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  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Striking parallels exist between post-Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany (1918-33) with regard to their international position, socio-economic conditions, sense of defeat and humiliation, and political situation. The analogy implies that a fascist regime is likely to come to power in Russia. However, the underlying causes of economic distress, the structure of the political system, and the cultural context in post-Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany also differ. Thus, contemporary Russia has weak fascist movements. The regime that emerges will probably be authoritarian and nationalist in character, and may to some extent exhibit fascist tendencies, but is very unlikely to be fully fascist in the classical sense.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Germany
  • Author: Vendulka Kubalkova
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
  • Abstract: Constructivism as an approach to IR and Soviet “new thinking” as a phenomenon of the final years of the cold war barely crossed paths since constructivism was coming into existence as an approach just as the other, “new thinking”, together with its main author, Mikhail Gorbachev, were about to exit international relations. Soviet “new thinking” is associated with Gorbachev's tenure of office as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). This ran from the mid 1980s till the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. Nicholas Onuf introduced constructivism in his book World of Our Making in 1989 and it was only in 1992, a year after the formal dissolution of the USSR, that Alexander Wendt referred to “new thinking” in his article “Anarchy is What States Make of it” as “one of the most important phenomena in [recent] world politics” (Wendt 1992, 450). It is in this same article that he also used the term constructivism, a term he borrowed from Onuf. Other, freshly convert- ed constructivists followed in Wendt's footsteps and, as evidence of the strength of their new approach, they often used “the DNA of the deceased”: Soviet “new thinking” and other artifacts and stories related to the cold war, which—with its main protagonist gone—was over. “New thinking” figures prominently again in Wendt's theoretical book on constructivism, where it is probably the empirical case that he handles in a more sustained manner and devotes to it more time than to any other cases or examples (Wendt, 1999).
  • Topic: Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Sarah E. Mendelson, John K. Glenn
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, Eastern Europe and Eurasia have been host to a virtual army of Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs)-from the United States, Britain, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe-all working on various aspects of institutional development, such as helping to establish competitive political parties and elections, independent media, and civic advocacy groups, as well as trying to reduce ethnic conflict. Little is known-although much good and bad is believed-about the impact of this assistance, carried out on a transnational level in cooperation with local political and social activists. This study, based at Columbia University, was designed to address this gap.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, International Organization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • 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: 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
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Russia s nuclear arsenal is broke and broken. Moscow s overall economic decline has taken a large toll on Russian security during the past decade. Its military cannot adequately perform traditional, essential security missions — airspace surveillance and defense, territorial defense against invasion, border control, and maintenance of internal cohesion. The sole exception to this dismal state of military affairs is nuclear deterrence, and even this mission is becoming burdensome.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Vice-President Al Gore officially accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's National Convention in Los Angeles on August 17. A continued deficit in the polls forced Gore to use the convention as a platform to consolidate his base vote. He also sought to differentiate himself from the Clinton presidency, despite the fact that he has adopted similar positions to the outgoing administration on many key issues. If Gore is to win in November, he must convince voters that the current expansion, and the benign political climate that it has fostered, would be imperilled by a Bush presidency.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Russia's new State Duma ended its first day's work in an uproar on January 18. An unlikely alliance of pro-Communist and pro-Kremlin parties was in control of the chamber's agenda, while an equally improbable alliance of smaller factions vowed not to participate in the running of the chamber until their demands for a greater say were met. This unpromising start presents acting President Vladimir Putin with both a short-term boost and a fresh political challenge. It also highlights one of Boris Yeltsin's more surprising political legacies.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Alexandru Liono
  • Publication Date: 12-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The political, economic and social situation in Chechnya is a matter of concern for all the analysts of the current environment in the North Caucasus. Every day brings about new developments in Chechnya, which can hardly be characterised as encouraging. The more recent events, which culminated with the intervention in Chechnya and the siege of Grozny by the Russian Federal troops in November – December 1999, have raised even more questions about the future of the Caucasus.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Caucasus
  • Author: Betsy Gidwitz
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent months, since shortly after the collapse of the Russian ruble in August 1998, an upsurge of antisemitism in Russia has generated a startling increase in emigration of Russian Jewry. Among Jews in Israel and many diaspora countries, concern has grown about the fate of those Jews remaining in Russia, the largest of the post-Soviet states.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia