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How studying Russia became a paradox

31 minute
How studying Russia became a paradox

There’s a paradox in studying Russia today: the country has become “more prominent in the news agenda and simultaneously less transparent for observers,” thanks to the invasion of Ukraine, Western sanctions, isolation, and the intensification of propaganda.

This week’s show is devoted to studying Russia in conditions of growing non-transparency, which is the subject of a paper published in October 2023 by scholars Dmitry Kokorin, Dmitriy Gorskiy, Elizaveta Zubiuk, and Tetiana Kotelnikova. For more about this work, The Naked Pravda spoke to Dmitriy Gorskiy, a researcher at the Ideas for Russia Program. Gorskiy and his coauthors write about “distortions” of knowledge production in Russia and knowledge production about Russia, and they explore how experts adapt to less reliable data and disruptions in international cooperation, among other challenges.

Timestamps for this episode:

  • (5:30) The importance of studying Russia
  • (6:57) Lessons from the Soviet Union
  • (8:13) Distortions of knowledge production
  • (13:28) Government data and reliability
  • (15:40) Triangulation and leaked data
  • (16:25) A media diet for Russia scholars
  • (26:13) Rigorous social scientific work

New episodes of The Naked Pravda are released at the end of every week. Catch each show by subscribing through Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or one of these other platforms. If you have a question or comment about the podcast, please write to Kevin Rothrock at [email protected] with the subject line: “The Naked Pravda.”

Sound editing by Kevin Rothrock.

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