Russia and the Idea of the West

Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War

Author: Robert English,Robert D. English

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231110594

Category: History

Page: 401

View: 6501

In most analyses of the Cold War's end the ideological aspects of Gorbachev's "new thinking" are treated largely as incidental to the broader considerations of power. English demonstrates that Gorbachev's foreign policy was the result of an intellectual revolution. He analyzes the rise of a liberal policy-academic elite and its impact on the Cold War's end.

Russia and the Idea of Europe

A Study in Identity and International Relations

Author: Iver B. Neumann

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134824076

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 6670

The end of the Soviet system and the transition to the market in Russia, coupled with the inexorable rise of nationalism, has brought to the fore the centuries-old debate about Russia's relationship with Europe. In Russia and the Idea of Europe Iver Neumann discusses whether the tensions between self-referencing romantic nationalist views and Europe-orientated liberal views can ever be resolved. Drawing on a wide range of Russian sources, Neumann outlines the argument as it has unfolded over the last two hundred years, showing how Russia is caught between the attraction of an economically, politically and socially more developed Europe, and the attraction of being able to play a European -style inperial role in less-developed Asia. Neumann argues that the process of delineating a European "other" from the Russian self is an active form of Russian identity formation. The Russian debate about Europe is also a debate about what Rusia is and should be.

Russia and Western Civilization: Cutural and Historical Encounters

Cutural and Historical Encounters

Author: Russell Bova

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317460553

Category: Education

Page: 392

View: 9097

This volume introduces readers to an age-old question that has perplexed both Russians and Westerners. Is Russia the eastern flank of Europe? Or is it really the heartland of another civilization? In exploring this question, the authors present a sweeping survey of cultural, religious, political, and economic developments in Russia, especially over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Based on the inter-disciplinary Russian studies program at Dickinson College, this splendid collection will complement many curricula. The text features highlight boxes and selected illustrations. Each chapter ends with a glossary, study questions, and a reading list.

Decentring the West

The Idea of Democracy and the Struggle for Hegemony

Author: Viatcheslav Morozov

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317154053

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 5633

We live in a world where democracy is almost universally accepted as the only legitimate form of government but what makes a society democratic remains far from clear. Liberal democratic values are both relativized by the self-description of many non-democratic regimes as 'local' or 'culturally specific' versions of democracy, and undermined by the automatic labelling as 'democratic' of all norms and institutions that are modelled on western states. Decentring the West: The Idea of Democracy and the Struggle for Hegemony aims to demonstrate the urgent need to revisit the foundations of the global democratic consensus. By examining the views of democracy that exist in the countries on the semi-periphery of the world system such as Russia, Turkey, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil and China, as well as within the core (Estonia, Denmark and Sweden) the authors emphasize the truly universal significance of democracy, also showing the value of approaching this universality in a critical manner, as a consequence of the hegemonic position of the West in global politics. By juxtaposing, critically re-evaluating and combining poststructuralist hegemony theory and postcolonial studies this book demonstrates a new way to think about democracy as a truly international phenomenon. It thus contributes groundbreaking, thought-provoking insights to the conceptual and normative aspects of this vital debate.

The Struggle for the West

A Divided and Contested Legacy

Author: Christopher Browning,Marko Lehti

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135259798

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 7802

In recent years debates about the nature and future of the West have been high on the political agenda. Prognoses of the West’s imminent demise have been countered by those arguing for its continued relevance, or those arguing that while the West will survive its nature, and the balance of power between its constituent units, is transforming. This book argues that understanding contemporary developments requires subjecting the very idea of the West to critical scrutiny and in particular asking what kind of concept it actually is. Locating the West as a discursive concept the book argues attempts to save, fix or reclaim the meaning of the West are illustrative of political agendas rather than indicative of accurate claims about the essential nature of the West. In contrast, the book argues that as a concept the West is impregnated with various discursive legacies, the most embedded of which are those of a civilisational, modern and political West. However, while attempts to define the West’s essence are therefore doomed to fail, given the concept’s historical and discursive flexibility, such attempts reaffirm the legitimising role which claims to the West continue to perform. Beyond this, the book challenges traditional genealogies of the West, which overwhelmingly depict the West as an inside-out concept. In contrast, the book argues that historically outsiders have played an important role in defining the nature of the West and constituting it as a political subject; processes that remain evident today. This book will particularly interest students of critical security studies, critical geopolitics, European politics, American politics and IR theory.

Russian romanticism

2 essays

Author: Lauren G. Leighton

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 3111398404

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 128

View: 2875


Russian Foreign Policy in the Twenty-first Century and the Shadow of the Past

Author: Robert Legvold

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 023114122X

Category: Political Science

Page: 534

View: 6977

Because the turbulent trajectory of Russia's foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union echoes previous moments of social and political transformation, history offers a special vantage point from which to judge the current course of events. In this book, a mix of leading historians and political scientists examines the foreign policy of contemporary Russia over four centuries of history. The authors explain the impact of empire and its loss, the interweaving of domestic and foreign impulses, long-standing approaches to national security, and the effect of globalization over time. Contributors focus on the underlying patterns that have marked Russian foreign policy and that persist today. These patterns are driven by the country's political makeup, geographical circumstances, economic strivings, unsettled position in the larger international setting, and, above all, its tortured effort to resolve issues of national identity. The argument here is not that the Russia of Putin and his successors must remain trapped by these historical patterns but that history allows for an assessment of how much or how little has changed in Russia's approach to the outside world and creates a foundation for identifying what must change if Russia is to evolve. A truly unique collection, this volume utilizes history to shed crucial light on Russia's complex, occasionally inscrutable relationship with the world. In so doing, it raises the broader issue of the relationship of history to the study of contemporary foreign policy and how these two enterprises might be better joined.

The Agony of the Russian Idea

Author: Tim McDaniel

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400822157

Category: History

Page: 212

View: 8941

Boris Yeltsin's attempts at democratic reform have plunged a long troubled Russia even further into turmoil. This dramatic break with the Soviet past has left Russia politically fragmented and riddled with corruption, its people with little hope for the future. In a fascinating account for anyone interested in Russia's current political struggles, Tim McDaniel explores the inability of all its leaders over the last two centuries--tsars and Communist rulers alike--to create the foundations of a viable modern society. The problem then and now, he argues, is rooted in a cultural trap endemic to Russian society and linked to a unique sense of destiny embodied by the "Russian idea." In its most basic sense, the Russian idea is the belief that Russia can forge a path in the modern world that sets itself apart from the West through adherence to shared beliefs, community, and equality. These cultural values, according to McDaniel, have mainly reversed the values of Western society rather than having provided a real alternative to them. By relying on the Russian idea in their programs of change, dictatorial governments almost unavoidably precipitated social breakdown. When the Yeltsin government declared war on the Communist past, it broke with deeply held Russian values and traditions. McDaniel shows that in cutting people off from their pasts and promoting the West as the sole model of modernity, the reformers have simultaneously undermined the foundations of Russian morality and the people's sense of a future. Unwittingly, the Yeltsin government has thereby annihilated its own authority. McDaniel lived in Russia for three years during both the Communist and post-Communist periods. Basing his analysis on broad historical research, extensive travels, countless interviews and conversations, and friendships with Russians from all walks of life, McDaniel emphasizes the perils of assuming that Russians understand the world in the same way that we do, and so can and should become like us. Challenging and provocative in its claims, this book is intended for anyone seeking to understand Russia's attempts to create a new society.

At the Crossroads of Post-Communist Modernisation

Russia and China in Comparative Perspective

Author: C. Pursiainen

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137284137

Category: Political Science

Page: 236

View: 7663

This volume takes a comparative approach to understand general tendencies in post-Communist transition in Russia and China. Bringing together perspectives from Political Science, Sociology and IR, it analyses three arenas of social change: socio-economic systems, political systems, and foreign policies.

Russian Approaches to International Law

Author: Lauri Mälksoo

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019103469X

Category: Law

Page: 290

View: 3509

This book addresses a simple question: how do Russians understand international law? Is it the same understanding as in the West or is it in some ways different and if so, why? It answers these questions by drawing on from three different yet closely interconnected perspectives: history, theory, and recent state practice. The work uses comparative international law as starting point and argues that in order to understand post-Soviet Russia's state and scholarly approaches to international law, one should take into account the history of ideas in Russia. To an extent, Russian understandings of international law differ from what is considered the mainstream in the West. One specific feature of this book is that it goes inside the language of international law as it is spoken and discussed in post-Soviet Russia, especially the scholarly literature in the Russian language, and relates this literature to the history of international law as discipline in Russia. Recent state practice such as the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia's record in the UN Security Council, the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, prominent cases in investor-state arbitration, and the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union are laid out and discussed in the context of increasingly popular 'civilizational' ideas, the claim that Russia is a unique civilization and therefore not part of the West. The implications of this claim for the future of international law, its universality, and regionalism are discussed.

International Relations Since the End of the Cold War

New and Old Dimensions

Author: Geir Lundestad

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191644471

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 4448

In International Relations Since the End of the Cold War many of the world's leading historians and historically oriented political scientists deal with the Cold War legacy and many of the new issues that have emerged since the end of the Cold War. Stewart Patrick sums up the most important developments in the post-Cold War world. John Oneal and John Mueller discuss the relationship between democracy and peace and what came first, democracy or peace. Melvyn Leffler, Jeremi Suri, and Vladimir O. Pechatnov take up the Cold War legacy as it relates to the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia. Odd Arne Westad reviews the relationship between the end of the Cold War and the end of the Third World. David Holloway and Olav Njølstad handle the role of nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War world. Paying special attention to the role of the old and new superpowers, with chapters on the United States (Jussi Hanhimäki), Russia (Vladislav Zubok), the European Union (Frédéric Bozo), and China (Michael Cox and Chen Jian.) The chapters see the United States and China as the leading powers, but differ considerably on the respective roles of the two leading powers. In the introduction, the editor, Geir Lundestad, discusses the post-Cold War years as a historical period compared to earlier periods in modern history; in the conclusion he speculates on what might be some dominant developments in the future.

The French Revolution and the Russian Anti-Democratic Tradition

A Case of False Consciousness

Author: Dmitry Šlǎpentoh

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 9781412823975

Category: History

Page: 324

View: 4583

The political uncertainty following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rejection of the revolutionary model has brought Russian political thought full circle as democratic forces contend with authoritarian nationalism. This volume is essential to understanding the antidemocratic tradition in Russia and the persistent danger of totalitarianism.

Critical Theory in Russia and the West

Author: Alastair Renfrew,Galin Tihanov,Junior Research Fellow in Russian and German Intellectual History Galin Tihanov

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135254966

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 1708

The traditional view that the rise of Western theoretical thought in the 1960s and 1970s could be traced back to the Soviet 1920s, once accepted in Russia and the West alike because it directly associated the academic prestige of contemporary Western theory with the intellectual climate of post-revolutionary Russia, is increasingly challenged today. With the gradual retreat in recent years of theory from the high ground of the Western humanities, new work has emerged to suggest unexpected parallels and to undermine others. This book, with contributions from some of the most visible specialists in the field, re-examines the significant transfers, cross-fertilisations and synergies of cultural and literary theory between Russia and the West, from the 1920s through to the present day. It focuses primarily on those tendencies which have made the most significant contribution to critical theory over the last century, and looks ahead at the theoretical paradigms that are most likely to shape the future dialogue between Russia and the West in the humanities.

Between the Icon and the Idol

The Human Person and the Modern State in Russian Literature and Thought--Chaadayev, Soloviev, Grossman

Author: Artur Mrowczynski-Van Allen

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1610978161

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 7902

The totalitarian state clearly intends to eliminate all those forms of organic community that rival the absolute loyalty of the individual to the state. This god is a jealous god. . . . Mrowczy?ski-Van Allen's diagnosis is therefore no less relevant after the fall of the Berlin Wall. And his proposed cure is no less salutary. He appeals to the work of Grossman and other voices from the East to oppose the idolatry of the deified self with the icon, which opens up a distance in which giving and forgiving can occur. Eastern voices are so helpful because they refuse to quarantine theological questions; the borders between theology, politics, and literature are fluid and porous, because they are all a part of an integrated life. The holism of totalitarianism must be opposed by another kind of holism that replaces the idol with the icon. At the same time, the aspiration of secularism to separate politics from theology, and power from love, must be opposed by a politics based on an opening of human persons to God and to each other, the kind of self-donation found in Grossman, and for Christians, on the Cross. --From the Foreword by William T. Cavanaugh

Lonely Power

Why Russia Has Failed to Become the West and the West is Weary of Russia

Author: Lilia Shevtsova

Publisher: Carnegie Endowment

ISBN: 0870032984

Category: Political Science

Page: 361

View: 1232

Adapted from the Russian edition, this book analyzes the dominant stereotypes and myths that formed during the Putin presidency and that continue to hamper our understanding of Russia's current situation. Author Lilia Shevtsova explains the origins of such political clichés as * Russia is not mature enough for democracy; * Capitalism first, and democracy will follow; * The humiliation of Russia by the West is the key cause of their soured relationship; * Arms talks between Russia and the United States will help to reset the relationship. Shevtsova argues that an anti-mythology campaign is needed to deepen the understanding of Russia both within the Russian Federation and in the West, as well as to help nations build better policies toward Russia. Praise for Lilia Shevtsova's Russia--Lost in Transition "An excellent volume... highly recommended."--Choice

The Extreme Nationalist Threat in Russia

The Growing Influence of Western Rightist Ideas

Author: Thomas Parland

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134296762

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 923

This book examines the nature of the extreme right in contemporary Russia, arguing in particular that, alongside a continuing tradition which emphasizes Russia's orthodox and traditional past, an increasingly important intellectual current is drawing on Western European neo-fascist ideas and adapting them to the Russian situation. This book examines this intellectual current within the context of increasing conservatism across Russia as a whole, showing how the new ideas have an impact right across the political spectrum, and assessing the threat posed by them and their proponents.

War and Ideas

Selected Essays

Author: John Mueller

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134725507

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 9686

This book collects the key essays, together with updating notes and commentary, of Professor John Mueller on war and the role of ideas and opinions. Mueller has maintained that war (and peace) are, in essence, merely ideas, and that war has waned as the notion that 'peace' is a decidedly good idea has gained currency. The first part of the book extends this argument, noting that as ideas have spread, war is losing out not only in the developed world, but now in the developing one, and that even civil war is in marked decline. It also assesses and critiques theories arguing that this phenomenon is caused by the rising acceptance of democracy and/or capitalism. The second part argues that the Cold War was at base a clash of ideas that were seen to be threatening, not of arms balances, domestic systems, geography, or international structure. It also maintains that there has been a considerable tendency to exaggerate security threats—currently, in particular, the one presented by international terrorism—and to see them in excessively military terms. The third section deals with the role public opinion plays in foreign policy, and argues that many earlier conclusions about opinion during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, including especially ones concerning the importance of casualties in determining popular support for war, apply to more recent military ventures in the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It also assesses the difficulties leaders and idea entrepreneurs often encounter when they try to manage or manipulate public opinion. This book will be of much interest to students of international relations, security studies, foreign policy and international history.

Globalizing Human Rights

Private Citizens, the Soviet Union, and the West

Author: Christian Peterson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136646930

Category: History

Page: 294

View: 1284

Globalizing Human Rights explores the complexities of the role human rights played in U.S.-Soviet relations during the 1970s and 1980s. It will show how private citizens exploited the larger effects of contemporary globalization and the language of the Final Act to enlist the U.S. government in a global campaign against Soviet/Eastern European human rights violations. A careful examination of this development shows the limitations of existing literature on the Reagan and Carter administrations’ efforts to promote internal reform in USSR. It also reveals how the Carter administration and private citizens, not Western European governments, played the most important role in making the issue of human rights a fundamental aspect of Cold War competition. Even more important, it illustrates how each administration made the support of non-governmental human rights activities an integral element of its overall approach to weakening the international appeal of the USSR. In addition to looking at the behavior of the U.S. government, this work also highlights the limitations of arguments that focus on the inherent weakness of Soviet dissent during the early to mid 1980s. In the case of the USSR, it devotes considerable attention to why Soviet leaders failed to revive the international reputation of their multinational empire in face of consistent human rights critiques. It also documents the crucial role that private citizens played in shaping Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to reform Soviet-style socialism.