The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and the Russia left in its wake has long since moved past the bad old days. Or has it? Rare survey data from the four main universities that feed Russia's Foreign Ministry reveals that the next generation of Russian diplomats may not turn out to be as “post-Soviet” as you think.
Who wants to be a diplomat?
Not all of the 513 international relations students at the four universities surveyed for this studythe Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Moscow State University, the Diplomatic Academy, and St. Petersburg State Universitywant to be diplomats. But those who do, about 25 percent of respondents, place a significantly higher value than their peers on making a positive difference in society and having a high position and power in their chosen profession.
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Yelena Biberman is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Skidmore College, New York, and Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the South Asia Center, the Atlantic Council. Her book Gambling with Violence: State Outsourcing of War in Pakistan and India is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in July 2019.