Introduction: The Return of Spheres of Influence?
In March 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, relations between Moscow and the West descended into their deepest crisis since the end of the Cold War. For the rest of that year and into the next, the Ukraine crisis made headlines around the world. It emerged as the most urgent security challenge facing Western nations. The response to this crisis, from Western leaders, in particular, is key to understanding why ‘spheres of influence’ are the subject of political discourse today, and why this discourse alters our understanding of the past, present and future.
This article accounts for the revival of geopolitics in Russian post-Soviet foreign policy thinking and also for the fact that geopolitics-inspired foreign policy prescriptions had relatively little impact on the actual conduct of Russian foreign policy. It is argued that classical geopolitics was revived in Russia in order to objectively present the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a crisis. The crisis, in turn, was constructed using a number of themes first articulated by classical Eurasians, namely ideology, modernisation and Russia's distinctiveness. However, geopolitical thinking had little practical relevance because the solution to the crisis was eventually conceptualized in non-geopolitical terms.
In early 2010 Russia once again entered a turbulent period. From the system of property distribution, to structure of the political elites and relations between the Center and the regions - various spheres of Russian life are in a state of flux. Two major factors are driving this change: oil prices which are unlikely to grow the way they did in the 2000s and the rapidly deteriorating efficiency of governance. Relations between federal and regional elites, as well as public activism, are derived from these two factors and play an important role of their own. Will change take an evolutionary path or is Russia facing another revolution? The book offers a view of the Russian future until 2025 based on thematic scenarios created by an international team of Russia scholars whose expertise range from politics and economics to demographics and foreign policy.
The reader describes various aspects of the international position of Russia and its policy in the beginning of the 21st century. The general problems of international relations in the present-day polycentric world are discussed.
The article analyses worsening of the US-Russia Relations in 2012. It discusses domestic and foreign policy reasons of the relations deterioration, explores the nature of the relations, and provides forecast for the near- and middle-term future. The paper also provides analyses of the model of "selective pragmatic cooperation" between the US and Russia, which emerged by the biginning of 2013.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.