Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2012

In Osteuropa 6-8/2012

Decline and New Start
The Crisis of German Expertise in Russian Affairs

Manfred Sapper

Deutsche Fassung


The expertise of German economists, political scientists, and sociologists in Russian affairs is dangerously low. This is the result of incorrect decisions in academic policy. After 1991, expertise in Eastern Europe was considered superfluous. Institutes were closed, chairs rededicated. Today, neither universities nor institutes are able to categorise current developments in Russia’s domestic and foreign policy, to explain economy and society, or to develop courses of action. The training of young scholars with a Russia profile hardly takes place anymore. All of this harms important German social and political interests. A new start in regional research is needed: following in the footsteps of Poland and Finland, Germany needs to establish an interdisciplinary Russia centre.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2012, pp. 505–520)