Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy

Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy

Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy

Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy

Synopsis

Russia has emerged as a new and assertively independent force in world politics, in Europe and Asia, and especially in the other former Soviet states. What are Moscow's foreign policy goals, and who sets them? This book provides the first systematic analysis of the domestic political, military and economic influences that shape Russia's international behavior. Five leading specialists examine the areas of foreign policy thinking and debate, how policy is made, the public politics of foreign policy, and the role of the military.

Excerpt

Margot Light

National identity and the culture of debate

This chapter examines the evolution of foreign policy views in the Russian Federation after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It looks at the domestic debates about foreign policy among political élites and at the development of official views, particularly as they were articulated in the official foreign policy 'concept'. We begin, however, in this first section by exploring the problems facing the new Russian leadership in terms of deciding what foreign policy to adopt, how these problems were reflected in the range and nature of the foreign policy debate, and who the political élite was which participated in the debate.

The second section of the chapter turns to the substance of the debate. As we have seen in Chapter 1, it is convenient to divide Russian foreign policy into three phases. the first phase, until May 1992, was distinguished by a consistently pro-Western line in Russian foreign policy. the second phase, from June 1992 to April 1993, was one of increasing disarray in Russian foreign policy, during which Russian foreign policy both towards the West and towards the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) gradually became more assertive. the third phase began after April 1993, when there was more consensus and Russian policy was, therefore, more consistent. But the debate about policy was continual, and it covered both the general principles on which participants wished Russian policy to be based and, once consensus had more or less been achieved, the way in which those principles should be implemented in specific responses to external events. For analytical convenience, however, the discussion of the debate will be divided into parts corresponding to the three phases of policy, and each phase will be considered separately. Similarly, it is analytically simpler to . . .

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