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  • Author: S. Karaganov
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: The current stage of russia’s pivot to the east is the product of the second half of the 2000s largely as a belated economic response to the rise of asia, which opened new opportunities for the country’s devel- opment, especially for it eastern part. That rise made it possible to turn the ural region and the russian Far east from a mainly imperial burden – or a logistics base in confrontation with the West, sometimes a front line in rivalry with Japan or china – into a potential territory of develop- ment for the entire country. The expediency of making the pivot was substantiated by the fore- casted imminent economic slowdown of its main traditional partner, europe, and the deterioration of relations with europe and the West as a whole. The need for the diversification of economic ties and outside sources of development was becoming increasingly obvious. These assessments were backed up by a number of pronounced trends in the recent decade. First, these are the disintegration and crisis of the global order that the West has been trying to impose on the world since what it saw as its final victory. second is the process of relative de- globalization and the regionalization of the global economy and politics. and the third is the accelerating trend – related to the previous one – toward the politicization of economic ties, which made interdependence and dependence on one market comparatively less beneficial, if not sim- ply dangerous. Finally, the “asia for asia” trend prevailed over the “asia for the world” trend. Development in asia, especially in china, began to be increasingly oriented toward domestic and regional markets. Meanwhile, the process of spiritual and ideological emancipation of the formerly great asian civilizations, which in the past two centuries had been in colonial or semi-colonial dependence on the West, began to gain momen- tum. asian countries gained access to many achievements of the West, took advantage of the liberal global economic order that it created, became stronger, and began to claim a more appropriate place for them- selves on the world’s ideological and strategic map. The inevitability of the u.s. moving away (at least temporarily) from the role of a global hegemon, which came with a hefty price tag, became evident. Barack Obama set a course for domestic revival. however, old elites and inertia did not allow him to abandon costly and ineffective interventionism. Donald Trump strengthened the “self-isolation” trend. The u.s. has turned into a dangerous amalgam of residual intervention- ism and semi-isolationism. It is becoming increasingly evident that the u.s. seeks to create its own center, casting off some of its disadvanta- geous global commitments. a trend has evolved toward the formation of a hypothetically bipolar world through a multi-polar world with its inevitable chaos. One of its poles is based around the u.s. and the other is in eurasia. china seems to be its economic center, but the eurasian center will only materialize if Beijing does not claim the role of hegemon. however, whatever the case may be, it has turned out that once it has finally made a pivot to the east, russia has discovered many unexpected opportunities for itself.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Hegemony, Empire, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia