A Trump ‘Reset’ with Russia? Implications for East Asia

Professor Timothy J. Colton
14 June 2017

One of the few foreign-policy changes Donald Trump consistently advocated as a candidate for president of the United States was toward an improved relationship with its perennial adversary Russia. But no such change has taken place since Trump’s inauguration. Professor Colton’s talk will consider competing explanations for this puzzling result, some of them specific to President Trump personally, some of them related to resistance to his initiatives, and some related to the ever-expanding allegations of misconduct in his relations with Russian counterparts before and after his election. After considering the prospects for a change of direction in future, the speaker will go on to consider some possible implications for East Asia, including both countries’ relations with China and Chinese conduct in its neighbourhood.

About the Speaker: Timothy J. Colton is Professor of Government and Russian Studies at Harvard University. He was for many years director of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and from 2010 to 2016 served as chair of the Harvard Department of Government. From January to July 2017 he is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore. Professor Colton is the author of a number of books, including The State after Communism: Governance in the New Russia (with Stephen Holmes) (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006); Yeltsin: A Life (Basic Books, 2008; Russian edition from Atticus, 2013); Russia: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2016), and Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia (with Samuel Charap, International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2017). Colton is currently doing research on several topics, including the links among regionalism, the great powers, and the multipolar world. He is American co-chairman of the Working Group on the Future of U.S.-Russia Relations, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and by a number of Russian organizations. He is a life Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.