This article deals with the process of the establishment of Russian-Spanish relations in the 18th century and the role of one of the most distinguished Russian diplomats at the court of Catherine II Stepan Zinoviev who spent in Madrid around 20 years (1772-1794). The study is based largely on manuscripts (diplomatic and other correspondence) from the Archives of the External Policy of Russian Empire in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and fills a gap in the investigation of Russian foreign policy of the 18th century and the Russian-Spanish relations. Catherine’s foreign interests were focused toward the major states of Northern Europe, but she also tried to strengthen the position of Russian Empire in Europe, to embed the country in the European 'Balance of Power' by establishing diplomatic relations with all European countries. In this sense, the Iberian Peninsula was not wholly without significance for Russia. The political unions of Russia with the outlying countries, as Spain, depended not only on the international situation in Europe in the second half of the 18th century but on the image of the country that was created by Russians who visited Spain at that time. The position of diplomats was particularly important they were almost the only ones, except for merchants and sailors, who visited that country and it is on the basis of their reports Russia's foreign policy in relation to Spain was built in the 18th century. Based on the reports of Zinoviev we can reconstruct the images of such important political figures as the Spanish King Charles III, Secretary of State Count of Floridablanca and the other ministers of the Spanish government. The biography of the outstanding Russian diplomat Stepan Zinoviev is presented in this article for the first time.
The principles of “soft power”, within the context of the historical development of international relations both on the worldwide and regional levels, had been applied in the East and in the West long before the aforementioned theories appeared. It was the Jesuits in the 16th Century who developed strategies of influence and were pioneers in the introduction of "soft" methods of leverage in international communication practice. In today's world, which is witnessing an increase in the role of the religious factor in international relations, it is important to understand how to identify these achievements, and correct the mistakes of these early strategies, based on the practices of Francis Xavier in Japan and of Antoni de Montserrat in the Mughal Empire. An attentive and thorough study of the Jesuits’ experience is of great importance in understanding contemporary processes of international interaction from a “soft power” point of view.
In summer 2018 the United States launched a trade war against China. Before that, there was a chance that both sides would find a compromise, some hopes were still in place during bilaterial negotiations in May. However, new US tariffs on import from China were imposed in July and August with the total of 200 billion. The successful economic growth of China leads to the transformation of the world economic space, where the leading positions are still occupied by the countries of the West. The new US administration, fearing economic competition, announced a policy of containing China. In this case, Washington is going to violate the existing rules of international trade. The tension in the economic relations of the United States and China is growing. The authors look into the history, ideology and details of the conflict between two major powerhouses of the global economy. They try to investigate how both countries will be affected by the emerging trade war, which is also challenging the whole system of international trade regulation. Besides, the conflict between Washington and Beijing is understood as a fundamental shift in the world economy and politics where rising powers take the lead in globalization. For the first time in the history of Sino-American relations economic tensions between the two sides have reached such a scale. Analysis of their consequences far exceeds the standard methods of assessment of trade policy measures.
The article considers the important geostrategic position of Xinjiang, located at the intersection of foci of instability, at least having a common border with Afghanistan and Pakistan. The large-scale military conflict in the Middle East has definitely influenced the geostrategic position of Xinjiang. The analysis shows that the peculiarity of this conflict lies in the fact that it affects not only the political, but also the economic situation of Xinjiang. The purpose of the study is to identify and analyze the main external factors that influence the activation of separatism in Xinjiang. As for the political aspect, the emergence of a new active force in the Middle East represented by ISIS creates certain risks for the China, given the presence of radical young people, and the possibility of religious extremists from penetrating into its territory through Afghanistan and the Central Asian republics. China does not benefit from the prolonged destabilization of the political situation in Syria, the disintegration of the state or the victory of religious extremists. The author also comes to the conclusion that the military conflict in the Middle East can negatively affect the implementation of the project of the new Silk Road. Its starting point is Xinjiang. Successful implementation of the project will stimulate trade, economic and energy exchanges with the Central Asian republics and positively influence the stabilization of the situation in Xinjiang. But the problem lies in the fact that the road itself lies close to the Middle Eastern regions, where conflicts with the ISIS occur in the acute phase. The article also examines the US influence on the situation in Xinjiang and support for the Uyghur separatist movement. In the future, the Uyghur issue is more likely to be used by the Americans to weaken and gain concessions from China on various issues. This research is based on the principles of general scientific system and structural approaches, as well as structural and functional approaches; cultural-civilizational and logical methods in order to ensure the study of the problem in accordance with historical facts and realities of the issue under study.
The article focuses upon new aspects in ASEAN priorities relevant to the rise of efficiency of ASEAN-led multilateral dialogues platforms — ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus Eight (ADMM+8) and East Asia Summit (EAS). Having outlined the conceptual contradiction between the rise of the global component in Asia-Pacific security challenges, the authors trace the intellectual and practical dimensions of ASEAN response. On reviewing the key directions of intra-ASEAN expert discussions, the authors reveal their qualitatively new component — to link the modification of ASEAN modality of cooperation and its expansion to the Eurasian area. The trace of factors responsible for the possibility and necessity to adopt ARF, ADMM+8 and EAS to the impeding format ASEAN-SCO-EAEU and practically-oriented proposals about the promising directions of cooperation within this format are the key academic value-added of the study. The actuality and academic significance of the study stem from the necessity to analyze issues important for ASEAN and its Eurasian partners. Among these issues, the key are: which directions of cooperation can be of help for ASEAN in order to strengthen its positions as the driving force of AsiaPacific multilateral dialogue frameworks? By what means can ASEAN and ASEAN-led formats be integrated in the establishment of Greater Eurasia with the maximum outcomes for both ASEAN and its Eurasian partners? How can ASEAN experience be used for the establishment of an efficient trans-continental rather than regional multilateral security dialogue? Findings on these issues make the article academically unique.
“Arab spring” has launched a process of large-scale political transformation of the countries in the North Africa and the Middle East. There are many “points of tension” in the region of North Africa, in which converge the political and economic interests of external actors, including international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). The lobbying of democratic values as opposed to clan interests led to the strengthening of the role of the West in relation to the state and public institutions of the North Africa and the Middle East. Moreover, academic community recognizes that currently INGOs actively participate in modern international relations, in internal policy of the countries where they perform their activities. Their actions have even more significant impact during the times when the political regimes change. This article aims to analyze the activities of INGOs before, during and after the change of H. Mubarak’s government in Egypt, under the governments of M. Mursi and A.F. As-Sisi (2010—2016 gg.). The article deals with several active INGOs of the “Arab Spring”, such as National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, Carter Center and other. The analysis of the activities of the above-mentioned INGO allows us to draw conclusions about their strategies, methods, and instruments of modern technologies facilitating the change of the political regime. The most common mechanisms of INGOs influence on political transition were participation in organization of the electoral process, organization of election campaigns, seminars, consultations for civil society that promote the emergence of new potential political leaders. Great attention in this article is paid to the socio-economic situation in Egypt after the mass unrest. The author shows how the external forces behind foreign NGOs contributed to the political transition, and relates to the ambiguous results for population it has brought
The authors analyze the organizational structure of the U.S. scientific community, examining the V.Bush report “Science: the Endless Frontier” (1945) as its conceptual basis, which remains the cornerstone of the American science policy. The authors point out decentralization as the key trait of this structure, which reveals itself in the absence of a unitary centre with a mission to formulate and implement science policy and high level of dissemination of self-government practices supported by a wide range of government agencies. This configuration determines the special position, occupied by the universities as universal research establishments possessing flexibility in cooperation with state agencies and private sector.
For almost ten years the G20 brings together the leaders of advanced countries and countries with emerging economy to govern shared challenges. Assessments of its role range from a very skeptical to a highly positive judgement. Nevertheless, the G20 remains a key forum for economic cooperation in the face of shifting values and powers, rising protectionism, environmental depletion and increasing anti-globalization. Each presidency is unique in its search for a balance between national priorities and partners’ interests in the process of charting agenda and forging collective decisions. High expectations of German G20 presidency were defined by internal and external factors. First, the demand for a response to the increasing challenges of de-globalization, economic inequality and climate change. Second, Germany’s unique potential to enhance G20 effectiveness and consolidate the forum’s role as a global public good sponsor due to the country’s economic power and diplomatic influence. The article reviews German G20 presidency priorities and outcomes in the context of internal and external challenges: the US 45th President’s position on international trade and climate, Brexit negotiations, national September parliamentary elections in Germany, the country’s significant and persistent current account surplus. The author claims that G20 has made substantial progress under German presidency. Geopolitical problems did not prevent the leaders from crafting decisions on key economic agenda issues. Six ministerial meetings were concluded by adoption of declarations, cooperation on digital economy and health was institutionalized, the leaders agreed 15 documents, including the Declaration and Action Plan on Countering Terrorism, and made more than 500 commitments. The summit hosted around 70 bilateral leaders’ meetings. Thus despite divergences and tensions between G20 members, internal and external challenges, G20 laid the foundation for future agenda on the presidency priorities of digital economy, health and migration; advanced cooperation on core policy areas; agreed statements which allow to surmount protectionist trends in international trade; consolidated G20 commitment to the Paris agreement implementation; strengthened cooperation on energy sustainability and efficiency. To sum up G20 demonstrated resilience to new tests and confirmed its role as a key forum for economic cooperation.
This article focuses on the two recently established multilateral development banks (MDBs) dominated by emerging economies: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and New Development Bank (NDB). The creation of these institutions was stimulated by the growing demand for infrastructure financing, insufficient potential of “traditional” MDBs to respond to this demand and their terms of funding conditionality, as well as developing countries’ aspiration for a greater influence in the global economic governance The authors explore the main economic and political incentives that lie behind the creation of these institutions, examine challenges and opportunities they are likely to face, and provide a forecast of their loan portfolios growth in the coming years. The forecast includes two scenarios: basic and optimistic, and is based on the analysis of NDB and AIIB differences from traditional banks, and potential benefits and challenges they can bring. The methodology used for assessment allows projecting the financial capacity of the two banks based on their announced shareholder capital and likely financial performance determined by membership, governance arrangements and other factors, and takes into account recent developments in both banks. Based on the forecast, the authors conclude that in ten years the new banks will be able to provide infrastructure financing at the level of traditional institutions working in the area. In order to develop in accordance with the optimistic scenario, the new banks should adhere to their basic alternative principles, but also rely on the experience of traditional banks in areas where they have proved their effectiveness. These include exchange of experience on selection of projects, social and environmental safeguards, and monitoring results. Apart from addressing the global infrastructure gap, the new banks could also stimulate traditional ones to reform their governance and change operational modalities and thus become more responsive to developing countries’ interests. However, even in ten years the contribution of the NDB and AIIB will be insufficient to substantially narrow the gap in infrastructure financing. In this regard, the potential of the new banks can obviously be used most effectively if they cooperate with traditional MDBs. This article contributes to better understanding the potential of such cooperation.
Russia''s return to Africa is widely discussed in the Russian and foreign scientific and expert circles, on the pages of newspapers and magazines. This covers a broad range of problems of country, regional and global scale, put forward and voiced conflicting estimates and judgments. Abroad, actively promoted the interpretation of the “return” of Russia to the continent as a new direction of neo-imperial ambitions of the new Russia and its aspirations to weaken the position of the West, “golden” its image in the developing countries, in the eyes of Africans. Author analyzes the impact of the emerging political, economic and social realities of the XXI century on the development prospects of the African continent in general, and on the Russian-African relations in particular. The author concludes that the increase in the weight and role of the continent in world politics and economy today requires a rethinking of the Russian approaches to the problems of scale Russian-African partnership and the formation of its long-term vision, building on the existing political, diplomatic and investment and the country''s financial resources. The new dynamics of Russian-African relations is connected, first of all, with the development of partnerships in those areas where Russia has competitive potential, production capacities, high competence and experience. Including the development of natural resources, nuclear power and hydropower, military-technical cooperation, the establishment of satellite information and communication systems, cooperation in the sphere of education, health, the fight against epidemics, natural catastrophes. Russia is confident enough to overcome the deep recession of relations with Africa, recorded in the late 80''s and 90-ies of XX century. However, it would be premature to claim that full-blooded “return” of Russia to the continent has already taken place. Scaling up comprehensive cooperation will depend, first, on the quality of the stability of the acceleration of development in Africa, the transformation of African economies to modern industrial and technological bases; and, secondly, on the dynamics of socio-economic and socio-political development of the Russian state. Russian potential of weakening the critical dependence on the West increase. Russia, along with the other members of the BRICS can make an impressive contribution to the development of this process as it has been made in achieving the objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of African Unity. History repeats, but at a different stage of development.
The article is devoted to Russian-Chinese humanitarian cooperation in the 90-ies of XX century. The author emphasizes the special importance of humanitarian cooperation between Russia and China for the promotion of national interests and the expansion of Russia's presence in China by applying the mechanism of "soft power". The author notes that the 90-ies of XX century were the starting point of cooperation between Russia and China in the humanitarian sphere, it laid the legal foundation of Russian-Chinese humanitarian cooperation, moreover, the main directions and priorities of cooperation between the two countries in the humanitarian field have been identified. However, the author stresses that the practical realization of the objectives of the signed intergovernmental documents was carried out in an insufficiently wide format. And the main reason is the deep socio-economic crisis, which Russia had faced after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and, as a consequence, the lack of funding for joint Russian-Chinese projects in the humanitarian field.
Globalization and technological changes of the recent decade led to powerful transformations in the society, creating huge opportunities for economic and social development. Simultaneously these political, economic, social and technological shifts bring new challenges: enhanced mutual vulnerability of states; growing inequality; macroeconomic and financial instability; rise of terrorism; unbalanced growth of population and employment; waves of migration; increased rate of pandemic diseases diffusion; climate change and growing competition for resources. To prevent and manage the threats it is vital to ensure efficiency of the global governance system. Though lacking in legitimacy G20, set up in response to the global economic and financial crisis, has proved its efficiency in crafting and implementing consensus based decisions with a catalytic impact for global governance. Russia has a very strong track record in the G20 and it is vital to build on the success. The article reviews the G20 role in the global governance system and examines the factors of Russia’s success in the G20. Looking into the future, the author outlines G20 future agenda; proposes a strategy and a set of measures which would maximize G20 utility for Russia. Content analysis of the G20 documents, Russia’s national G20-related documents, interviews and statements is carried out to track whether Russia’ priorities in G20 have been achieved. Historical overview of G20 performance and Russia’s work in the G20 is undertaken to identify success factors. The G20 SWOT analysis is applied to reveal G20 strengths and opportunities and identify weaknesses and threats. Results of the SWOT analysis are used to develop a proposal for Russia’s strategy with regard to the G20. Drawing on the long-term forecasts, assessment of the G20 performance so far and its engagement with the other international organizations, the author makes an assertion that G20 agenda will deepen in the long-term, the demand for a cross-cutting approach to the new challenges will grow, alongside with the demand for the forum’s leadership in global governance. The article highlights decisions, recommendations and provisions spelt out in G20 key documents (including national growth strategy and employment plan) and G20 commitments on financial regulation, trade, infrastructure investment, energy and innovations which can contribute to development of a new model of the country growth and its integration into the world system. The author proposes a strategy which should maximize G20 effectiveness for Russia consolidating significant diplomatic, expertise and political assets Russia has already accrued in the G20 process, arguing that though such strategy will require organizational, financial and human resources mobilization, it will allow overcome existing and potential risks for promoting Russia’ priorities, such as declining share of the world GDP, geopolitical tensions, rise of new powers, aggravation of tensions between developed and developing countries and sliding level of consensus in the G20.
The paper presents analysis of the G8 and G20 assistance to developing countries in overcoming the consequences of economic and financial crisis. It assesses the G8's and G20's implementation of key global governance functions and highlights their engagement with international organizations. In conclusion the author gives recommendations for rational division of labour between the institutions in international development assistance.