News, Research and Events

Jan. 16, 2020

The elusive fate of Russian democracy

The emergence of the Russian Federation as an independent state transformed global politics and sparked hope for a more democratic nation. As Russia’s foreign minister during this crucial period, Andrei Kozyrev faced many challenges and has firsthand knowledge of how post-Soviet Russia transitioned from an emerging democracy to a more authoritarian regime. In his book, “The Firebird: The Elusive Fate of Russian Democracy,” Kozyrev recounts his time in Russia’s government and chronicles how the rise of powerful oligarchs, coupled with anti-Western sentiments and a declining economy, chipped away at prospects for a more democratic future. 

At this event, held in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, Kozyrev discussed the modern political evolution of Russia during a moderated discussion with Baker Institute director Edward P. Djerejian. Click here to watch a video of the complete program.


Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to reject the resettlement of new refugees in Texas “creates a dangerous precedent, as other U.S. states may also refuse to accept refugees, leading to a hollowing out of the federal system and a race-to-the-bottom scenario.”

Kelsey Norman, Director 
Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Refugees Program



What’s next for Oman after Sultan Qaboos’ death?

“The death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said on Jan. 10, after nearly 50 years of rule over Oman, has removed one of the great ‘moderates’ from the scene just as soaring tensions between the United States and Iran nearly escalated into another Persian Gulf conflict,” writes Middle East fellow Kristian Coates Ulrichsen in Al-Monitor.

The transition to the new sultan, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, a first cousin of Qaboos, proceeded rapidly and smoothly. Yet at some point, and perhaps sooner rather than later, Haitham is likely to face many of the same economic challenges that built up in the final years of Qaboos’ rule, and without the protective veneer of untouchability that most all Omanis attached to Qaboos.

Read Coates Ulrichsen’s analysis of what may lie ahead as Oman adapts to life in the post-Qaboos era. 

Browse the Baker Institute research library for our latest publications.


Upcoming Events

Roundtable Dialogue — Addressing Climate Change Through Economics, Ecology and Agriculture. At this member-exclusive event, Jim Blackburn, Baker Institute Faculty Scholar, discusses several avenues to combat climate change.   Jan. 21 | 6:00 pm

Member Exclusive — Photographs by James A. Baker, III: My Year with a Camera. The Baker Institute hosts a special exhibition of photographs taken by James A. Baker, III, during his military service in Europe in the 1950s. If you are not a member of the Baker Institute Roundtable or Roundtable Young Professionals and are interested in attending this event, please contact Chetna Cates, assistant director of development, at 713.348.4945 or  Jan. 30 | 5:30 pm

Roundtable Dialogue — The U.S.-Mexico Relationship in 2020: Deciphering a Complicated Year. Tony Payan, director of the Center for the United States and Mexico, explores the likely trajectory of the U.S.-Mexico relationship in the coming year.  Feb. 5 | 9:30 am

Visit our events page for a complete list.


Get Involved with the Baker Institute

Become a member of the Baker Institute Roundtable and Roundtable Young Professionals. Contact our development office for more information on how you can join the conversation on the relevant issues and ideas that shape our world.