Mark Galeotti - Winter Is Coming
Minda Holm - Mutual Lack of Introspection and the ‘Russia Factor’ in the Liberal West -
Tuomas Forsberg - The Psychology of Forecasting: Of Foxes, Hedgehogs and a Bear
Ruth Deyermond - Once More, With Feeling: Russia’s Realist World
Irina Kobrinskaya - Rejoinder – Between Past and Future: Russia’s World Today
In Issue 3 of volume 26 of New Perspectives (2018), we published the English language version of the Russian Academy of Sciences IMEMO Institute’s annual ‘Russia and the World’ Forecast. Due to the delayed publication of that year’s forecast we also published a special update – ‘The Autumn of Our Discontent’. Now, as in previous years we have invited leading European scholars to reflect on and respond to the Forecast – and to engage in a little predictive work of their own. They gener- ally note the frozen and fairly grim state of relations between a realist Russia and a liberal West, neither monolithic nor equally to blame, but both blind to their own shortcomings and hypocrisies. However, if we take the original meaning of the Shakespeare line that Irina Kobrinskaya played on in titling the Update, it is the winter of our discontent, not the winter of discontent. It is a hopeful sentiment that trou- bles may soon be coming to an end, rather than a woeful, melancholic lament. I will leave it to our readers to discern any signs of spring in this year’s forum, but it should be a matter of urgency for all those concerned with relations between Russia and the West to do what they can to hasten a thaw and a brightening of prospects, lest we all catch cold.