Misunderstanding Russia: Russian Foreign Policy and the West by Magda Leichtova

By Magda Leichtova

Good argued and balanced, Leichtova offers another and extra optimistic knowing of what drives Russian international coverage. The e-book is predicated at the ideas of constructivism and orientalism in diplomacy to examine the guidelines of the Russian Federation. This publication highlights that Russian international coverage is advanced phenomenon produced from inner in addition to exterior advancements, perceptions and expectations.At an identical time, it additionally highlights that Western states are the main companion in building of the Russian overseas coverage or even Russian id and, whilst, actively create an 'image of Russia' in overseas politics that is extensively in accordance with their very own Western assumptions concerning the kingdom. the writer introduces the reader to an alternative portrayal of family among Russia and the West which all analysts should still think about earlier than drawing conclusions.

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Criticism, although led by the momentary political interests of the time, followed the line of the Westernizer vs. Slavophile dispute mentioned previously. The President was accused of submitting to the West, weakening traditional Russian values, fracturing Russian solidarity with the predaciousness of capitalism and importing “democracy lessons” from abroad (for more on this see Chapter 5). Apart from domestic criticisms, the political elite were also disappointed by international developments which they saw as leading to the continual weakening of Russia in contrast to the lofty visions set at the beginning of the 1990s.

Let us then summarize the basic arguments which are essential for this work. In Russia, the pride of the individual was traditionally derived from the pride of a group of which he or she was a part. Therefore, the “need” for individual rights was long ignored in terms of achieving a feeling of self-fulfillment (Prizel, 1998). If the well-being of the group is ensured by the power and dimension of the state (which are variables which can mutually affect each other), the effectiveness of an authoritative system then gains higher value than freedom or democracy.

Again, however, the target of these attempts at balancing power is mainly the West. The multi-vector concept means Russia does not have to be reliant only on specific allies whose concern for strategic partnership with Russia is difficult to measure, and allows Russia to create a flexible network of alliances which are activated only in the event that the individual actors agree that they are necessary. Such a method of creating coalitions does not force partners to overcome mutual misunderstandings and conflicts, as is common in the relatively tight-knit alliance of Western states, but actually allows participating parties to focus only on specific shared interests and, in addition, enables Russia to design its interests and balance out the West’s power in a global context.

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