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What does Putin want? A discussion with Dr. Robert E. Johnson

  • OISE 252 Bloor Street West Toronto, ON, M5R Canada (map)

OISE, 252 Bloor St. W   Room 5-170

Putin’s popularity rate is at 80% yet Russia is a country in trouble: corruption, population decline, inequality of income distribution. Russia fears Muslims, the West and invasion. Policies of confrontation, nationalism and conservatism are on the rise to Make Russia Strong Again. Sound familiar?


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Dr. Johnson Bio

Dr. Robert Johnson, Professor Emeritus, is a student of Imperial Russian and Soviet History, and has also taught a wide range of courses on other historical topics—in particular, the Cold War. His research concentrates on social and economic questions. He is the author of Peasant and Proletarian: Moscow’s Working Class at the End of the Nineteenth Century (1979). He also edited A Half-Century of Silence: The 1937 Census of USSR (Russian Studies in History, Summer 1992). From 1989 to 2001 he served as Director of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (University of Toronto); during most of that period he was also Principal Investigator of the Stalin Era Research and Archives Project, which received major funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He has written on labour and labour unrest, peasant family life, and other social and economic issues, as well as quantitative research methods.  Recent publications include: “Quagmire of Convenience; The Chechen War and Putin’s Presidency “ (2005);  “In the Stalin Archives,” (2002, a three-hour radio documentary for the CBC); “The Cold War Declassified (2007, a second three-hour radio documentary for CBC); “’The Greatest Tragedy of the Twentieth Century”: An Interview with V. P. Danilov [1925-2004] (2008); and “Paradigms, Categories or Fuzzy Algorithms: Making Sense of Class and Soslovie in Russia” (2011). He has been a frequent commentator in the news media on current developments in post-Soviet Russia and neighbouring states.