Russian Foreign Policy and the CIS: Theories, Debates and Actions

Russian Foreign Policy and the CIS: Theories, Debates and Actions

Russian Foreign Policy and the CIS: Theories, Debates and Actions

Russian Foreign Policy and the CIS: Theories, Debates and Actions


This book investigates the options, the debates and the ensuing policies of the fledgling Russian government. It examines the evolution of policy from the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 until the Presidential elections in June 1996. Analysing Russia's actions in the context of contemporary foreign policy theory, Nicole J. Jackson discusses and compares three key conflicts: the separatist war between Moldova and Transdniestria; the separatist war between Georgia and Abkhazia and the civil war in Tajikistan. It will be of interest to students and researchers of international relations, security, foreign policy analysis and Russian studies.


This book systematically examines Russia's political debates concerning military conflicts in the former Soviet states from 1991 to 1996. Russia's most serious foreign policy challenge at this time was whether and how to respond to outbreaks of conflict within its neighbouring states. Unlike under the Soviet Union, there were open, diverse and complex debates about whether Russia should react to these conflicts and, if so, by what means. the relationship between these foreign policy debates and the ensuing policies and actions towards the three conflicts in which Russia was militarily involved - in Moldova, Georgia and Tajikistan - form the subject of this book.

To determine the extent to which ideas and debates influenced foreign policy choice, several avenues of inquiry are pursued, including detailed evidence from primary sources, extensive personal interviews concerning the range of foreign policy views of members of the political elite, distinctions between Russia's 'real' and perceived interests (including the facts of their historical development), and a carefully documented examination of debates, policies and actions specific to the three case studies.

The book discovers a pattern of relations which explains Russian involvement in the three specific conflicts, and which may be used to successfully illuminate other studies of post-Soviet Russian foreign policy. the complex pattern is of significant academic and policy interest for three reasons: first, it helps to explain how Russian foreign and military policy was made about the most serious conflicts in the post-Soviet region during the years immediately following the break-up of the Soviet Union; second, it clarifies and demonstrates the general role of ideas and debates in Russian foreign policy-making; and third, the pattern of relations discovered in this study contributes to the debate in international relations theory about the role of ideas in policy formulation and demonstrates how ideas help to define interests and influence foreign policy over time.

Specifically, the book concludes that broad foreign policy ideas and orientations influenced the development of the debates and how Russian policies were formulated and pursued in all three military conflicts. in every case, ideas and debates were crucial factors in defining an official

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