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Rival Power: Russia in Southeast Europe

Hosted by the LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe

OLD 3.21, Old Building, LSE Campus, United Kingdom

Speakers

Dr Dimitar Bechev

Dr Dimitar Bechev

Research Fellow, CSEEES, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Tim Judah

Tim Judah

Balkans correspondent, The Economist

Chair

Professor James Ker-Lindsay

Professor James Ker-Lindsay

Professor of Politics and Policy, St Mary's University; Senior Visiting Fellow, LSEE

LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe invites you to the book launch of Rival Power: Russia in Southeast Europe, by Dr Dimitar Bechev, Research Fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and former Visiting Fellow at LSEE.

Join us for an evening discussion exploring Russia’s role in Southeast Europe (Balkans, Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey) @ LSEE - All Welcome!

Copies of the book will be made available by the publisher with a special discount on the night. Please fill out the attached discount flyer if you would like to make an order

Rival Power: Russia in Southeast Europe - A nuanced and comprehensive study of the political dynamics between Russia and key countries in Southeast Europe

Is Russia threatening to disrupt more than two decades’ of E.U. and U.S. efforts to promote stability in post-communist Southeast Europe? Politicians and commentators in the West say, “yes.” With rising global anxiety over Russia’s political policies and objectives, Dimitar Bechev provides the only in-depth look at this volatile region.

Deftly unpacking the nature and extent of Russian influence in the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey, Bechev argues that both sides are driven by pragmatism and opportunism rather than historical loyalties. Russia is seeking to assert its role in Europe’s security architecture, establish alternative routes for its gas exports—including the contested Southern Gas Corridor—and score points against the West. Yet, leaders in these areas are allowing Russia to reinsert itself to serve their own goals. This urgently needed guide analyzes the responses of regional NATO members, particularly regarding the annexation of Crimea and the Putin-Erdogan rift over Syria.

Dr Dimitar Bechev is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. He is also a research fellow at the Center of Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the director of the European Policy Institute, a think-tank based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Dr Bechev has published extensively, in both academic and policy format, on EU foreign relations, the politics of Turkey and the Balkans, Russian foreign policy, and energy security. He has held research and teaching positions at Oxford and Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo as well as visiting fellowships at Harvard and the London School of Economics. From 2010 to 2014, he was the head of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) office in Sofia.

Tim Judah covers the Balkans, and sometimes other places, for the Economist. In the last few years he has spent a lot of time covering Ukraine for the New York Review of Books. He is the author of three books on the Balkans: The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia and Kosovo: War & Revenge. The third, Kosovo: What Everyone Needs to Know was published at the end of 2008. In 2016 his book Wartime: Stories from Ukraine was published. From 1990 to 1991 he lived in Bucharest and covered the aftermath of communism in Romania and Bulgaria for The Times and The Economist. After that he moved to Belgrade for both publications in order to cover the war in Yugoslavia. He moved back to London in 1995 but continues to travel frequently to the region. In 2009 he was a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the South East European Research Unit of the European Institute at the London School of Economics, where he developed the concept of the “Yugosphere”. He is the president of the Board of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and a member of the board of the Kosovar Stability Initiative. 

Professor James Ker-Lindsay (@JamesKerLindsay) (Chair) is Professor of Politics and Policy in the School of Arts and Humanities, St Mary's University, where he leads on politics and international relations programmes. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe and is a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies at Oxford University. Prof Ker-Lindsay was Senior Research Fellow at the European Institute, LSE, focusing on the Politics and International Relations of South East Europe. He has also worked at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the world’s oldest independent security and defence studies think tank, and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. His research focuses on conflict, peace and security in South East Europe (Western Balkans, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus), European Union enlargement, and secession and recognition in international politics. He has an extensive list of publications, including over a dozen authored or edited books and over 70 articles and book chapters.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSERussiaSEE

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