Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin

Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin : Honor in International Relations

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Since Russia has re-emerged as a global power, its foreign policies have come under close scrutiny. In Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin, Andrei P. Tsygankov identifies honor as the key concept by which Russia's international relations are determined. He argues that Russia's interests in acquiring power, security and welfare are filtered through this cultural belief and that different conceptions of honor provide an organizing framework that produces policies of cooperation, defensiveness and assertiveness in relation to the West. Using ten case studies spanning a period from the early nineteenth century to the present day - including the Holy Alliance, the Triple Entente and the Russia-Georgia war - Tsygankov's theory suggests that when it perceives its sense of honor to be recognized, Russia cooperates with the Western nations; without such a recognition it pursues independent policies either defensively or assertively.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 6 b/w illus. 17 tables
  • 1139534688
  • 9781139534680

Review quote

'An original analysis of the long sweep of Russian foreign policy over the last two centuries, examined through the prism of the concept of 'honour'. The work provides a convincing framework for analysis based on three modes of Russian behaviour, cooperation, defensiveness and assertiveness. The notion is then applied in ten cases studies, ranging from the Holy Alliance of 1814-53 to the Russo-Georgian war of 2008, in which honour is seen to have played a central role in shaping policy and perceptions. Tsygankov offers a compelling and original analysis of Russian foreign policy that will be essential reading for historians and political scientists, and above all for scholars of international relations.' Professor Richard Sakwa, University of Kent 'In a sweeping historical analysis, Tsygankov explains major shifts in Russia's willingness to cooperate with the West in terms of honor. All states have a set of core values that must be defended in order to maintain national dignity and self-respect, a commitment that explains why states sometimes engage in foolhardy or wasteful undertakings. Tsygankov brings to bear his considerable expertise without ostentation to write a simple, yet highly informative analysis of Russian foreign policy. This succinct and elegant book is essential reading for understanding Russia's foreign policy today.' Deborah Welch Larson, University of California, Los Angeles 'Andrei Tsygankov's work on the role of honor in Russian foreign policy makes a very important contribution not only to Russian historical studies but also to international relations theory.' Professor Anatol Lieven, Kings College London '... a clear and distinct argument about why Russia acts in the way that it does and how international engagement with the Kremlin might be structured to achieve more cooperative outcomes ... This book not only highlights perhaps the most important driver of contemporary Russian foreign policy, but it also explains why Russia's controversial stance on issues such as the Syrian conflict, which has isolated it internationally, continues to be supported by the larger Russian public.' Slavic Review
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Table of contents

1. Introduction; Part I. Theory: 2. Honor in international relations; 3. The Russian state and its honor; 4. Russia's relations with the West; Part II. Honor and Cooperation: 5. The Holy Alliance, 1815-53; 6. The Triple Entente, 1907-17; 7. The collective security, 1933-9; 8. The war with terrorism, 2001-5; Part III. Honor and Defensiveness: 9. The Recueillement, 1856-71; 10. The peaceful coexistence, 1921-39; 11. Containing NATO expansion, 1995-2000; Part IV. Honor and Assertiveness: 12. The Crimean War, 1853-6; 13. The early Cold War, 1946-9; 14. The Russia-Georgia War, August 2008; 15. Conclusion; Bibliography.
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About Andrei P. Tsygankov

Andrei P. Tsygankov is Professor of International Relations and Political Science at San Francisco State University.
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