Segments in this Video

Introduction: Intelligence Squared U.S. (04:13)


Intelligence Squared U.S. chairman Robert Rosenkranz defines "marginal power."

Debate "Housekeeping" (06:46)

Moderator John Donvan introduces the panelists who give thoughts on Putin and Russia, and information on their backgrounds. Donvan instructs the audience in voting

For the Motion: Edward Lucas (07:10)

The Economist Editor and Eastern Europe correspondent, Lucas says Russia is a superpower, but it does not make contributions to international cooperation- is inconsistent in its pro-sovereignty ideology.

Against the Motion: Peter Hitchens (07:23)

Sunday Mail Columnist, Peter Hitchens blames Russia's struggles under Yeltsin on the West. Given Russia's geography, it is more concerned with security than ideals of global cooperation.

For the Motion: Ian Bremer (07:51)

Eurasia Group President, Ian Bremer says Russia lacks economic strength. Geopolitically, Ukraine is important to Russia and unimportant to Europe. China is gaining power at the expense of Russia and swamping it demographically.

Against the Motion: Robert Blackwell (07:04)

Council on Foreign Relations and former Bush Adviser, Blackwell says Russia is a nuclear power and the only country that can destroy the U.S. Their involvement with Iran, North Korea and the provision of a northern route to Afghanistan are crucial.

Introducing Round Two (02:02)

Moderator John Donvan summarizes the arguments for both sides and notes agreement on basic facts.

Can a Nuclear Superpower Be Marginal? (04:09)

Lucas says Russia's Navy has poor ability to deliver nuclear weapons. Blackwell says Russia is modernizing its nuclear deterrent.

Does Irresponsible Behavior Diminish Great Power Status? (01:40)

Bremmer says Russia's irresponsibility is relevant to whether its power is relevant and usable.

Does Irresponsible Behavior Diminish Great Power Status? (03:42)

Hitchens says Russia's defense of sovereignty threatens U.S./EU backed globalization. Ukrainian independence from Russia is illegitimate; Lucas rebuts him.

U.S. Behavior Indicates Russia's Lack of Power? (03:44)

Bremmer cites polls showing Americans rank other countries ahead of Russia as our principal enemy. Blackwell says the time the U.S. spent dealing with the Ukraine crisis shows it treats Russia as a power.

U.S. Behavior Indicates Russia's Lack of Power? II (01:15)

Lucas says Russia is a crucial power from the perspective of Ukraine, but only a nuisance to the U.S.; Putin craves attention.

Consequences of Believing Proposition (02:46)

Hitchens says the West took advantage of Russia's post-Cold War weakness to expand NATO, mistakenly treating it as a permanently marginal power.

Whether Russia is Crucial (03:27)

Bremer dismisses the Syria chemical weapons deal as Putin grabbing attention. Putin consolidates personal power but does not make Russia more powerful. Blackwell says Russia is crucial on several issues.

How does U.S. Decline Affect Russian Power? (02:33)

Hitchens says it has been unclear since the Cold War who the U.S. military is building against. The U.S. should focus on China, not Russia.

QA: Where will Putin Invade Next? (00:24)

An audience member asks where Putin will invade next. John Donvan rejects the question as irrelevant .

QA: Is Disruption a Measurement of Power? (04:29)

Blackwell says power is the ability to disrupt or be constructive. Lucas provides his definition of power. Bremmer says Russia's disruptive power is declining. Hitchens refutes Lucas's views.

QA: Energy Power (02:56)

Blackwell says Russia will decline as an energy power; it does not have global ambitions, but extends power into northeast Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe.

QA: Russia's Diplomatic Failure (01:18)

Lucas says Russia has alienated other countries, and as a result its attempts at building international institutions have failed.

QA: Russia's Right to Power Status (02:28)

Hitchens says NATO imposed the same frontiers on Russia after the Cold War that Germany did in WWI. He defends Russia's security concerns in light of geography and history.

QA: Russian Decline (00:59)

Bremmer says the West has won most of Ukraine from Russia; we shouldn't humiliate and antagonize them, but simply let them decline.

QA: Does the Financial Market Reaction Suggest that Russia is not a Marginal Power? (05:25)

A questioner notes the ruble's fall during the Ukraine crisis. Lucas considers Russia's place in the global economy. Blackwell critiques the proposition side for disrespecting Putin.

QA: Moderator Fights for Control (01:10)

Moderator John Donvan tries to get an audience member to ask a question and prevent her from using her platform to make statements.

QA: Which Countries Aren't Marginal? (01:13)

An audience member asks the proposition which countries it would consider non-marginal. Lucas cites Estonia for its online innovations.

Closing Arguments For: Edward Lucas (01:48)

Lucas says Russia lacks soft power compared to the U.S. "Russia Today," a government-funded television alternative to Western ideas, gives air time to cranks.

Closing Arguments Against: Peter Hitchens (01:51)

Hitchens says Russia stands for sovereignty and the principles of Westphalia 1648. Rejection of sovereignty means carnage.

Closing Arguments For: Ian Bremmer (02:16)

Bremmer defines power across multiple dimensions. Russia is a nuclear superpower but weak in most dimensions; in terms of total power many, countries surpass Russia.

Closing Arguments Against: Robert Blackwell (02:28)

Blackwell argues that Russia is crucial and constructive on diplomacy with Iran, and is obstructing sanctions that could save Syrians from slaughter.

Time to Vote (02:18)

John Donvan discusses other Intelligence Squared debates while the audience votes.

Results of Audience Vote (01:15)

Pre-debate - For: 25% - Against: 43% - Undecided: 32%. Post-debate - For: 35% - Against: 58%.

Additional Resources & Credits: Russia Is a Marginal Power: A Debate (01:05)

Additional Resources & Credits : Russia Is a Marginal Power: A Debate

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Russia Is a Marginal Power: A Debate

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During the crisis over Ukraine and Crimea, panelists debate whether Russia is a marginal power, what it means to be a great power, and whether Russia offers a morally legitimate alternative to the Western-backed order. They struggle over defining and measuring power. Is Russia a genuine world power, or a marginal power?

Length: 100 minutes

Item#: BVL58363

ISBN: 978-0-81609-942-9

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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