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Russia's share of global output has been falling since 2012 and is expected to fall further. Most other countries are in some sort of economic difficulty but Russia's troubles seem at present to be especially troublesome. Oil prices and sanctions are part of the story but not the whole story. A declining workforce and perhaps a longer-term fall in business confidence have also played a part. The conventional wisdom is that over the next five years or so Russia's potential output growth is only of the order of 1.5% per annum. What might be the political consequences of this economic malaise? How might it be alleviated? What so-called structural reforms could help, and what might be the political pre-requisites of such reforms? Some answers will be - rashly - attempted.

Philip Hanson is Emeritus Professor of the Political Economy of Russia and Eastern Europe at the University of Birmingham and an Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. He has worked in the Treasury, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, as well as at a number of universities: Exeter, Michigan, Harvard, Kyoto, Sodertorn and Uppsala. He acts as an analyst or consultant for Oxford Analytica and several banks and companies. His books include The rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy, 1945-1992.


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