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  • Author: Viatcheslav Morozov
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Most people writing on the subject recognise that within the Russian discourse, the concept of human rights is used somewhat differently compared to Western Europe or the United States. However, the nature of these differences is yet to be properly studied. It is not enough just to say that 'the Western notions of human rights undergo certain transformations when transplanted to the Russian soil. At a superficial glance, the post-Soviet notions of human rights are identical [to the Western ones], but upon a more curious consideration their content turns out to be somewhat different' (Chugrov 2001:3). The essentialist concept of 'the Russian soil' as different from the Western one is of little help since it takes cultural differences as given, and thus all the researcher has to do is to register the differences in political practice, while the explanations are known in advance. More sophisticated essentialist approaches do no more than provide labels for the cultural features (e.g. 'nominalism' of the Western culture and 'collectivism' of the East –see Panarin 1999), but are unable to account for the interaction of these two fundamental principles in the Russian political process. As far as foreign policy studies are concerned, there is also the handy realist option of reducing the differences to an assumed national interest, which, of course, in itself is a social construct that is to be studied, and not a conceptual tool for research of other matters.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Pertti Joenniemi
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The European Union has been furnished with a Northern Dimension (ND). The initiative, taken originally by Finland in 1997, has landed on the Union's agenda yielding policy documents, high-level conferences and some projects pertaining to Europe's North. It outlines, in terms of the spatial markers used, a sphere that reaches far beyond the northernmost North. The initiative aims, in one of its aspects, at turning northernness into a representational frame and regime that nurtures communality and influences the relations between the Union, its northern member states, some accession countries and Russia as well as Norway as non-applicants. The neo-North embedded in the move offers a joint arena for those already 'in', actors on their way 'in' and the ones that remain 'out'. In essence, it mediates in their relations, and contributes to what Christiansen, Petito and Tonra have called the "fuzziness" of the European Union by blurring established divisions.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Norway
  • Author: Bertel Heurlin
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: There is good reason to take a closer look at NATO. The former Cold War alliance has dominated the international arena for a considerable amount of time. Should NATO have been dissolved long ago? What are the reasons for NATO's revival? Not only is NATO expanding, it has also recently conducted a war in the very heart of Europe. What can this renaissance and hectic NATO-activity lead to? Many politicians, commentators and observers discern the development of a new cold war, not least because of the lack of Russian support for, and understanding of, NATO's bombings in the Balkans. In May 1999, a prominent Russian security expert alleged that “if NATO commits a mistake such as the bombings in Yugoslavia, there would be a risk of Russian retaliation with nuclear weapons.2 Others, on the other hand, predict a collapse of the organisation as a whole because of internal disputes among the member states due to the extremely complex situation in the Balkans.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Author: Bjørn Moller
  • Publication Date: 04-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The author argues that NATO membership is worth much less than assumed by the potential new members, hence that it should also cost less than demanded by NATO. Even though an enlargement of NATO is thus not particularly desirable, it is probably going to happen rather soon. Unless accompanied by various measures to ensure Russia of NATO's peaceful intentions, however, this enlargement will be viewed as a hostile move by Moscow, especially by the 'Eurasian' groupings. Eventually, Russia may take reciprocal steps that would negate whatever immediate security gains could be achieved through NATO membership. It is thus in the best interest of both present and future members of NATO to 'sweeten the pill' by taking Russian security concerns into account. A number of suggestions are made to this effect.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Alexander A. Sergounin
  • Publication Date: 07-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The end of the Cold War, the collapse of the USSR and its Marxist ideology, and the re-emergence of the Russian Federation as a separate, independent entity have compelled Russia to redefine its national interests and make major adjustments in the spheres of both foreign policy and international relations theory (IRT). These enormous tasks, together with an attendant polarisation of opinion on how to deal with them, have pitted Russia's policy makers and experts against one another in a fierce battle of world views. This debate is far from at an end. Neither a new security identity nor a coherent foreign policy strategy have yet been found.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Environment, Government, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia