Spin doctors and rising tensions

Wheeler Institute event offers insight into the wider impacts of the conflict in Ukraine


The current conflict in Ukraine, the deteriorating economy in Russia and the wider impacts on Europe, as well as the extreme price shocks and supply chain disruptions in developing countries – all of these challenging situations tell a tale of conflict and political distortion which will be subjected to thorough scrutiny at an upcoming Wheeler Institute for Business and Development event, Spin Doctors and Rising Tensions with Russia (Sammy Ofer Centre, London Business School, Lecture Theatre 18-19, Wednesday 18 January 2023, 17.30-19.00 GMT).

Sergey Maratovich Guriyev, a Russian-born economist, who is Provost and a professor of economics at the Instituts d'études politiques in Paris (Sciences Po), will be in conversation with the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development’s joint academic director, Professor Elias Papaioannou. Sergei’s latest book, Spin Dictators: The Changing Face of Tyranny in the 21st Century, promises to frame the upcoming discussion, focusing as it does on how a new breed of dictators holds power by manipulating information and faking democracy.

Sergei Guriev will provide a timely analysis of how ‘spin dictators’ have managed to hold on to power and control citizens, in most cases through an imitation of democracy. Promising to be an animated and insightful discussion, Guriev prefigures the upcoming discussion in a recent edition of Project Syndicate (The Return of the End of History, Project Syndicate, December 12, 2022): “To paraphrase Talleyrand, Putin’s war is worse than a crime; it is a fatal mistake that other potential invaders will learn not to repeat. It also reminds us that folly is a feature, rather than a bug, of dictatorships. Without political checks and balances, free media, and an independent civil society, autocrats do not receive the feedback needed to make wise and competent decisions.”

Join us in person at the Sammy Ofer Centre, London Business School, or virtually via Zoom.