Is Russia Declining?
Abstract

This article measures changes in Russia’s performance in economic, technological, military, and human capital domains and compares this performance to those of five of the West’s leading powers, the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as to the world as a whole (wherever possible), to test the hypothesis that Russia has declined versus its Western competitors and the rest of the world since 1999. Measurements utilizing a single-variable approach indicate that 21st century Russia has risen relative to its five Western competitors as well as to the world as a whole. Three multi-variable methods of measuring national power employed in this article indicate that, even though Russia continues to trail behind the U.S. in national power, that gap has narrowed and Russia has gained on all five Western competitors since 1999. Moreover, two of these multi-variable methods also show Russia has risen when compared to the world as a whole. Therefore, the results of the measurements do not allow me to reject the null hypothesis, which is that Russia has either risen or retained its positions relative to its five Western competitors and the world as a whole so far in the 21st century.


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