains mixed, the Russian president seems to have defeated the country’s two leading "opposition" oligarchs, Vladimir Gusinsky and Boris Berezovsky, and to have tamed their media empires.

The Kremlin has also cracked down on Russia’s nascent nongovernmental sector. This has included renewed pressure on religious groups such as the Salvation Army, which has been denied renewal of its registration in Moscow, and on environmental groups. The pressure makes clear the ultimate limits on the effectiveness of NGOs in Russia, even well-financed Western groups. It also suggests that globalization proponents who hope that NGOs can be somehow used to outflank the Kremlin and work directly among the Russian people to promote democracy and Western values are likely to be disappointed.

No less disappointing to globalization theorists may be the fact that if Putin succeeds at fundamental economic reforms, Russia’s economy could become sufficiently attractive and predictable to draw considerable foreign investment without further democratization. Many Russians already advocate this so-called "Chilean model" for their country.

The final area in which the globalization paradigm fails in the Russian case is the linkage between prosperity and democracy, on one hand, and peace on the other. The notion that democracies do not fight one another formed the core of the Clinton administration’s justification for promoting democracy in Russia. President Clinton made this case early, in a 1993 speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, his first major assay of Russia policy: "If we can help Russia to remain increasingly democratic, we can leave an era of standoff behind us and explore expanding horizons of progress and peace," the president said. This idea became a regular refrain of senior officials in his administration.

The contention that democracies are less likely to fight major wars with one another than other states has often been the basis for unrealistic expectations of harmony and cooperation. The early years of the U.S.-Russian relationship — during which Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev often gave considerably greater attention to "universal human values" than to narrow Russian interests — contributed to these illusions by creating a sense that Washington and Moscow no longer differed on fundamental issues and that Russia would acquiesce to U.S. wishes when it counted. The idea that global communications were homogenizing culture and values played a similar role in facilitating expectations of cooperative relations with Russia.

Nevertheless, it has become clear that the United States and Russia have profoundly different perspectives on a variety of issues ranging from NATO’s proper role to humanitarian intervention, national missile defense, and Caspian Basin pipeline routes. At a fundamental level, Russia is also clearly unwilling to be cast as America’s obedient junior partner. As a result, even if Russia were instantly transformed into a prosperous democracy, the U.S.-Russian relationship would remain tense and complex. In fact, a case can be made that a democratic Russia might take an even more assertive stance toward America: A foreign policy responsive to Russian public opinion would have to take into account the fact that some 85 percent of Russians now believe the U.S. is trying to dominate the world. A policy based on this notion would be unlikely to lead to the harmonious relations many globalization advocates seem to expect.

A broader problem is that peace is more than the absence of major interstate conflicts. A successful, democratic Russia could compromise very important and even vital American interests without engaging in direct hostilities of any kind. Continued Russian provision of nuclear and other sensitive technologies to Iran is an obvious example of how this could happen; diplomatic support for Saddam Hussein is another.

No less important, even if one accepts that democracies are less likely to fight wars with one another than other states, there is no evidence, as Christopher Lane argued in "Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace" (International Security, Fall 1994), that they are less likely to engage in armed conflict with nondemocracies. Taking into account the small number of consolidated democracies among Russia’s immediate neighbors, a democratic Russia is hardly a guarantee against local aggression.

American advice

In addition to contributing to unrealistic expectations of Russia’s transformation, the globalization paradigm also influenced American policy profoundly. First, as suggested earlier, it contributed to a sense of historical inevitability that affected the tone of American advice to Russia. In essence, senior U.S. officials told their Russian counterparts — and the Russian people — that the world was changing and Russia could only succeed by being on the right side of history. This was perhaps best illustrated by President Clinton himself in a September 1998 address to students at the Moscow State University for International Relations. Speaking just two weeks after Russia’s August 17 financial crisis, he repeatedly told Russians that their country must follow the "imperatives of the global marketplace" and the "rules of the game" to succeed. While it is certainly correct that Russia cannot expect sustained economic growth in the absence of fundamental reforms, the president’s speech was offensive to many Russians. Even an American journalist generally sympathetic to the administration noted the "lecturing tone" of Clinton’s remarks.

Importantly, the sense of inevitability facilitated by the globalization paradigm was moving in a particular direction: toward the American model. America’s economic success and preeminent place in the international system spawned a considerable literature in the 1990s arguing that the particular political, economic, and social arrangements established by the United States are the best suited to a globalizing world. A practical consequence of this renewed pride in "the American way" was a remarkable willingness to offer advice to Russia on even the most specific topics. One excellent example of this attitude is an April 1997 letter from Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers to First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais. The letter, which found its way into a Russian newspaper, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, included detailed policy advice for the country’s newly reorganized government, including tactical suggestions for winning approval of a new tax code in the State Duma and recommendations for restructuring Russia’s value-added tax (VAT).

The American propensity to offer guidance to Russia quickly became a sore point in the U.S.-Russian relationship. Today, the U.S. is widely viewed in Russia as an arrogant power that routinely interferes in the internal affairs of other sovereign nations and ought to be taken down a peg. In October 2000, Russian nationalists in the State Duma drafted a resolution demanding the right to observe America’s then forthcoming presidential elections. The unsuccessful draft expressed "profound concern about the danger of falsification of the results of the U.S. presidential elections, particularly in Texas, California, and other territories that were forced to join the United States." (They expressed no specific concern over Florida.) Soon after it became clear that the election outcome would be murky for some time, President Putin himself wryly offered the assistance of the chairman of Russia’s Central Electoral Commission.

The second consequence of the globalization paradigm for U.S. policy toward Russia was an undue emphasis on economics over politics. It seemed as if the U.S. government believed that American economic advice was so important for Russia’s future that the means through which it was implemented were secondary. Thus, ironically, the United States was more or less openly allied with radical "reformers" prepared to use almost any political expedients necessary to impose their preferred economic policies.

Taking into account the sense of inevitability facilitated by the globalization paradigm, it is not surprising that top Russian and American officials developed strong working relationships with their counterparts. In addition to holding similar policy views, both sides seemed to believe that they collectively knew what was best for Russia — even if the country’s citizens and their elected representatives in the legislature could not recognize it. Both also appeared somewhat insensitive to the social costs of their policy preferences.

It was thus that the "means" of Russia’s transformation — economic reform — overtook the ends, democracy. The primacy of economics was apparent at the most fundamental level in the fact that assistance to Russia was conditioned not politically but economically and was managed not by the Group of Seven, for example, but by the International Monetary Fund. As a result, large multilateral credits continued to flow into Russia notwithstanding its brutal 1994-96 war in Chechnya and its unfair 1996 presidential campaign, which was characterized by lavish use of state funds for campaign expenditures and open manipulation of regional officials and the media. This could happen only because Russia’s progress was evaluated primarily in terms of economic indicators — such as the inflation rate or the size of the country’s budget deficit relative to its GDP — rather than the quality of its democracy. Russia’s leadership was in fact rewarded for its use of undemocratic methods to achieve macroeconomic targets.

The emphasis on economics over politics also contributed to the administration’s pressure on Russia for rapid reform whether or not it was politically sustainable. In fact, rapid reform was already quite unpopular by the end of 1992; parliamentary pressure to slow economic change at that time led to the replacement of acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar with Viktor Chernomyrdin in December. Despite this warning sign, however, the incoming Clinton administration pushed Boris Yeltsin to move quickly, and even endorsed his armored assault on the Supreme Soviet in October 1993 as a "democratic" solution to Yeltsin’s disagreement with the parliament, as Strobe Talbott characterized it in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It is difficult to imagine that Russia could be worse off today if Yeltsin had opted to work with the Supreme Soviet to develop a sustainable consensus on reform policy.

The final irony is that the economic policies that the Clinton administration urged the Kremlin to implement were in fact intended to serve political ends. The administration was not attempting to promote Russian economic success for its own sake, but rather to facilitate the development of a genuine middle class that would support and consolidate democracy. Tragically, neither objective was served.

Realistic expectations

In view of the undue expectations generated by the globalization paradigm — and the policy distortions it introduced — the next administration would do well to reevaluate the fundamental tenets of American foreign policy over the past eight years. In the Russian case, this means first and foremost developing expectations for Russia that are more realistic than those suggested by globalization theorists. The analysis above suggests at least four principles that must be accepted: that widespread popular pressure for economic or political reform is unlikely; that economic pressure for reform may be attenuated for some time; that even if Russia turns around, expectations for Russian democracy should remain modest at best; and that Russian foreign policy is likely to remain focused on the assertive (even if cautious) pursuit of Russian interests whether or not Russia achieves democracy.

More broadly, it is clear that a substantial effort must be made to undo perceptions of American arrogance, which are hardly limited to Russia. The first step must be an end to unsolicited advice to foreign governments on managing their own affairs, except of course in extreme cases such as genocide. The U.S. can and should explain what it will and will not support, but should not presume to tell others what policies best advance their own interests.

Similarly, the U.S. must give greater attention to the development of Russian democracy. Whether Russia is democratic — or at least semi-democratic, with leaders constrained by the rule of law and modest checks and balances — is much more important than how many enterprises remain under state control or what level of subsidies they receive. Only democracy can place significant and lasting constraints on Russia’s leaders. This should not suggest further intensive American involvement in Russian affairs; the United States should simply communicate clearly that Russia will not be treated like a democracy if it does not act like one.

Finally, to the extent that the globalization paradigm is valid, it describes an international system dominated by the United States and its values at almost every level. It is a system in which Russia — with a weak and moderately sized economy, a culture that has modest regional influence at best, and a minuscule number of Internet connections — cannot hope to be a truly major player for some time. Thus, if Russia is to embrace globalization, its citizens must not only implement difficult reforms and open themselves to the outside world, but also radically alter their national self-image. Status as a former superpower means little in an increasingly interconnected world. To succeed in this environment, Russia needs to begin to develop its own hype — that is, to find its own role in the system — rather than striving to satisfy the expectations of others.

The key is to reconcile Russia’s ambitions as a major power with the reality of its current condition. Unfortunately, the Clinton administration often bent over backwards to give Russia a role it had not yet won on merit. This was most obviously the case with Russian membership in the exclusive G-7 at a time when the country was neither economically advanced nor a real democracy. The subsequent collapse of the Russian economy — and the new war in Chechnya — have further weakened Russia’s case that it is an equal partner to the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Canada. Catering to Russia in this fashion serves only to make its process of self-definition more difficult.

Nevertheless, some of President Putin’s early remarks have been encouraging; he has been blunt with the Russian people about their country’s economic troubles and the constraints they place upon Russia’s role in the world. A pragmatic approach to Russia’s situation would use Russia’s strengths, such as its natural resources, its educated workforce, and its success with certain advanced technologies (without proliferating dangerous technologies), to pull the rest of its economy into the twenty-first century. This would require difficult economic decisions, but could allow Russia to move from a role essentially as a regional power with a considerable nuclear arsenal to a real place at the table as a major power. It could also give Russia a sufficient stake in the system to moderate Russian behavior.

At the same time, the global system must bend somewhat to accommodate the diverse cultures and values of Russia and other key states. The single force to which the globalization paradigm may be most vulnerable is backlash from countries and social groups that believe they are being excluded or left behind. A Russia that does not find a satisfactory place in the global system could threaten the entire edifice through destabilizing behavior – particularly if China, Iran, or other major states similarly uncomfortable with the globalization paradigm should join the effort. This is unlikely to mean a new Cold War or a global ideological struggle; Russia can afford neither. However, taking into account the enormous degree to which the international economy depends upon stability and predictability, provocative Russian behavior — again, especially in combination with others — could have a profound effect upon international markets and, therefore, on the system as a whole. Significantly, this does not require any kind of grand strategic alliance; limited tactical cooperation among Russia and other key states could be sufficient to threaten important American interests.

How would the world oil market react to a successful Iranian nuclear test made possible by Russian assistance? What if the test were followed by a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood defended by Russia and China in the United Nations Security Council? How would financial markets react to an Asian arms race facilitated by desperate Russian sales of missiles and missile technology to keep a still-struggling economy afloat? Would tottering Japanese banks survive the massive new wave of bad debt that could follow? What if energy markets and financial markets were stressed in this manner at nearly the same time?

These questions underscore the impact that globalization has on the international system as well as the dangers it presents — particularly if it is poorly understood. They also demonstrate why facilitating Russia’s efforts to find a place in the system must be a priority for the next administration.