This paper addresses in turn Russia in a globalizing world; public health theory and practice in Russia; public health challenges in Russia; political, economic, and social factors related to public health challenges in Russia; and the role of various political actors in public health. The final section presents conclusions.


Since the 1990s, globalization has become dominant in the world arena.4 Globalization is an objective reality in international relations, with an attendant political model, leaders, logic, and institutional system (Dakhin, 2001). The place of Russia in the changing political and economic world order is an important issue. Dissolution of the USSR and the Soviet bloc proved that the previous political, social, and economic systems were exhausted. Responses to the challenges of the postindustrial era were inadequate because of political and information secrecy, state control of information, and the absence of markets. These obstacles were removed in post-Soviet Russia after 1991. Since then, the country has been in search of a new paradigm of progress and development that involves joining the globalized economy, as well as internal stability and development.

Efforts aimed at preservation of the post–World War II world order, proclaiming post-Soviet Russia as successor to the former superpower, proved to be futile. According to the National Security Concept of the Russian Federation, adopted in January 2000 (Concept of National Security of Russian Federation, 2000), in the postbipolar period, the national interest in the international sphere is in ensuring sovereignty and strengthening Russia’s position as a great power—one of the influential centers of the multipolar world. However, there is also a countertrend toward construction of a unipolar world dominated by developed western countries, with U.S. leadership in the international community, and envisaging unilat-


Globalization is described as a stage in internationalization of social relations beyond the borders of nation-states at the global level, increasing interdependence of states and regions (Matveevskiy); the process of developing a single global financial and information space on the basis of computer technologies (Delyagin, 2001); increasing transparency of nation-state borders for flows of capital, information, and population migration. Geopolitical and geoeconomic zones, previously closed for capital and information flows, are opened. Globalization became possible with the victory of capital and freedom of information over national interests. Capital is losing its national identity. On the global scale, financial capital gains a victory over industrial capital (Kargalitsky, 2001). Transnational corporations are believed to be the driving force of globalization. They are supported by the governments of the countries leading globalization, and indirectly by international trade and financial organizations dominated by these countries (Matveevskiy) Economic activity becomes increasingly independent from the state, which loses the ability to manage its own economic and social affairs.

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