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Article

Geopolitical games in Eurasian regionalism: ideational interactions and regional international organisations

Izotov V., Obydenkova A.

This paper analyses the ideational interaction underlying attempts at regional integration and cooperation in Eurasia. While the ideas and values of the European Union have been relatively well-studied within the theory of Europeanisation, the key concepts, ideas, values and principles driving Eurasian regionalism have remained out of the main focus of Western scholarship. This paper aims to shed more light on this ideational basis of Eurasian regionalism by unveiling the discourse developed in Russian scholarship and available only in Russian. Understanding interactions between institutions will always remain partial as long as the ideational interaction is not addressed. Such concepts as ‘integrative mentality’, as a segment of the wider category ‘foreign policy mentality’, and the theory of neo-Eurasianism have been incorporated into Russian political discourse and therefore affect public opinion through specific interpretation of economic, political and cultural processes in the EU’s near neighbourhood and the EU as an actor. The analysis presented in this paper indicates the development of new ideational competition, in addition to the well-documented geopolitical one. The paper also aspires to contribute to emerging research on public support to governmental strategic choices and self-legitimation of international organisations in Eurasia.