External Publications

May 28, 2019

Russia and the West 2028

Forward-Looking Scenarios in Russian-European-American-Relations

The Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and the Robert Bosch Center at the German Council on Foreign Relations partnered with the Robert Bosch Foundation to explore Russia-European-American dynamics in a turbulent time. In 2018, we decided in the last project phase to generate a number of scenarios – narratives of alternative futures – that can enable decision-makers to play out the potential ramifications of choices they face today.



Uncertainty is pervasive, and traditional discussions lead nowhere as political stakeholders look backwards in time and do not share even fundamental assumptions and definitions. However, if those same interlocutors are asked about the future, conversations become more animated and potentially more productive as respondents are freed from their conventional talking points.

For our project, this made a discussion on an expert level about future relations and their possible scenarios even more valuable. Therefore, the partners agreed to set up a third and final project phase to generate greater understanding regarding potential scenarios for developments in relations between US and western Europe with Russia and eastern Europe. This phase combined US, Russian, and western/eastern European approaches and views within interactive scenario exercises regarding future East-West relations. This phase consisted of two scenario-building workshops in Warsaw and Berlin and two scenario exercises in Brussels and Washington, D.C. The first two workshops were dedicated to creating the narratives of the future together with leading experts from the EU, the US, Russia, and eastern European countries. During the two scenario exercises, senior officials, parliamentarians, and experts acted within the created scenarios to gauge the potential scope of actions.

The process of scenario building can be as important as the product, since it can forge connections among people from very different backgrounds and perspectives. For us, it is crucial that we not only focus on the process of scenario building but also produce policy recommendations on the basis of possible and impossible scenarios. This can be particularly important in the environment in which we find ourselves today.

Read the results of the scenario building in our digital publication Russia and the West 2028.

Note: Below you can find the three books which resulted from the first two project phases.

About the Transatlantic Strategy Group:
This project is supported and funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.