Russian Economy and Eurasian Economy Lecture Series: Lecture 2 | The Relevance of Historical and Cultural Factors to World Economic Analysis: A Case Study on the Economy of Russia and Ukraine Before and After the Conflict


    On the morning of March 24, 2023, the Institute for International and Area Studies (IIAS) of Tsinghua University hosted the second lecture of the “Russian Economy and Eurasian Economy” series. Themed “The Relevance of Historical and Cultural Factors to World Economic Analysis: A Case Study on the Economy of Russia and Ukraine Before and After the Conflict,” the lecture was delivered by Xu Poling, Research Fellow and Director of the Department of Russian Economy, Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Present at the lecture were doctoral students from the IIAS and scholars and students from the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China University of Political Science, Moscow State University, etc.

    At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Xu shared his reflection on what we should uncover in country-specific economic research. He said that there are no issues regarding national development that can’t be explained by economics, and we should be a good interpreter in country-specific economic research. Professor Xu went on to introduce the overall economy of Ukraine before the conflict, and expounded on the “obstacles to development policies and country-specific distortions” based on the changes in Ukraine’s GDP, per capita GDP, population, as well as factor and capital inputs in economic growth. He examined several deep-rooted issues about Ukraine’s economic downturn and issues about its economic restructuring, and also discussed the political process and economic development since Ukraine’s independence, as well as its political integration with the West and domestic political turbulence hindering its economic development.

    Then, Professor Xu gave an overview of the Russian economy in the context of sanctions, and dived into its economic resilience and the fundamental reasons. From the perspectives of finance, balance of payments, public finance, technology, energy, food production, commodity security and the like, Russia’s economic security has not been materially affected under the pressure of sanctions. Its economic resilience mainly stems from its national conditions as well as historical and cultural factors. In addition, Professor Xu explained in detail the structural characteristics, operation mode and financial repression of the Russian economy.

    At the end of the lecture, Professor Xu took questions from offline audiences and communicated with them on relevant issues.

    Xu Poling is working as Director of the Office of Russian Economic Studies of the Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Director of the Internal Affairs Office of the Institute of Eurasian Social Development under the Development Research Center of the State Council, and Deputy Director and Research Fellow of the CASS Belt and Road Research Center. With a doctorate degree in economics, he is dedicated to research on the theory of world economy and country-specific economic research, and his research interests mainly include open economy macroeconomics and Russian economy. He has published over 100 papers in a range of academic journals, such as World Economics and PoliticsInternational Economic ReviewRussian, East European & Central Asian StudiesWorld Economy StudiesJournal of Social Sciences, and Northeast Asia Forum. He has also authored a number of books, including Introduction to the Political Economy of TransitionProperty Rights and Corporate Governance in Transition Economies, and Interaction Between Economic Globalization and Economic Transition.

    Text editor: Wang Qin

    Proofreader: Eurasian Studies research group

    Typography editor: Cheng Yao