Russian Politics and Society

By Richard Sakwa | Go to book overview

Part V

Foreign policies

Russia is different not only from the other former Soviet states, but also from countries comparable in size and population. It is different not only because of its geopolitical role in Europe and Eurasia and being by far the dominant state in the CIS, or because of its strategic significance as the world's second largest nuclear power, or because of its political weight associated with its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. These are important factors, but above all Russia is different because it perceives itself to be different. For some policy-makers in the West, above all in the corridors of the hyper-power, the gulf between Russia's ambitions and its weakened realities became increasingly irksome. Russia's pretensions to be a 'Great Power' were derided and the country was urged to reduce its attitudes and policies commensurate with its decreased territorial space, economic resources and comparative military potential. Russia, however, was more than just another European state, a view reflected in any number of comments and official documents. For example, Anatolii Utkin at the USA and Canada Institute argued that Western advice that Russia should 'forget about our past greatness and become another Brazil' ignores the fact that '150 million don't perceive themselves as Brazilians'. 1 The Russian government's Medium-Term Strategy argued:

As a world power situated on two continents, Russia should retain its freedom to determine and implement its domestic and foreign policies, its status and advantages as an Euro-Asian state and the largest country of the CIS, and independence of its positions and activities at international organisations. 2

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Russian Politics and Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures ix
  • Tables x
  • Preface to the Third Edition xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Note on Style, Spelling and Transliteration xiv
  • Glossary of Acronyms, Acrostics and Terms xv
  • Part I - The Fall of Communism and the Rebirth of Russia 1
  • 1: Soviet Communism and Its Dissolution 3
  • 2: The Disintegration of the Ussr 27
  • Part II - Political Institutions and Processes 43
  • 3: The New Constitutional Order 45
  • 4: Law and Society 72
  • 5: The Executive 98
  • 6: The Legislature 125
  • 7: Electoral Politics 140
  • 8: Party Development 172
  • Part III - Federalism, Regionalism and Nationalism 201
  • 9: Federalism and the State 203
  • 10: Regional and Local Politics 224
  • 11: National Identity and State-Building 254
  • Part IV - Economy and Society 277
  • 12: Marketising the Economy 279
  • 13: Society and Social Movements 305
  • 14: Cultural Transformation 331
  • Part V - Foreign Policies 347
  • 15: Foreign Policy 349
  • 16: Commonwealth, Community and Fragmentation 375
  • 17: Defence and Security Policy 396
  • Part VI - Dilemmas of Democratisation 423
  • 18: Problems of Transition 425
  • 19: Pluralism, Elites, Regime and Leadership 445
  • 20: Democracy in Russia 463
  • Notes 475
  • Select Bibliography 524
  • Index 527
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