The Soviet Union was a major provider of foreign aid, but its collapse in 1991 saw Russia being redefined as an aid recipient. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Russia played this recipient role – but in 2007, it officially signalled its intention to reverse this trend.
Russia’s development assistance programme has since been growing, and has raised multiple questions on contemporary development discourse and practice. Why has Russia, despite internal challenges, been so keen to project itself as a net aid donor? How does this correspond to Russia’s position within the BRICS group of rising powers? Should we understand development aid as a cultural, as well as politico-economic, phenomenon?
About the speaker
Patty A.Gray studies the nascent phenomenon of Russia’s (re)emergence as a donor of international development aid. A fluent Russian speaker, she has been carrying out research in and about Russia for 20 years on topics ranging from Russia’s indigenous rights movement to the effects of privatization in rural areas. Her book, The Predicament of Chukotka’s Indigenous Movement: Post-Soviet Activism in the Russian Far North is published by Cambridge University Press.
Currently Lecturer in Anthropology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, she was previously tenured Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of Alaska Fairbanks. She held a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany after receiving her PhD in Anthropology from University of Wiscons in Madison.