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  • Author: Roger E Kanet
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Throughout the Cold War, studies of Soviet foreign policy were generally 'atheoretical'. In so far as they were based on theoretical models from international relations, those models tended to be some version of 'realism' or 'neorealism'. Over the past two decades, since the end of the Cold War, other approaches – especially those based on 'constructivism' – have challenged the domination of the 'realist' framework in studies of Russian foreign policy. The articles in this special issue of International Politics examine the strengths and weaknesses of the various theoretical frameworks employed to explain Russian policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Richard Sakwa
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: A new era in international politics is gradually taking shape in which the legacy of the Cold War is gradually fading, but in which new lines of division are emerging. The major institutions of the Cold War period are undergoing a long decay although the political processes associated with them are becoming increasingly dysfunctional. New forms of multi-polarity are taking shape accompanied by the struggle between defenders of the status quo and those ready to adapt to the structural revisionism inherent in the new pattern of international politics. In all of this, Russia acts as the bellwether, developing as a distinct and separate pole in the international system rather than joining the Western constellation, as was anticipated after the end of the Cold War. Russia's great power identity in the international system is accompanied by domestic systemic specificities, which reinforce differentiation at the structural level. Russia's neo-revisionism does not repudiate the present balance in international order, but seeks to create what it considers to be a more comprehensive and equal system. This can be seen in its various forms of interaction and modes of engagement with 'the international'. In methodological terms, the attempt to analyse these changes through a Cold War lens is a categorical error that perpetuates anachronistic paradigms. By disaggregating Russia's engagement with the international into a number of distinct processes, we can delineate more clearly the interaction of structural and systemic factors that sustain Russia's neo-revisionism.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia