Robert W. Orttung

Research Professor of International Affairs; Director of Research, Sustainable GW
Suite 412E Elliott School of International Affairs
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Comparative politics, Russia, Ukraine, Energy security, Federalism, Democracy

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Orttung came to GW in 2011, after working at the Open Media Research Institute, EastWest Institute, American University's Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, and the Jefferson Institute. Orttung works as the assistant director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. In correlation with his work at GW, Orttung is also a visiting fellow at the Center for Security Studies of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.


Ph.D., University of California–Los Angeles



Editor, Capital Cities and Urban Sustainability. London: Routledge. 2019.

(with Sufian Zhemukhov), Putin's Olympics: The Sochi Games and the Evolution of Twenty-First Century Russia, London: Routledge, 2017.

Editor, Sustaining Russia’s Arctic Cities: Resource Politics, Migration, and Climate Change, New York: Berghahn Publishers, 2016. Paperback 2018.

Editor (with Henry E. Hale), Beyond the Euromaidan: Comparative Perspectives for Advancing Reform in Ukraine, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016. 

Editor (with Andreas Wenger and Jeronim Perovic), Energy and the Transformation of International Relations: Toward a New Producer–Consumer Framework, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Editor (with Jeronim Perovic and Andreas Wenger), Russian Energy Power and Foreign Relations: Implications for conflict and cooperation, London: Routledge, 2009.

Editor (with Anthony Latta), Russia’s Battle with Crime, Corruption, and Terrorism, London: Routledge, 2008, paperback edition 2012. 

Editor (with Andrey Makarychev), Counter-Terrorism Strategies in the US, UK, France, Turkey, and Russia: A Comparative Analysis, Amsterdam: IOS Press, December 2006.

Editor (with Andreas Wenger and Jeronim Perovic), Russian Business Power: The Role of Business in Russian Foreign and Security Relations, London: Routledge, 2006.

Editor (with Peter Reddaway), The Dynamics of Russian Politics: Putin’s Reform of Federal-Regional Relations, (2 volumes), Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 and 2005. 

Editor, The Republics and Regions of the Russian Federation: A Guide to Politics, Policies, and Leaders, Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2000. 

(with Laura Belin), Russia’s 1995 Parliamentary Elections: The Battle for the Duma, Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1997.

From Leningrad to St. Petersburg: Democratization in a Russian City, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles 

Robert W. Orttung, James Powell, James Fox and Claire Franco, “Strengthening Food Security Near the Arctic Circle: Case Study of Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska,” Sustainability, 2019 11(10), 2722.

Nikolay Shiklomanov, Dmitry Streletskiy, Luis Suter, Nadezhda Zamyatina, Robert Orttung, "Dealing with the Bust in Vorkuta, Russia," Land Use Planning, 2019.

Robert W. Orttung and Elizabeth Nelson, “Russia Today’s Strategy and Effectiveness on YouTube,” Post-Soviet Affairs, 2018, DOI: 10.1080/1060586X.2018.1531650.

Oleg Anisimov and Robert Orttung, “Climate Change in Northern Russia through the Prism of Public Perception,” Ambio, 2018.

Luis Suter, Carrie Schaffner, Carlson Giddings, Robert Orttung, & Dmitry Streletskiy, “Developing Metrics to Guide Sustainable Development of Arctic Cities: Progress & Challenges,” 2017 Arctic Yearbook,

Laura C. Engel, Mary E. Short, Sarah E. Jennings, Robert W. Orttung & Luis J. Suter, “Digital Environmental Storytelling Connecting to the Arctic: #60Above60 Pilot,” 2017 Arctic Yearbook,

(With Andreas Wenger) “Explaining Cooperation and Conflict in Marine Boundary Disputes Involving Energy Deposits,” Region 5 (1) January 2016: 75-96. 

(with Christina Cottiero, Katherine Kucharsky, and Evgenia Olimpieva), “War of Words: The Impact of Russian State Television on the Russian Internet,” Nationalities Papers, 43:4, 2015: 533-555.

(with Colin Reisser), “Urban Sustainability in Russia’s Arctic: Lessons from a Recent Conference and Areas for Further Investigations,” Polar Geography 37:3, 2014, 193-214.

(with Sufian Zhemukhov), “The 2014 Sochi Olympic Mega-Project and Russia’s Political Economy,” East European Politics 30:2, June 2014, 175-191.

(with Sufian Zhemukhov), “Munich Syndrome: Russian Security in the 2014 Sochi Olympics,” Problems of Post-Communism, January/February 2014. 

(with Irina Olimpieva), “Russian Unions as Political Actors,” Problems of Post-Communism 60:5, September/October 2013, 3-16. 

(with Indra Overland), “Russia and the Formation of a Gas Cartel,” Problems of Post-Communism 58:3, May/June 2011. 

(with Indra Overland), “A Limited Toolbox: Explaining the Constraints on Russia’s Foreign Energy Policy,” Journal of Eurasian Studies 2:1, 2011, pp. 74-85.

(with Phyllis Dininio), “Explaining Patterns of Corruption in the Russian Regions,” World Politics 57:4, July 2005, pp. 500-29.

“The Russian Right and the Dilemmas of Party Organization,” Soviet Studies 44:3, 1992, 445-78. 


Professor Orttung has published numerous articles in the media, including inThe New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street JournalInternational Herald TribunePoliticoNewsdayMoscow Times, and Nezavisimaya gazeta. He has also appeared on NPR's All Things Considered.