|Monday 11 September|
In 1991, the Cold War ended with (almost) no shots fired. Thirty-one years later - in 2022 - war returned to Europe. In both cases, developments in Soviet and now Russian domestic politics played a central role in bringing about these outcomes. But what do we mean by 'domestic politics'? I will argue for a broad conception, where a combination of changing domestic institutional dynamics and identity narratives empower individual agency, thus leading to unexpected, large-scale change. The Soviet leader in 1991 - Mikhail Gorbachev - chose peace, while the Russian leader in 2022 - Vladimir Putin - chose war. Why?