Towards neoclassical realist thinking in Russia
In the final chapter of this volume Tatiana Romanova and Elena Pavlova bring a Russian perceptive on neoclassical realism. The country largely missed out on the first five decades of international relations theory due to a doctrinal focus on Marxist explanations. But after the fall of communism Realism has, according to the authors, swiftly acquired a central role in Russian IR studies. The authors argue that neoclassical realism is less used as a theory than as a tool to guide policy - and that, in this sense, neoclassical realism will be strengthening its positions. In what that to many (at least western) readers will be a genuinely new insights the authors point out three issues, which, according to them, shape the realist thinking in Russia: the authority of the state, personified in the strong president ; geopolitical and identity orientation; and the peculiarities of Russian interests articulation. They examine how these three categories manifest themselves in various realist discussions on the three key issues for Russia (polarity, national interests and neighbourhood). Romanova and Pavlova conclude that the popularity of neoclassical realist thinking and its future potential in Russia is provided by foreign-policy practice, not by academic studies.