What Can Russia Teach Us about Change? Status-Seeking as a Catalyst for Transformation in International Politics
Although a general task of social science is to measure and predict change, international relations (IR) paradigms and theories have been unable to keep up with the rapid pace and destabilizing effects of change in international politics. When addressing Russia, IR’s “change problem” becomes clearer: the world’s largest country is treated as an object struggling to adjust to changes rather than a protagonist introducing them into the system. Yet, twice within the last quarter century, Russia has acted as a catalyst for changes in international politics that few saw coming and which confounded IR paradigms. The Soviet leadership’s decision to withdraw from the Cold War standoff and dismantle its empire in Eastern Europe was one of the most surprising events of the twentieth century. Russia’s interventions in Ukraine, Syria, and the 2016 US presidential elections have similarly caught most observers by surprise. IR theories have struggled to account for these actions and have not been able to integrate Soviet/Russian behavior into their larger understanding of change in international politics. Our underlying premise is to treat Russia (in both its Soviet and present-day incarnations) seriously as an agent of transformational change in international politics. Most theories that deal with transformational change focus on the effects of larger social and economic forces. However, change is seldom a smooth, linear process. Larger global forces may be operating, but individual agents catalyze changes produced by these deeper historical forces. What is needed to understand Russian foreign policy decision making is an evolutionary theory of change that is able to integrate historical (root) causes of change with proximate and contingent ones. In both cases examined in this paper, larger historical root causes push the international system toward change, but Russia’s status aspirations and status dissatisfaction have been the proximate causes catalyzing change.
In the aftermath of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russian international relations (IR) study stepped into a phase of comprehensive transformation, where the theoretical development, research content, and research methodology underwent substantial change This article focuses on surveying Russian IR discipline development since 1991, elaborating the theoretical discussion in Russion IR academia concerning the estabolishment of two emerging disciplines of “world politics” and “IR philosophy”, and as well, analyzing the new concepts advanced by Russian scholars when delving into the trend of international configuration Thereby, the contemporary Russian perspectives of IR theory explorations are presented.
In order to explore the present and future role of the EU in the G8, it is important to invoke, develop and apply several key contemporary concepts from International Relations Theory. This chapter focuses in turn on soft power and soft law, concerts, vulnerability and shocks, globalization and complex adaptive systems and multilateral governance and networks.
Given their relationship to political rhetoric, myths of the Cold War certainly matter today; the legal field is no exception. Although Cold-War studies remains a blooming field, its legal dimensions have not been sufficiently developed. Only recently have legal scholars begun to embark upon research in law and the Cold War and how this area is regarded nowadays, both explicitly implicitly. Preliminary results show that, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, knowledge of law of the ‘Other’ was encapsulated within two main frameworks: ideological and pragmatic. How did these approaches interrelate and influence one another? Can pure knowledge strictly be divided from contextual conditions? The chapters in this volume present retrospective accounts of actors who have been involved in the circulation of knowledge through the Curtain and, also, research on recent political and legal phenomena echoing the Cold-War discourse.
The article analyses the struggle of the broad public circles in the U.S. against the outbreak of the Cold War, attempts to maintain an alliance with the USSR.
The book covers the history of relations between Soviet Russia and South Africa, which, for many decades, remained hidden even from those who were a part of it. It is devoted mostly to the Soviet period, although the first, introductory, chapter presents the history of relations between the two countries in the previous three hundred years, and the last one the relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the diplomatic relations. In the first part of the book the reader will find a detailed analysis of close ties between the Communist Party of South Africa and the Communist International, the activities of the South African NGO Friends of the Soviet Union, trade relations in in the 1930s and the cooperation and diplomatic relations during the Second World War. The second part of the book is devoted to the relations between the USSR, South African communists and the African National Congress during the cold war era: Soviet assistance to the ANC's armed struggle, its ideological influence on the anti-apartheid movement, as well as the analysis of both Soviet and South African ideological constructs concerning one another and their mutual policies towards one another. The last part of the book covers Gorbachev's perestroika period and the infuence of the changes in the USSR and of its collapse on the situation in South Africa and on the relations between the two countries.
In this chapter we want to see what historical narratives can tell us in order to better understand our concerns with the vanishing ice as evidence of a current mega-transition. Was the 2007 minimum unique? When and why did science start to study Arctic sea ice? Have there been periods of an ice-free Arctic Sea in the past? And, if they did occur, how does it impact on interpretations of our present- time discourse on the possible emergence of anice- free Arctic Sea? Climate change may, in retrospect, have appeared an obvious companion idea, but this relationship between ice and climate was rarely put forward as a serious alternative for the immediate future on the human timescale of decades, generations, or even centuries. But when it finally was, comparatively late in the middle of the twentieth century, sea ice was part of the story. We start by visiting the idea of an ice-free Arctic in the past, then moving on to the scientific undertakings on sea -ice in the Soviet Union. Interwar efforts outside the Soviet Union were as only matched by Nordic researchers, with whom we deal with subsequently. Finally we discuss the Cold -War effortsand their military connections. That science is interest-driven is evident throughout the entire period. Sea- ice minima may comprise straightforward facts, but the underlying knowledge is the outcome of a complex science politics of circumpolar ice.
This article provides a new synthesis on the origins of self-management in Yugoslavia on the basis of new archival research. It rejects the dominant view in the historiography that self-management arose merely as an ideological justification for the split with Stalin's USSR in 1948. Rather, it demonstrates that the introduction of workers' councils was part of an elaborate effort on the part of the Communist leadership to return to its pre-1948, proto-‘reform Communist’ strategy that was remarkably open to interaction with the world market. This is shown to have implications for understanding Yugoslavia, Eastern Europe, the Cold War and Communism.
This comparative study shows how the revival of geopolitics came not despite, but because of, the end of the Cold War. Disoriented in their self-understandings and conception of external role by the events of 1989, many European foreign policy actors used the determinism of geopolitical thought to find their place in world politics quickly. The book develops a constructivist methodology to study causal mechanisms, and its comparative approach allows for a broad assessment of some of the fundamental dynamics of European security.
This article uses new evidence to investigate Yugoslav foreign policy through the prism of inter-party relations rather than traditional high diplomacy. It shows the Yugoslav Communists hoped comradeship with Britain's Labour Party would influence Western policies to counter the Soviet threat. Initial successes, especially a deterrent statement by the British Cabinet in February 1951, inspired great optimism. The Labour left was also delighted that Communism could be reformed and Cold War tensions lessened. However, ideological differences crystallised over the Djilas affair and Yugoslavia's choice for Non-Alignment. Only mutual opposition to the USSR during the crises of 1956 ensured their continuing friendship.
This special publication for the 2012 New Delhi Summit is a collection of articles by government officials from BRICS countries, representatives of international organizations, businessmen and leading researchers.
The list of Russian contributors includes Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia, Maxim Medvedkov, Director of the Trade Negotiations Department of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Vladimir Dmitriev, Vnesheconombank Chairman, Alexander Bedritsky, advisor to the Russian President, VadimLukov, Ambassador-at-large of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, and representatives of the academic community.
The publication also features articles by the President of Kazakhstan NursultanNazarbayev and internationally respected economist Jim O’Neil, who coined the term “BRIC”. In his article Jim O’Neil speculates about the future of the BRICS countries and the institution as a whole.
The publication addresses important issues of the global agenda, the priorities of BRICS and the Indian Presidency, the policies and competitive advantages of the participants, as well as BRICS institutionalization, enhancing efficiency and accountability of the forum.
The article is devoted to the study of the authoritarianism prevalent in the mass consciousness of Russians. The article describes a new approach to the consideration of the authoritarian syndrome as the effects of the cultural trauma as a result of political and socio-cultural transformation of society. The article shows the dynamics of the symptoms of the authoritarianism, which appear in the mass consciousness of Russians from 1993 to 2011. This paper proposes a package of measures aimed at reducing the level of the authoritarianism in Russian society.
This work looks at a model of spatial election competition with two candidates who can spend effort in order to increase their popularity through advertisement. It is shown that under certain condition the political programs of the candidates will be different. The work derives the comparative statics of equilibrium policy platform and campaign spending with respect the distribution of voter policy preferences and the proportionality of the electoral system. In particular, it is whown that the equilibrium does not exist if the policy preferences are distributed over too narrow an interval.
The article examines "regulatory requirements" as a subject of state control over business in Russia. The author deliberately does not use the term "the rule of law". The article states that a set of requirements for business is wider than the legislative regulation.
First, the article analyzes the regulatory nature of the requirements, especially in the technical field. The requirements are considered in relation to the rule of law. The article explores approaches to the definition of regulatory requirements in Russian legal science. The author analyzes legislation definitions for a set of requirements for business. The author concludes that regulatory requirements are not always identical to the rule of law. Regulatory requirements are a set of obligatory requirements for entrepreneurs’ economic activity. Validation failure leads to negative consequences.
Second, the article analyzes the problems of the regulatory requirements in practice. Lack of information about the requirements, their irrelevance and inconsistency are problems of the regulatory requirements in Russia.
Many requirements regulating economic activity are not compatible with the current development level of science and technology. The problems are analyzed on the basis of the Russian judicial practice and annual monitoring reports by Higher School of Economics.
Finally, the author provides an approach to the possible solution of the regulatory requirements’ problem. The author proposes to create a nationwide Internet portal about regulatory requirements. The portal should contain full information about all regulatory requirements. The author recommends extending moratorium on the use of the requirements adopted by the bodies and organizations of the former USSR government.