Facebook button Twitter button Linked In Button Email Button Instagram button YouTube button

Abstracts

Panel 1: New World Leadership? BRICS and the West.  

The BRICS and the Creation of an Alternative Global Architecture
Jeffrey Mankoff, Center for Strategic and International Studies

One area in which the BRICS states, individually and collectively, have had the most impact has been in the design and establishment of new international institutions designed to parallel legacy institutions that were largely constructed by the West. New institutions, such as the BRICS themselves, the G-20, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), aim to give the five BRICS states, as well as other developing states, a louder voice on the international stage. These organizations are important less for the substance of the issues they address than for the way they empower new voices and, in the process, articulate new norms around multilateral cooperation; these articulations occasionally challenge existing norms in ways that Western powers find uncomfortable.

This new institutional architecture developed out of the BRICS states’ perception that legacy institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, did not give adequate voice or representation to non-Western states. With the exception of the G-20, these new fora are designed by and for non-Western states and operate according to a set of rules and norms that may not reflect Western priorities. In some cases, this divergence from Western principles is incidental; in others, such as the SCO’s approach to issues such as information security, limits on free speech, and extradition, it is deliberate.

For the West, the major question surrounding this new global architecture is the extent to which it will undermine the effectiveness of existing institutions and generate a set of less liberal norms that could displace the liberal consensus driving existing multilateral bodies. The dilemma for Western leaders is whether to engage these new institutions, and if so, to what extent.

For now, the evidence is mixed. In response to pressure from the United States and others, the AIIB has tried to bolster its lending standards, mandating greater transparency and competition in the bidding process. In contrast, the SCO has remained largely impervious to outside pressures to respect citizens’ political rights as it develops new approaches to counter-terrorism and counter-extremism. Among the most important reasons for this divergence is the fact that, after a period of U.S.-inspired rejection, many Western states have signed up to participate in the AIIB, while the SCO remains an exclusively non-Western club, though taking in new members, such as India and Pakistan.

Western policymakers have to balance the desire to shape this new global architecture with the need to avoid being tainted by membership in potentially illiberal bodies. Their ability to do so may prove to be one of the critical determinants of whether the emergence of this new international architecture comes at the expense of Western liberal norms.

Brazil in the World, and the World in Brazil
David Bargueño, Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State

Foreign policy never happens in a vacuum. No state is a rudderless ship, guided to port by foreign winds and currents, alone. Existing explanations for Brazil’s foreign policy, however, focus on the country’s role in the world, which they describe with varying degrees of precision and pessimism. A general ambivalence stems from frustrated expectations with the following: impossible standards for all Brazil could be; the parameters of existing theories in international relations; and the burden of history. The question remains, what about the world in Brazil? Why does the world still look to Brazil for regional, continental, or value-based leadership? Governance, here evaluated in terms of political freedoms, economic management, and regional coordination, is my answer. Though still imperfect, these three central pillars provide stable footing to link and understand the foreign and domestic dimensions of Brazil’s policy-making.

The title of this particular presentation discloses a personal bias. How a country sees the world at home and the manner in which its citizens treat foreigners and “others” at home directly affect how that country acts abroad. Such a premise exposes two key assumptions. First, Brazilians are amenable to drawing links between the domestic and foreign, seeing the global in the local. Second, domestic concerns may limit, but not derail, opportunities for coordination with key partners. 

United States Leadership in a New World Order: Human Rights and Global Deliberative Democracy amidst the Rise of Skepticism
Salvador Santino Regilme, Assistant Professor of International Relations, University of Leiden

Is world politics entering a new era of post-Western leadership? In a purportedly emerging new world order of rising powers, how and under which conditions can the United States and its allies still contribute, or possibly lead, in the resolution of key global governance issues? In this presentation, I offer two tentative key arguments. First, two distinct scenarios for the future of the world order in the next two decades or so, which are as follows, are possible: (1) a reduced American influence and power limited to the Atlantic vis-à-vis the Asia-Pacific region becoming more keen on Chinese regional hegemony, and (2) an American leadership that remains robust, considering that internal political unrest and unstable economic growth may greatly undermine rising powers’ potential. Second, and most importantly, I contend that effective and sustainable American leadership in global governance is most likely to endure when universal human rights and global economic justice remain at the forefront of foreign policies and political rhetoric of the West and its allies. Yet, this does not mean a call for Western moral hegemony. Instead, American insistence on human rights and global justice must be an open-ended global conversation that emphasizes the right to individual human life as the primary role of states and global governance. In practice, this means the West and American foreign policy ought to empower human rights-promoting local actors in the Global South and cede more key global governance positions to Global South actors, who may provide a more localized understanding of human rights and global justice. In this way, the future of American leadership depends on a stronger commitment to human rights values and empowering actors from the Global South in order to foster global deliberative democracy.

Panel 2: Leadership and Development

BRICS Leadership in the Developing World
Avinash Godbole, Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi

The premise of developing countries’ cooperation led by BRICS is an exciting prospect for collaboration, stability, and growth among developing countries. The present BRICS countries are large economies with large populations of their own and have regional, political, and strategic influence. In addition, there are small areas of overlapping influence or contest for strategic superiority among the BRICS member states.

The New Development Bank (NDB) under the BRICS forum began its operations in 2015. The NDB’s vision, according to its charter, is “to support and foster infrastructure and sustainable development initiatives in emerging economies.” The NDB will play an important role in the development of infrastructure, which will propel development in the borrowing countries. The second objective, that of sustainable development, is perhaps more important, as it includes clean energy, renewable energy, efficient public transportation, sustainable water management, and sewage treatment among others. These issues also add substantial value to the process of achieving the sustainable development goals.

At the BRICS Ufa summit in 2015, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed ten steps of cooperation among BRICS. These focus on Trade Fair, Railway Research Centre, Digital Initiative, Agricultural Research Centre, Local Governments Forum, Cooperation on Urbanization, Sports Council, and Film Festival. The NDB can also focus on some of these areas going forth. With the announcement of its smart cities project, India itself is keen to learn the best practices from around the world concerning sustainable urban livelihood.

Climate financing is another important point that the developing countries have consistently raised on international forums. Given that India and China have already ratified the Paris Accord, climate financing will be of ever greater concern for these countries.

BRICS itself will eventually expand to include more developing countries, and at present, Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea and Bangladesh are the most likely to be new members sometime in 2017-2018.

This paper will focus on the leadership potential for BRICS in the developing world in the areas of sustainability and development and the significance of NDB in that process.

Fighting Corruption in Latin America: Actors, Strategies and Scope in Brazil and Mexico after 2008
Abraham Trejo Terreros, Doctoral Candidate, El Colegio de México

In this paper I will discuss the objectives and strategies of non-state actors in Brazil and Mexico to fight corruption. My goal is to explore the implications of being a BRICS member (Brazil) vis-a-vis a non-member State of this association (Mexico) for the anti-corruption agenda. I also discuss the ways in which different actors have used the international arena (G-20 and BRICS meetings) to foster or hinder anti-corruption measures at a national level. By doing so, I will also shed light on how the BRICS has shaped a global agenda on this particular issue after the 2008 crisis. My hypothesis is that the engagement of national leaders on BRICS meetings has not fostered international development (as defined by the United Nations Millennium Goals).

Corruption, broadly defined, refers to misuses of public office for private gain. The practices this definition entails have led to the development of a common understanding of corruption as an impediment to economic growth and development and a threat to democracy, because it degrades the rule of law. The assumption that democratization in Latin America can help to tackle corruption relies on mid-to-long term achievements of the political system: accountability, the increasing role of civil society as a watchdog group, and the strengthening of institutions. Given this scenario, and based on the reports from the BRICS and G-20 meetings, Transparency International, and interviews collected from civil society movements in northeast Brazil and southern Mexico, I will follow some of the strategies from the top and from the bottom-up that aim to fight specific practices of corruption. I divide the presentation into three parts, each one devoted to different kinds of actors: State, private sector, and community organizations.

  1. By introducing the international anti-corruption regulations discussed and adopted in the G-20 and the BRICS meetings, I argue that the diminishing role of the State in Mexico´s and Brazil´s neoliberal societies has brought to the negotiating table new actors that claim their own anti-corruption agenda at international forums.
  2. By discussing the positions of different actors that engage in BRICS and G-20 meetings (private sector in both, and civil society in the second), I will challenge the notion of these meetings as spaces for South-South cooperation, focusing on asymmetries during their meetings. I pay close attention to multinational companies´ demands to national anti-corruption legislation and improvement of bureaucratic procedures as a prerequisite for investments (particularly Chinese) to both Latin American countries.
  3. I will analyze the contrasting strategies of a community organization in Brazil and housings for transnational migrants in Mexico when using international forums, which have been fighting corruption using a bottom-up approach in order to get access to supply of water and to avoid abuses of power against Central American migrants, respectively.

In my final comments I will summarize the uneven results that the private sector and civil society have had and will emphasize the inputs that these agents bring to fight corruption by assuming an active cooperation role in global affairs.

Navigating the Social Contract: Institutional Capital and the Pursuit of Development in a Time of Rising Nationalism among the BRICS Countries
Singumbe Muyeba, Visiting Lecturer, Bridgewater State University

In the social contract, the state is charged with the role of guarantor of freedoms and security in exchange for citizens’ surrender of some of their freedoms and financial resources. In this way, citizens have access to a recently identified form of capital that can be referred to as institutional capital—the internalised and external collection of rules, norms, values, beliefs and cultural habits, and the external collection of laws, constitutions, and legal and civic norms. In other words, this capital determines the extent to which citizens can depend on and use state institutions for the pursuit of their freedoms and happiness. Indeed, the New Institutional Economics (NIE) and Legal Empowerment of the Poor framework (LEP) propose that the poverty reflected in developing countries is a result of poor or ill-informed institutions. Poor countries are poor because their institutional structure, or institutional capital, gets in the way of development (North, 1990; Olson, 1996).

Although in recent years the Western state has increasingly been criticized for its failure to uphold its end of the social contract, resulting in Brexit in Britain and surprising support for nationalistic candidates in the United States, it has largely been successful at building effective state institutions, and therefore at building a reservoir of institutional capital for its citizenry. Until recently, these institutions have ensured that citizens of the West can fully benefit from the fruits of globalization.

Using data and lessons from South Africa’s housing policies for the poor, I argue that the first post-apartheid state had set on a course to ensure and build institutional capital but that this has changed in recent years with the leadership’s pursuit of nationalistic policies and thought, which have been at the expense of building institutions. In addition to pursuing economic growth, successful leadership in the BRICS countries should consciously focus on building institutional capital for its citizens in order to improve the development trajectories of their economies. This includes building domestic institutions that arrest inequality and provide the citizenry with opportunities to pursue their freedoms and happiness locally and in the global village.

Panel 3: BRICS leadership in the Environment

Taking the Lead in Advancing the Green Transformation: The Role of  the BRICS in Aligning Economic Growth with Sustainability
Professor Ulrich Volz,  Head of Department of Economics, SOAS University of London; Senior Research Fellow, German Development Institute; Honorary Professor of Economics, University of Leipzig

Aligning economic growth with environmental and social sustainability is one of the key challenges facing the global economy. In 2015, the international community made important progress by agreeing on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Even so, leadership is needed to implement these agendas and transform words into action; aligning economic growth with sustainable development to bring about a “green transformation” toward a low-carbon economy will require profound changes to the way economies are run, with potentially adverse short-term effects on growth and employment. Given the size of their economies and their populations, the major emerging economies will be crucial in making the global sustainability agenda a success. Several BRICS countries have already started to take up this challenge and have devised and implemented comprehensive strategies for climate change mitigation.

This paper will examine and contrast the economic policies used by the BRICS countries in addressing the threats of climate change and their efforts to move towards sustainable growth models. The analysis will review several policy areas, but the main focus will be on policy frameworks for investments into the generation of renewable energy and the outcomes achieved thus far. In addition to now standard incentive schemes for accelerated investment in renewable energy, such as subsidies, tax credits and feed-in tariffs, the paper also discusses innovative policy efforts to incentivize the financial systems to allocate greater shares of credit and investment into sustainable ventures. Examples of innovative green finance policies developed in BRICS countries include requirements for sustainability reporting for firms listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and green bond guidelines issued by the People’s Bank of China. For the purposes of illustration, the paper will be enriched with numerous policy examples in which BRICS countries have emerged as global leaders in the area of sustainability.

BRICS Cities as Climate Leaders: The Cases of Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town
William Attwell, Senior Analyst, Sub-Saharan Africa at Frontier Strategy Group

Following the formulation of the Paris Climate Agreement in December 2015, much has been made of national governments’ often weak appetite for committing to greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.  The issue is particularly contentious for large, mostly industrialized, emerging economies, for whom the BRICS states are often seen as a bellwether, and for whom strict emission reductions are seen as prematurely circumscribing their development prospects. 

In this context, China’s decision to sign the Agreement (accompanied by the United States) in September 2016 was presented in the global media as a watershed moment for the BRICS’ role in providing global climate leadership. Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa have also signed.

The bloc’s support for Paris does not necessarily portend decisive climate action, however. More significant are the specific policies member states implement—individually and collectively—to mitigate global warming and adapt to the challenges accompanying the temperature rise that is inevitable, even if Paris is implemented in full. Here again, headline statements point to the BRICS providing progressive leadership.

In April 2015, for instance, the bloc held its first meeting of environment ministers in Russia. The gathering agreed upon several initiatives, including examining the potential for the New Development Bank (NDB), or “BRICS bank,” to fund environmental programmes – especially where they intersect with the NDB’s core mandate to fund infrastructure development – establishing a platform to share best practices as well as a working group to identify further areas of cooperation. At a subsequent ministerial gathering in Udaipur, India, member states also identified disaster management as a further area for cooperation.

Yet, the success of BRICS efforts in these areas is uneven. Renewable energy has seen significant progress, though this is due to large-scale investment by individual country governments in response to burgeoning energy needs rather than any coordinated leadership by the bloc to push progressive global norms. China, for instance, is a global leader in renewables investment, having committed 83.3 billion dollars in 2014 alone. Brazil and South Africa also committed significant amounts in 2014 (7.4 billion dollars and 5.5 billion dollars, respectively). In other areas, BRICS leadership is lacking. 

The NDB has yet to formulate a coherent investment agenda to support climate adaptation infrastructure, and policy leadership to support the Sustainable Development Goals remains the domain of Western donors and traditional multilateral institutions. The dampening of Brazil and South Africa’s financial capacity to exert influence (due to their economic woes) and Russia’s growing isolation further raise questions about whether it is realistic to expect the bloc to play a leading role in addressing climate change.

The muted success of the BRICS’ inter-governmental climate change initiatives belies another layer of cooperation where members are emerging as notable change-leaders—namely, at the city-level. Several major BRICS cities are shaping global norms around climate change through multilateral fora. For example, Moscow, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Tshwane, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Jaipur are all members of C40 Cities, the world’s leading platform for metropolitan governments to collaborate on reducing GHGs. These cities have committed to a parallel carbon emission reduction regime called the Compact of Mayors. The Compact of Mayors is implemented through the Global Protocol on Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), which sets standards for reporting and provides a mechanism for continuous monitoring. Through C40, these cities also share data and best practices, collaborate on joint programmes and lobby “upwards” to influence national- and international-level norms and standards. Other platforms, such as United Cities and Local Governments and Local Governments for Sustainability, complement these measures.

This paper will examine the different strategies cities are pursuing by using case studies of two BRICS cities that are emerging for different reasons as climate leaders: Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town. It will evaluate how Rio’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, has utilised his recent chairing of C40 to position the city as a global champion for mitigation and adaptation efforts, particularly in the following fields:

- Mobilising international finance institutions to back city-driven climate initiatives

- Attracting global media attention to urban climate challenges

- Spearheading sustainable transport solutions

- Improving disaster response capabilities through big data applications.

It will then consider Cape Town’s efforts to pursue a “green growth” trajectory, notably by incentivising green manufacturing, improving energy efficiency in council buildings and public housing, integrating climate mitigation considerations into planning frameworks, and leveraging its environmental endowments to grow a sustainable tourism industry. 

By drawing on my own professional experience in the Office of the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, I will examine whether such initiatives are having “demonstration effects” and influencing approaches elsewhere, including the national government policies. The paper will conclude by offering a set of policy recommendations outlining how BRICS cities can take decisive climate action while working cooperatively to take the lead in shaping global climate norms.

Panel 4: Leadership, ideology and psychology in BRICS

The PRC Authorities’ Domestic and International Leadership: Is There a Chinese Political Model?
Victor Louzon, Postdoctoral Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University  

It is often argued that the People’s Republic of China is now a regime deprived of ideology. With communism de facto repudiated, the one-Party dictatorship maintained, and the “transition” to democracy no longer a predictable perspective, the regime finds itself in what is, for the Western intellectual tradition at least, a political vacuum. More strikingly still, one would be hard-pressed to find a challenge to the primacy of the Communist party among China’s numerous and bustling social movements. To be sure, repression partly accounts for this apparent timidity. Even so, most observers now admit that there is also a measure of positive acceptance of the present political regime in the Chinese population. This is an almost unprecedented situation in modern history: for the first time, market-oriented reform does not seem to induce democratization in a country whose scale will give a paramount role in shaping the global near future.

This situation begs two questions. First, what are the nature and source of the domestic legitimacy of the Chinese Communist leadership? Second, what does this domestic legitimacy tell us about future prospects for China’s international leadership? In other words, is there a Chinese political model? This latter question is all the more important given that the PRC’s lack of soft-power comes, to a large extent, from the widespread perception that there is none.

I will argue that the Chinese political system does rely on ideas pertaining to authority and order that are shared in important sectors of the population. More specifically, economic success and nationalism do not suffice to account for the relative support the regime enjoys among the so-called “middle-class.” Nor does, in my view, adhesion to Beijing’s populist and/or neo-Confucian discourse, which is met with considerable cynicism. I aim to show that the regime’s legitimacy among social elites relies on shared assumptions about legitimate leadership within society and oneself. Such assumptions, phrased in terms of personal “quality” or “civilization,” constitute a relatively coherent and modern form of elitism that regards self-control as a condition to political rights and precludes the abstract egalitarianism inherent to democratic ideology. This elitist ideology is rarely presented as an explicit discourse, but rather is encapsulated in shared narratives about the recent political past. I will take the collective remembering of the Cultural Revolution as an example. This embeddedness of ideology in historical narrative is both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, it allows norms of social and political leadership to converge in a tacit way and buttress a consensus on anti-democratic values. On the other hand, it makes this consensus contingent on a specific reconstruction of a specific past. I will therefore argue that there is a Chinese political model—inasmuch the regime enjoys a real, if implicit, legitimacy—but that this model is not replicable (and even hardly understandable abroad), seriously limiting China’s international leadership.

Renewal and Relapse: Evolution of China’s Official Political Discourse of Xi Era
Duan Zheng, Doctoral Candidate, Fudan University School of Philosophy

Peak Inside a “Black Box:” The Opacity of the Party Leadership

There is a complicated interplay of politics within the party itself, and the internal struggle is largely unseen by the outside. We must consider that the official political discourse of the CPC could be contingent. For example, their reports of a revival of personal cults toward Xi is a way the Propaganda Department of the CPC Central Committee can discredit his leadership. And so, we must always take into account that what we see as “official” may not be as deliberate as it seems.

The Renewal

1) The Chinese Dream

Ever since Xi became the leader of the CCP in 2012, he has been seen as being very different from the other Chinese leaders, in terms of speaking style. Xi uses far fewer slogans, and common people can more easily understand his speeches. His core defining ideology (“Chinese Dream” compared to “scientific development” or “The three Representatives”) also demonstrates these features. Nonetheless, he only offered very general and vague guidelines for this Chinese Dream of rejuvenating the country, leaving this concept largely open to debate and reinterpretation. Only after the Department of Propaganda had gathered enough interpretations from the people (primarily from the internet) did they start to make official ads and news reports about its concrete meanings. 

2) Assimilating the grass-root narratives

Combined with a media policy of “Zou Zhuan Gai” (“Enter the grassroots, change the style of writing and living”), the Department of Propaganda (DoP) is turning its focus to the grass root. Interestingly, they have assimilated many grassroots narratives into the official ideologies. Most significant is the case in which they adopted the narratives of Eric Li’s TED talk in 2013, and completely redesigned official propaganda using various media forms, such as online video shorts, animations, and traditional media news pieces. After that incident, the DoP of China has been constantly absorbing contents from the grass-root, especially from the Internet. The Dop has not been able find as strong of a narrative as the Ted talk narrative, however. In 2014, a large controversy arose and backfired when two pro-government nationalist internet writers were invited to meet Xi Jinping at the Literature and Art Symposium, granting them the status of official writers of the CCP. It is notable that the adopted grassroots narratives are limited to pro-governmental and/or anti-Western ones.

3) Asserting China’s voices overseas?

After the initial experiment with promotional videos of China in 2008, the Chinese government has been very fond of this method. With Xi in power, they started the new trend of airing a China promotional video in the country Xi is visiting. These videos are quite different from the old ones, and they are made in many forms, such online shorts, music videos, and interviews of foreigners. Despite such innovations, however, they do not seem to target foreign viewers. I would argue that these videos are primarily for domestic propaganda, aiming to make the Chinese people feel strong and think that China’s voice is heard overseas.

The Relapse

Despite the renewal in form and a limited degree of contents, ideology is still paramount for Xi. Compared to the less-ideology based propaganda policy in the Hu-Wen regime, the steps Xi takes sometimes seem to be a step backwards toward a more authoritarian regime.

1) A Nationalist revival

Xi’s ideology is a mixture of communism, nationalism, and Leninism, and it is strongly against Western liberalism. He has been consolidating his power in the CCP since he took office. When he first took office, he made promises about legal and political reforms. Now, with the ongoing anti-corruption campaigns and promoting a much more nationalist narrative, these reforms are largely forgotten or ignored. Instead, he is more concerned with ideology and the legitimatizing of the CCP’s rule. In 2013, he proposed the “two undeniables,”stating, “The historical period after the economic reforms must not be used to deny the historical period before economic reforms, and the historical period before economic reforms must not be used to deny the historical period after economic reforms.”Also in 2013, he again proposed the“three confidences,” which are confidence in 1) the theory of “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” 2) China’s current path, and 3) its current political system. This was his answer to the “three crises of confidence” in socialism, Marxism, and the Party. He has demanded the importance of Marxist/ Maoist ideology, and therefore the rule of the CCP is stressed in almost every governmental and social field and in the media, the education system, the military, and state-owned enterprises. Combined with more assertive foreign policies, this has created a revival of nationalism within China. The CCP uses this nationalism to combat Western liberalism and legitimize its rule. Meanwhile, a cult of personality for Xi has also began to form, with songs and music videos written for him and red songs played in his name everywhere, which could lead to dangerous water.

2) Stepping up the censorship

While promoting his own ideologies and discourses, Xi stepped up in the control of information. In April 2013, an alleged “Document Number 9,” a confidential internal document issues by the Party’s General Office, was leaked and circulated on the Internet. The document warns of seven dangerous Western values: constitutional democracy, universal values of human rights, civil society, pro-market neo-liberalism, media independence, historical nihilism, and questioning Reform and Opening. These topics are therefore off-limits in education systems and media. Apart from that, self-censorship among the both online and traditional media has been emphasized and strengthened via incentives and the punishment of various actors. A huge crackdown on the Internet was implemented and included banning more words, songs, and novels, deleting comments and articles and accounts, jail-time for spreading and re-posting “rumors,” and reinforcing the Great Fire Wall by banning VPNs and more foreign websites. On February 19, Xi made a high-profile tour to China’s top three state-run media outlets, securing absolute loyalty from the state media. Internationally, Xi proposed the concept of internet sovereignty, which means the country has supreme power over its own internet boundaries. It is clear that he wants a much more controlled information environment in China.

Legitimizing crisis

CCP’s rule of China has two pillars, economic success and ideology. With the economy not doing so well, Xi must turn to the latter. On a personal level, as a price-ling and “Red second generation” ruler in China, Xi has to legitimize his own rule. A political reform is highly unfavorable to his own rule. And so, on one hand, you have Chinese nationalism against Western imperialism to legitimize the rule of party. On the other hand, you have Chinese socialism against Western liberalism to legitimatize the rule of the “Red second generation.” The official discourse taken up by the CCP almost fits in each category, if not both.

Psychology of Political Leadership in Russia, and How People Perceive Political Leaders
Maxim Kiselev, Moscow State Lomonosov University’s Higher School of Business, Skolkovo Insitute for Science and Technology

This paper analyses the particularities of political leaders’ psychology in current-day Russia within the framework of the current social, cultural and economic context, including the state of in-depth economic crisis.  The grounds for political leadership as well as they types of federal-level leaders are discussed, with a special focus on Russian politicians’ motivations, image-making strategies, and communications. President Putin’s psychological profile and the dynamics of his self-representation are also analyzed. Additionally, the paper discusses the ways people in Russia perceive political leaders, noting what popular aspirations and stereotypes apply to voters’ perceptions. Finally, the paper addresses the psychological paradox between a growing discontentment among the population in accordance with on-going hardships due to economic crisis and the extremely high  ratings of President Putin.