Regional Leadership in Post-Soviet Eurasia: The Strategies of Russia, China, and the European Union
This book explores power in international relations, in a world characterized by the growing competition of major powers for smaller nations. Focusing on the major powers and smaller countries of Eurasia, it argues that power in international relations is different from coercion and is rather a social contract between a leader state and follower states where reciprocity is key and where leadership relationships cannot be adequately explained by focusing solely on the leader. It challenges the perception that genuine regional leadership is quite common, contending instead that it is rare; that much more often major powers make claims for leadership; and that regional leadership does not indicate the status of a particular state, but rather the social role of the leader, which is recognized by its followers, a role which is always relative and based on communication and constant interaction with followers. The book highlights the important role followers play in recognizing regional power, the importance for a state's regional leadership strategy in creating and holding a valuable position attractive for followers and delivering greater value to followers compared to other potential leaders.