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  • Author: Jørgen Staun
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The window of opportunity for ensuring Russian democracy is closed or rapidly closing, at least in the intermediate term. Putin's so-called “managed democracy” has turned the Putin-regime into an autocratic system of power where all matters of importance, be it of domestic or foreign policy concern, are decided upon by the members of the small, non-elected elite of powerful bureaucrats surrounding Putin. Elections, parties, court-decisions, major media as well as major business deals – especially in so-called “strategic sectors” of oil, gas, metals and arms – are controlled by the Kremlin, based upon a closed matrix of private, corporate, organisational and national interests. Russia is still a market-based society where property rights are generally accepted – even if they are suspect of turf wars between competing clans and well-connected business groups. But “rule of law” in Russia is at least in high-profile cases a matter of “telephone justice”, that is, rulings are decided outside and not inside the courts.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kremlin, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Maryland
  • Author: Anaïs Marin
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Finnish-Russian border is one of the oldest dividing lines on the European continent, but also the most stable and peaceful new border the EU has been sharing with Russia since 1995. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, it became bot h a site and an instrument of increased cross- border interaction and institutional innovation, as illustrated by the establishment of Euregio Karelia in 2000. The paper recalls the historic al background of good-neighbourhood in the Finnish-Russian/Soviet borderlands and calls on constructivist IR theory to elaborate a model for analysing the factors, actors and mechanisms that contributed to the partial integration of this frontier. With Russian regions adjacent to the EU/Finnish border participating in the Northern Dimension, cross-border cooperation contributed to the growing regionalisation of the EU-Russia “strategic partnership”. The pa per addresses the challenging conceptual and political issues posed by this trend towards an “integration without joining” at the EU's external border.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrey Makarychev
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: My intention in this paper is to analyze the state of trans-border relationship between Russia, on the one hand, and Latvia and Estonia, on the other, in terms of interplay between central and non-central actors. Two basic concepts–that ones of marginality and provinciality–will be used as points of departure and compared with each other. Each of these concepts develops its own narrative and a discursive strategy. In some instances, these narratives may smoothly complement each other; and yet in other occurrences, they conflict in a manner that fuels "a battle of the story".
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Latvia
  • Author: Tarja Cronberg
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper is about a partnership, the aim of which is to create a Europe without divides. A partnership where the vision is to transcend the divide between membership and non-membership and to create co-operation in trade, in stability and security, and in democracy on all levels. The paper examines the implementation of the EU-Russia partnership and its strategy not only on the rhetorical level but also in a micro-perspective seen from a border region (mostly from the EU-side), from a space where the divides whether economic, social or of any other kind are most clearly manifested. As borders manifest social conflict a study of the implementation of the partnership agreement on this micro-level will make visible not only the taken-for-granted assumptions and practices but also new and emerging divides. As a concrete case the creation of a European information society is studied. Will the partners be united in virtual space without divides? Conclusions are drawn on the nature of the partnership, the relationship between the partners and the perspective of a Europe without divides.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Mette Skak
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The gap between the structural reality surrounding Russia and the cognitive level of Russian foreign policy making is highlighted. The literature on Russian foreign policy is reviewed, distinguishing between 'optimists' and 'pessimists'. The analysis differentiates between 'milieu goals' and 'possession goals' and traces the pursuit of these goals in Czarist Russian, Soviet and postcommunist Russian foreign policy. The conclusion is that possession goals – hard-core realism, as it were – remain the dominant feature of Russian foreign policy (as in the Soviet era). This challenges the theory of democratic peace. This finding is then subjected to a policy-oriented criticism of Russian foreign policy. Three examples of dysfunctional Russian foreign policy are addressed: the misguided pursuit of multipolarity, myth and reality about regional priorities, and Russian self-destructive partisanship in ex-Yugoslavia. The final section raises the eternal Russian questions of Kto vinovat? and Shto delat'?On the causal factors behind the observed traits of irrationality, the analysis emphasises the volatile, 'praetorian' decision-making environment. Concerning policy implications, the dialogue with Russia must address features of realism, for instance by marketing the virtue of internal balancing, and as for concessions, formally dismiss foreign policy doctrines of spheres-of-influence like the Monroe doctrine as anachronistic in an era of globalization.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lyndelle Fairlie
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: A Northern Dimension for the European Union is now taking shape. Originally a Finnish initiative, it tries to take a regional view of the Baltic area which includes member states, EU applicants such as Poland and the Baltic states and Russia. The Northern Dimension specifically mentions the Russian oblast of Kaliningrad. There is very little time left to develop an Action Plan which the EU Council can adopt at the December Helsinki summit. This essay addresses the question of whether or not the EU will use Northern Dimension to solve its Kaliningrad dilemma.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia