The Sources of Russian Foreign Policy after the Cold War

By Celeste A. Wallander | Go to book overview

project helped ameliorate the conflict between the Estonian state and Russians, both at home and abroad.


Conclusion: Russian Foreign Policy and Russian Identity In the Near Abroad

It would be difficult to explain Russian foreign policy in the non-Russian countries of the former Soviet Union without reference to the 25 million Russians still living there. Although Moscow could adopt a forceful policy toward the former republics independently of the Russian presence, it is no doubt also true that the presence of Russians increases the probability that policymakers in Russia and the interested public and electorate in Russia will pay more attention to developments in these fourteen new states than they otherwise would. Moreover, the importance accorded internal events in these states is also magnified because of the Russian presence. Finally, the potential for events in the near abroad to echo through Russian domestic politics is greatly enhanced, if not created, by the presence of Russians abroad.

Given the influence of these communities in Russian foreign policy making, we need to understand how these people might play a role in determining Moscow's policy toward them and toward the countries in which they reside. In this chapter I have sketched out a general argument about how at least one scenario could work. I have argued that a Russian identity can be created by three different processes: A Russian can choose such an identity for instrumental reasons; the identity can be imposed by the state; and the community can socially construct an identity that the Russian then reproduces through either discursive or institutionalized interactions. Each process has different implications for Russian foreign policy, as mediated through Russian domestic politics.

Any of the three processes may be exploited by Russian political entrepreneurs, either in Russia or in the new state. Since all three produce a Russian identity, a Russian nationalist politician can use the presence of Russians abroad to begin the call for their defense. The three different processes vary, however, in their effects on Russian domestic politics. Russians abroad choosing their own Russian identities are less likely to inspire Russian politicians to demand protection for Russians living in former republics. Indeed, the fact that some gain is to be had from being Russian implies that Russians are likely to feel unthreatened in that republic. The social construction of Russian identity is also unlikely to cause a hostile reaction in Moscow. In fact, precisely the opposite is most probable. The demonstrated ability of Russians abroad to reproduce their Russian identities locally, and even more so institutionally, will reassure Russians in Russia that their diaspora is not at risk.

It is the state imposition of identity that promises to cause the most alarm in Russia. If a state chooses to impose a civic national identity, as in Uzbekistan, then no political reaction is likely. If, however, a state chooses to impose an eth-

-167-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Sources of Russian Foreign Policy after the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 242

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.