Professor Uri Ra'anan and Stephen J. Blank talk about their book Flawed Succession.
In Flawed Succession, Professor Uri Ra'anan and his authoritative contributors analyze the state of Russia's power transfer crises through time. In four key successions - after Stalin's death, throughout Khrushchev's primacy, during the implosion of the USSR, and with Putin's ascent to power - they take aim at Russia's unpredictable leadership changes and consequent crises that result from the absence of a mechanism for legitimate succession. The uncertain and precarious nature of power transfer in Russia - and its lack of a transparent, consistently implemented, non-arbitrary mechanism for succession - has rendered incumbents unsure of the duration of their ascendancy, vulnerable to putative successors, and resistant to putting aside the politics of personal power in consideration of the long-term interests of the country.
In addition to Stephen Blank, contributors include Dr. Robert Conquest and Dr. John Dunlop (both of the Hoover Institution), and Professor Carl Linden (George Washington University).
Dr. Stephen J. Blank
Dr. Stephen J. Blank has served as the Strategic Studies Institute's expert on the Soviet bloc and the post-Soviet world since 1989. Prior to that he was Associate Professor of Soviet Studies at the Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research, and Education, Maxwell Air Force Base, and taught at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and at the University of California, Riverside.
Dr. Blank is the editor of Imperial Decline: Russia's Changing Position in Asia, coeditor of Soviet Military and the Future, and author of The Sorcerer as Apprentice: Stalin's Commissariat of Nationalities, 1917-1924.
He has also written many articles and conference papers on Russian, Commonwealth of Independent States, and Eastern European security issues. Dr. Blank's current research deals with proliferation and the revolution in military affairs, and energy and security in Eurasia.
He holds a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Ariel Cohen
Ariel Cohen's area of study ranges from economic development and political reform in the former Soviet republics to U.S. energy security, the global war on terror and the continuing conflict in the Middle East. As a native of Yalta on the shores of the Black Sea, Cohen brings first-hand knowledge to his studies of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.
Cohen also lived in Israel for eleven years, earning his law degree at Bar Ilan University Law School in Tel Aviv and working as a foreign policy journalist.
John Hilboldt oversees Heritage's Lectures and Seminars Program which annually hosts over 100 public programs at the Foundation's headquarters.
Before becoming Director of Lectures and Seminars, he served for four years as Deputy Director of Coalition Relations, editing two issues of the Policy Experts guide and its accompanying policyexperts.org web directory as well as coordinating other outreach endeavors.
Additionally, he is a member of the Advisory Council of the Young Britons' Foundation of London.
Professor Uri Ra'anan
Professor Ra'anan taught at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University for more than two decades; he has also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, and the City University of New York.
He is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of twenty-five books primarily on Soviet Affairs.