Russian Universities as Public Diplomacy Actors?

Alexey Fominykh, professor at Volga State University of Technology in Russia, has published a new article. The piece, Russia’s Public Diplomacy in Central Asia and the Caucasus: The Role of the Universities, assesses the economic and geopolitical dimensions of Russian universities as public diplomacy actors. Fominykh observes that while it is in the universities’ best interests to recruit the most talented students—he explores here issues of brand reputation, image management and tuition revenue—there is also an element of geopolitical rivalry in play. Particularly, Fominykh notes that the Russian government actively encourages state-owned universities to recruit students from former Soviet territories. This begs the question: are Russian universities public diplomacy actors or proxies for government propaganda? The full article is available here.   

Photo by Joeri Stegeman | CC BY-NC 2.0

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