Presentation

We are confident that we have the best essaywriters in the market. We have a team of experienced writers who are familiar with all types of essays, and we are always willing to help you with any questions or problems you might face. Plus, our writers are always available online so you can always get the help you need no matter where you are in the world.


Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper
Question: Why is the rise of China a positive development for Russia, according to Russia today?

Need to make 10 powerpoints slides
All resources and information attached
https://youtu.be/GBp_NgrrtPM
https://youtu.be/Hg_NzL4iigk
https://youtu.be/XXxaoLUPR80

Discussion Article

Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based

Save your time - order a paper!

Get your paper written from scratch within the tight deadline. Our service is a reliable solution to all your troubles. Place an order on any task and we will take care of it. You won’t have to worry about the quality and deadlines

Order Paper Now

Explanations of Russia’s Foreign Policy.

‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by

Habit’?

ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

Abstract

Scholars disagree on how to interpret Russia’s assertive foreign policy. According to some observers,

Russia’s authoritarian culture and political system have historically required the Kremlin to depend on

the Western threat image at home and to engage in revisionist behaviour abroad. These observers

recommend that Western nations abstain from engaging Russia as an equal contributor to shaping the

global system. This article assesses the validity of the authoritarian expansionism theory by comparing

it to other prominent perspectives on foreign policy, realism and constructivism. The article argues

that, by perceiving Russia’s historical and institutional distinctness as fundamentally threatening to the

West, the theory overlooks important sources of foreign policy contestation at home and potentially

varying directions abroad. The article selects the historically important cases of the Crimean War, the

Cold War and the Russia–Georgia War to demonstrate the theory’s flaws and to highlight the role of

factors other than Russia’s authoritarianism in the nation’s foreign policy.

RUSSIA’S INTERNATIONAL BEHAVIOUR CONTINUES TO provoke lively disagree-

ments among scholars and policy makers alike. While some view Russia as largely

accommodationist and non-threatening to the West, others perceive the Kremlin’s

objectives as expansionist and disrespectful towards existing international rules.1 The

arrival of Barak Obama to power in the USA and his attempts to ‘reset’ relations with

Russia have yet to clarify the question of the motives for the Kremlin’s international

behaviour. Those on the sceptical side argue that the reset advocates misread Russia’s

intentions and undermine Western allies (Kramer 2010a, 2010b; Cohen 2010; LeVine

2010). According to this line of reasoning, Russia’s authoritarian culture and political

The author thanks the editors of Europe-Asia Studies and two anonymous reviewers for their

comments and suggestions. The usual disclaimers apply.
1For examples of scholarship on Russia’s foreign policy, see Trenin (2009), Mankoff (2009),

Tsygankov (2010), Lucas (2009), Bugajski (2009) and Kanet (2009).

EUROPE-ASIA STUDIES

Vol. 64, No. 4, June 2012, 695–713

ISSN 0966-8136 print; ISSN 1465-3427 online/12/040695-19 ª 2012 University of Glasgow

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

system require the Kremlin to depend on the Western threat image at home and to

engage in revisionist behaviour abroad (Shlapentokh 2009; Cohen & Dale 2010;

Shevtsova 2010). It leads to the conclusion that the Western nations are better off

trying to contain or transform Moscow, rather than engaging with it as an equal

contributor in shaping the global system.

Behind the policy debate about Russia’s intentions are profound theoretical,

historical and ethical questions. Is a more democratic Russia likely to act in

accordance with the United States and Europe in international affairs? Does an

authoritarian Russia necessarily present a threat to the West? Should Russia’s cultural

and regime-based difference serve as a sufficient basis for excluding the nation from the

list of partners and potential allies? More generally, should a difference in political

system and values—whether it concerns Russia, China, Iran or another country—be

treated by Western nations as potentially threatening their values and interests?

This article seeks to assess the validity of the authoritarian or expansionist Russia

approach by comparing it to two other prominent perspectives on foreign policy:

realism and constructivism. Instead of focusing on Russia’s domestic authoritarian-

ism, realism and constructivism study the foreign-policy impact of international

anarchy and norms, respectively. I argue that as a guide to understanding Russia’s

international behaviour, the theory of authoritarian expansionism is at best

insufficient and at worst misleading. By emphasising Russia’s purportedly autocratic

nature, it overlooks important sources of contestation within the nation’s political

system and the potentially varying directions of its foreign policy. By perceiving

Russia’s historical and institutional distinctness as fundamentally threatening the

West, the theory of authoritarian expansionism also displays the tendency to deny

Russia its own interests and stakes within the international system. As a result, many

of the theory’s advocates blame Moscow for everything that has gone wrong in

relations with Western nations and invariably offer policy advice that amounts to

isolating or containing Russia.

The article is organised in four parts. The next section reflects on the theory of

authoritarian expansionism’s assumptions and historical evolution. After identifying

the theory’s propositions and intellectual roots, I offer an analysis of several biases

from which it suffers. I then move to an empirical analysis by selecting three cases of

Russia’s foreign policy that have been important to the progression of the theory of

authoritarian expansionism. My interpretation of these seminal cases—the Crimean

War, the Cold War and the Russia–Georgia War—highlights the role of factors other

than Russia’s authoritarianism. The conclusion summarises the article’s findings and

calls for a more complex and dynamic understanding of Russia than the theory of

authoritarian expansionism-based understanding.

The theory of Russia’s authoritarian expansionism

Authoritarian expansionism and other theories of Russia’s foreign policy

The central claims of the theory of authoritarian expansionism may be summarised in

terms of two main propositions—one of a descriptive and one of a causal nature. The

descriptive proposition states that Russia’s main foreign-policy objectives include

696 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

the preservation and expansion of the country’s imperial borders and institutions.

The causal proposition comes in two distinct versions. Version One links Russia’s

expansionism to its authoritarian culture and propensity to impose itself onto other

nations. The latter is expressed through the political regime’s overconfidence and

readiness to act unilaterally, rather than in the spirit of international cooperation.

Version Two places emphasis on the leadership’s low confidence and internal

insecurity. The regime’s insecurity and preoccupation with political survival lead to a

diversionary form of expansionism. This version assumes the public to be generally

passive and uninterested in the state’s international activities.

The two versions assume diverse types of expansionism and have distinct policy

implications. While Version One identifies what might be called ‘expansionism from

strength’ or ‘missionary expansionism’, Version Two describes expansionism that is

driven by weakness or desperation and seeks to divert the internal public’s attention

from the regime’s lack of legitimacy and effectiveness. The two versions also differ with

respect to the perception of cooperation of Western nations with Russia (see Table 1).

While both versions are sceptical of the possibility of developing a robust relationship

with Russia, Version One—by highlighting broad authoritarian support for inter-

national expansionism—is considerably more pessimistic than Version Two.

The description of Russia’s international objectives and main causes of behaviour

abroad by the theory of authoritarian expansionism contrasts with other theories of

Russia’s foreign policy. In particular, the theory of authoritarian expansionism differs

from realist and social constructivist theories. Realists typically emphasise material

capabilities and the status of a great power as state international objectives. Scholars

working in this tradition view the Russian state as acting within the same constraints

of an international anarchical system that defines the choices of other states. Although

internal factors such as ideology, nature of government and political culture matter as

well, their role is to specify, and sometimes to cover for but never to contradict,

‘genuine’ national interest. Realists view national interest as a geopolitically enduring

reality, rather than something open to interpretations, and define such interest as a

preservation and enhancement of power within the existing international system. For

instance, realists have argued that the Soviet leaders, while employing a revolutionary

ideology and acting under a totalitarian system of government, defended Russia’s

traditional state interests.2

TABLE 1
PROPOSITIONS ABOUT RUSSIA’S AUTHORITARIAN EXPANSIONISM

Type of propositions

Descriptive proposition Russia pursues an expansionist foreign policy
Causal propositions 1. Active authoritarian culture is a cause of the regime’s confidence and

missionary expansionism
2. Passive authoritarian culture is a cause of the regime’s insecurity and

diversionary expansionism

2For realist studies of Soviet foreign policy, see, for example, Ulam (1968), Wohlforth (1993) and

Donaldson and Nogee (1998).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 697

To social constructivists, what matters most is not power or material capabilities

objectively defined but what those may mean to the Self in terms of acquiring

recognition from its significant Other. In the Russian context, Europe and the West in

general played the role of the significant Other and prominently figured in Russia’s

debates about national identity by creating the meaningful environment in which

Russia’s rulers defended their foreign-policy choices.3 Constructivists argue that

although state behaviour is shaped by power calculations, such behaviour can only be

understood in contexts of everyday interactions and socio-historical development.

Even if anarchy is ‘out there somewhere’, constructivists say, we ought to focus on

everyday interactions for understanding what anarchy means and how social contexts

of power are being formed and unformed. Constructivist scholars of Soviet foreign

policy therefore view such policy in terms of signalling to the Western nations the

Kremlin’s desire for equality and recognition (Nation 1992; Ringman 2002).

Table 2 compares the theory of authoritarian expansionism to other theories of

Russia’s foreign policy.

Evolution of the theory of authoritarian expansionism

The context and the long history of the theory of Russia’s expansionism may be

traced to European reactions to Nicholas’s suppression of Polish demands for

independence in 1830–1831. Russia did not limit itself to suppressing what was then

an internal revolt, but also played a prominent role during the nationalist revolu-

tions of the 1840s in Europe. In 1846, Russia led the way in suppressing the Polish

uprising in Kraków, which was a part of the Hapsburg state under the Vienna

convention. In July 1848, Nicholas suppressed revolutions in the Danubian

Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia—partly to assist Turkey in defeating the

Romanian nationalist movement. In 1849, Russia provided Austria with financial

and diplomatic assistance to strengthen its position in Italy and Nicholas committed

almost 200,000 troops to help the Hapsburgs to suppress the revolt in Hungary

(Riazanovsky 1959, p. 248).

TABLE 2
THEORIES OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY

Westernising state Great power
Authoritarian

expansionist state

Russia’s international
objectives

Recognised part
of the Western
world

Capabilities and status
of a great power

Empire and geopolitical
expansion

Main causes of
Russia’s foreign
policy

Western
influences

International anarchy Domestic
authoritarianism

3For a development of this argument, see Neumann (1996), English (2000), Hopf (2002), Clunan

(2009) and Larson and Shevchenko (2010).

698 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

By suppressing internal opposition to the monarchical rule, Nicholas acted within

the constraints of the Holy Alliance and had no hegemonic ambitions of his own.4

Although Russia acted in a multilateral spirit and only did what the system expected

the Tsar to do, Nicholas was labelled the Gendarme of Europe. Such a presentation of

Russia was partly a product of the continent’s power struggle. Britain and France were

not satisfied with the Vienna system and each sought to challenge Russia’s rise as a

great power competitor (Taylor 1954, p. 61). No less significant, however, was Russia’s

and Europe’s growing divergence in values. European liberals now associated Poland,

and other nations that challenged monarchies, with progressive values, and Russia

with imperialism and repression. Russia was now deemed too ‘barbaric’ and

‘autocratic’ (Malia 1999, p. 99). Today, scholars such as John LeDonne continue to

argue that during the 1830s and 1840s the Russians were ‘dangerously close to the

establishment of their hegemony in the Heartland’, and that Russia’s ‘expansionist

urge’ remained ‘unabated until 1917’ (LeDonne 1997, pp. 314, 348).

Such was the political context for the emergence of the theory of authoritarian

expansionism in the liberal West. The Polish question did not go away, and the Polish

elite led another uprising in 1863, during which the European powers, again, opposed

Russia’s effort to manage the issue and preserve existing territorial boundaries.5

Intellectually, the view of Russia as a barbaric expansionist power was supported by

foreign travellers, such as the Marquis de Custine, who began to promote this view

even before the Polish uprising. The United States had begun to develop negative

perceptions of Russia after the assassination of Alexander II in 1881, as immigrant

groups (especially Jewish ones) engaged in anti-Russian lobbying in the United States

to ‘liberate’ Russia from autocracy and anti-Semitism.6 The perception of Russia as a

dangerous autocratic power grew stronger as Alexander III and Nicholas II sought to

preserve their influence in the Balkans. As theories of authoritarian Panslavism began

to develop in the early twentieth century,7 scholars became convinced of the primacy

of ‘Panslavist imperialism’ in the Tsar’s outlook (Geyer 1987; Tuminez 2000).

The social revolution in Russia in October 1917 provided another powerful impetus

for developing the perception of the country as an expansionist autocracy. The Soviet

Union diverged from the West in terms of internal institutions and it challenged the

West’s sense of military security. The Bolsheviks’ dissolution of the Constituent

Assembly in January 1918, its doctrine of world revolution, and the establishment of

the Communist International (Comintern) in 1919 in order to spread communist ideas

and set up new communist parties abroad, all contributed to the perception of Soviet

Russia as perpetuating—in the most dangerous way—the mode of authoritarian

expansionism. Even after the Bolsheviks had renounced the idea of world revolution

4While Prussia wanted to help Austria in exchange for dominating Germany, Russia had no such

conditions and was assisting Austria out of Holy Alliance obligations (Taylor 1954, p. 30).
5For example, in April 1863, Britain, France and Austria each sent similar notes to the Russian

government asking for Poland to be given independence and for its borders to include Lithuania and

Ruthenia (Seton-Watson 1967, p. 435).
6In 1911 the American government even abrogated the commercial treaty with Russia (Foglesong

2007, pp. 43–44).
7For overviews of Panslavist theories, see Kohn (1953), Petrovich (1956), Duncan (2000) and

Tuminez (2000).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 699

and dissolved the Comintern, the majority of the West’s politicians and scholars could

not change their mind about the Soviet system. Scholars became convinced that the

idea of peaceful coexistence was a Soviet cover for an ideological expansion or an

offensive war on the West. A classic statement of this position can be found in George

Kennan’s (1961, p. 179) condemnation of ‘a regime, the attitude of which towards

Western governments, psychologically and politically, was equivalent to that which

would prevail toward an enemy in time of war’. Many observers rejected the position

that the Soviet leaders’ attitudes reflected a defensive response to the equally hostile

Western governments, citing the Soviet Union’s authoritarian ideology as the reason

for their distrust. For Kennan, Western governments came to hate the Soviet leaders

‘for what they did ’, whereas the Bolsheviks hated the Western states ‘for what they

were, regardless of what they did’ (Kennan 1961, p. 181, emphasis in original). This

distinction has become common in Western scholarship of Soviet foreign policy since

the Cold War.8

Despite the end of the Cold War, many observers have continued to interpret Russia

as an authoritarian state with expansionist instincts, and not as a normal state or one

abiding by acceptable rules of international behaviour. Conservative representations

of the Russia-threat argument tend to focus on the nation’s political culture (Pipes

1997; Odom 2001; Cohen 2007), while more liberal interpretations place responsibility

for Russia’s ‘anti-Western’ policies on the Kremlin’s leadership (Council on Foreign

Relations 2006; Lapidus 2007; Legvold 2007, p. 98; Wallander 2008). Conservative

perception was especially visible in justifications of expanding NATO to the east by

incorporating former parts of Russia’s sphere of influence. For example, the New York

Times columnist William Safire (1994) pursued the ‘window of opportunity’ argument

by insisting on the need to extend alliance membership to Poland, Hungary, the Czech

Republic, the Baltic states and ultimately Ukraine, because ‘Russia is authoritarian at

heart and expansionist by habit’. It had to be done promptly, he added, ‘while Russia

is weak and preoccupied with its own revival, and not later, when such a move would

be an insufferable provocation to a superpower’ (Safire 1994). Richard Pipes provided

the perspective of an academic and historian. He reminded his readers about Russia’s

‘heavy burden of history’ and failure to make ‘a clean break with its Soviet past’ (Pipes

1997, p. 67). To Pipes, Russians are yet to ‘overcome not only the communist legacy

but also that of the czars and their partner, the Orthodox Church, which for centuries

collaborated in instilling in their subjects disrespect for law, submission to strong and

wilful authority, and hostility to the West’ (Pipes 1997, p. 70). He then cautioned

against viewing the country as a potential ally, as Russia might still return as an enemy

‘if those who guide its destiny, exploiting the political inexperience and deep-seated

prejudices of its people, once again aspire to a glory to which they are not yet entitled’

(Pipes 1997, p. 78).

The Kremlin’s international assertiveness in the wake of the coloured revolutions in

the former Soviet region has instilled additional fears in both conservative and liberal

8For important exceptions, see revisionist scholarship on the West–Soviet relations (Holloway 1984;

Gartoff 1985; Cohen 1985; Kolko 1994). For analysis of Western scholarship as reflective of an

enemy’s perception, see Oren (2002) and Foglesong (2007). For a recent study of Sovietologists, see

Engerman (2010).

700 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

Western analysts. Russia has been frequently viewed as reviving the lost empire, ‘back-

pedalling’ on democracy and challenging the West’s vital interests in the world

(Brzezinski 2004; Council on Foreign Relations 2006; Cheney 2006; Satter 2007; Lucas

2009; Bugajski 2009). Russia’s intervention in Georgia in August 2008 provided a

fresh pretext for resorting to the theory of authoritarian expansionism. Although

Russia has legitimate interests in the Caucasus, many scholars and commentators

explained the Kremlin’s intervention either in terms of Russia’s expansionist

determination to secure full control over Georgia’s territory and resources (Asmus

2010; Blank 2009; Cornell & Starr 2009b, p. 8; Sherr 2009), or the Kremlin’s perceived

insecurity in response to the coloured revolutions and its search for internal legitimacy

(Cohen 2007; Lapidus 2007; Allison 2008; Ambrosio 2009; Filippov 2009). As a result,

both conservative and liberal perspectives were sceptical about Moscow entering

cooperative arrangements with Western nations voluntarily. As an authoritarian

revisionist state, it was expected instead that Russia would use available opportunities

to upset American plans to remain the dominant world power. If this reasoning

is correct, it is suggested, American policy makers would be wise to abandon any

search for partnership with post-Soviet Russia and stay firm in resisting its power

aspirations.

Critique

The theory of authoritarian expansionism suffers from biases of essentialism, cultural

ethnocentrism and political hypocrisy.

Essentialism

The first problem concerns the theory of authoritarian expansionism’s presentation of

Russia as a never changing entity that is constantly preoccupied with imperialist plans

to subjugate and occupy other nations. This tendency to essentialise Russia and its

foreign policy downplays the role of factors others than the nation’s political culture

or the regime’s strategic design. As a result, little serious consideration is given to the

possibility that Russia’s international assertiveness may be designed as a response to

actions by the West and to seek relatively limited objectives.

For example, despite frequent claims that St Petersburg’s nineteenth-century policy

sought to topple the Ottoman Empire and conquer Constantinople,9 Russia’s eastern

goals were far less ambitious. These objectives included protection of the Orthodox

Christians in the Balkans and the right to have a secure passage of Russian vessels

through the Black Sea. Although inside Russia there had been supporters of the drive

to Constantinople within intellectual and foreign-policy circles, it would be a mistake

to view Russia’s foreign policy as driven by their views. Even after defeat in the

Crimean War, the government did not turn away from Europe as Russia’s hard-liners

had hoped. As Chancellor Alexander Gorchakov’s activities demonstrated, St

9For such claims, see, for example, Kissinger (1994, pp. 140–44), Geyer (1987, p. 65) and MacKenzie

(1993, p. 220).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 701

Petersburg wanted recognition of its interests in the Black Sea, which Russia was

prepared to defend even at the cost of German unification.

Even Soviet international policy had more limited goals than many Western

scholars and politicians believed. With the exception of the brief period of the drive for

world revolution, the Kremlin mainly sought to establish the Soviet Union as a great

power and recognised member of the international community, not to expand the

Soviet geopolitical boundaries. The Cold War, including the Soviet occupation of

Eastern Europe, the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and the military intervention in

Afghanistan in 1979, also cannot be adequately understood without considering

actions by the Western nations. Western suspicion and mistrust toward the Soviet

Union served to strengthen its determination to act assertively. From the willingness

to work with Russia before and during the meeting at Yalta, Great Britain and the

United States soon moved to unilateral and potentially confrontational behaviour.

Ideological differences notwithstanding, Stalin and his entourage did not abandon

their attempts to mend fences with the West until Truman had made public his

doctrine of globally containing communism on 12 March 1947 and the Marshall Plan

had been proclaimed in June of the same year.

It is equally problematic to present Russia’s more recent assertiveness as a part of a

plan by the Kremlin to restore the empire and dominate its neighbours, even at the

price of confrontation with the West. Those accusing Russia of reviving the lost

empire, back-pedalling on democracy and challenging the West’s vital interests in the

world oversimplify the extremely complex process of Russia’s transformation and its

relations with Western nations. In particular, much of Russia’s assertiveness was a

product of the United States’ regime-change policy, efforts to achieve nuclear

superiority and the West’s post-Cold War advancement into what Russia perceived as

the sphere of its geopolitical interests.10 It is misleading to ignore the interactive nature

of Russia–West relations, presenting Russia as an essentialist entity with once-and-

forever formed values and behavioural patterns.

Ethnocentrism

The above-noted essentialist presentation of Russia’s foreign policy in part results

from the theory of authoritarian expansionism’s cultural ethnocentrism. Rather than

viewing other cultural communities as a source of learning, ethnocentric theories tend

to perceive them as a potential threat precisely because of their difference from the self.

Ethnocentrism precludes the theory of authoritarian expansionism from being able to

appreciate Russia’s historical, geopolitical and institutional distinctness because

ethnocentric ideas assume the superiority of their own culture and the inferiority of

others.

A good example of a Western ethnocentric theory is that of democratic peace,

according to which democracies do not go to war with each other.11 Critics of the

democratic peace theory pointed out that it reflects American values of what is

10For development of this argument, see Tsygankov (2010, ch. 6).
11For a summary of the debate, see Brown et al. (1996). For other works critical of Western

ethnocentrism in analysing Russia, see Malia (1999), Cohen (2001) and Brown (2010).

702 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

‘democratic’ and that those values themselves have been shaped by the United States’

perception of external threats (Oren 1995, 2002). Upon closer inspection, the theory of

democratic peace is a mirror image of the authoritarian expansionism theory. Simply

put, the two theories say that by not fighting each other Western-style democracies

tend to act peacefully and cooperatively abroad, whereas the non-Western

authoritarian systems, such as Russia, are bullish and expansionist exactly because

they are non-democracies. Yet social structures and internal conditions are far more

complex than the two theories present. For example, in the post-communist context,

democratisation is not infrequently accompanied by state weakness, thereby allowing

the re-emergence and the rise of a previously dormant militant ethnic nationalism. As

a result, not only do some of the newly established democracies go to war against each

other, but they may also do so in part as a result of their moving away from

authoritarianism (Mansfield & Snyder 2007). Similarly, authoritarian regimes that

lack popular legitimacy may be cautious enough and abstain from assertive foreign

policy if they perceive such policy as potentially destabilising. Just as authoritarian

regimes may be compatible with building an inclusive national identity and an efficient

economy,12 such regimes may be compatible with a moderate international behaviour.

The highly simplistic treatment of Russia’s political system becomes especially

problematic in the post-Soviet context. Indeed, if judged by the degree of public

support, rather than by institutionalisation of effective checks and balances, Russia’s

political system can hardly be called undemocratic.13 Yet Russia’s system is still

emerging, and can hardly be labelled either as an established democracy or as pure

authoritarianism. More nuanced categories and theories need to be developed if we are

to match Russia’s domestic conditions to its foreign policy. Even within the West,

meanings of democracy change over time,14 and it makes little sense to analyse the

Russian post-communist ‘democracy’ by comparing it to the model of Western

societies (McFaul 2001; Fish 2005; Baker & Glasser 2005), rather than to Russia’s own

history.

Hypocrisy

The essentialism and ethnocentrism of the authoritarian expansionism theory also feed

into questionable policy recommendations. Presenting Russia as an autocratic power

that invariably threatens the outside world leaves other countries with few options

regarding engaging Russia. If Russia—especially in presentation of Version One of the

theory of authoritarian expansionism—was, is and will remain an autocratic and anti-

Western imperialist state, then the West must either contain or confront it. Such

recommendations do not only tend to perpetuate the tense state of West–Russia

relations; they are also politically hypocritical because they deny Russia interests and

12For an argument against universality of economic and political openness for advancing economic

growth, see Bremmer (2006).
13Public support for President Putin was consistently high, ranging from 70% to 80% during the

2000s. In addition, some polls showed that almost half (47%) of Russians thought that the country

needed a distinct kind of democracy that would correspond to Russia’s national traditions and specific

qualities, and only 17% were against a democratic form of government (Interfax, 18 December 2007).
14On contested meanings of democracy in the United States, see Foner (1998) and Oren (2002).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 703

stakes that the Western nations themselves view as fundamental to their own existence.

Russia’s interests and values are not only perceived as incompatible with those of the

West; they are also viewed as illegitimate and not worthy of recognition.

An example of these kinds of recommendations for Western governments might be

the calls by many advocates of the theory of authoritarian expansionism to punish and

contain the Kremlin following its assertive post-9/11 policy. Disappointed by Russia’s

unwillingness to follow the United States’ international agenda, analysts and members

of the American political class, such as Senator John McCain and Vice President Dick

Cheney, issued multiple statements indicating their concerns with Russia’s new

‘imperialism’ and energy ‘blackmail’.15 Steps were proposed, such as revoking Russia’s

membership in the G8, severing its ties with other Western institutions, banning

private investments and recognising the independence of secessionist territories (in

the case of Chechnya) (McCain 2003; Frum & Perle 2003, p. 263; Pipes 2004;

Edwards & Kemp 2006; Council on Foreign Relations 2006). These would amount to

a policy of containing Russia or returning to where the two nations were during the

Cold War.

Blaming Russia alone for the breakup of the post-9/11 international coalition is

insufficient at best and misleading at worst; and recommendations to contain or

punish Moscow are counter-productive. Denying Russia its political and energy

interests and the right to set an independent foreign policy is sure to come with large

political and economic costs. Such an approach is not likely to discipline a Russia that

continues to be in a position not to yield to external pressures. Continuous treatment

of Russia as a potential threat, rather than a legitimate member of international

society, may indeed bring to power in Moscow those who are interested in

exacerbating relations with the West. Politically, it may generate a prolonged cycle

of hostilities shaped by Russia and the West’s clashing perceptions of each other’s

intentions. NATO expansion, as well as military interventions in Kosovo and Iraq, has

already done its share of damage in this respect. Hard-line nationalists in Russia will

only be grateful to hawkish pundits and politicians for assisting them in constructing

an image of the West as a threat.

Three illustrations

This section reviews several cases of Russia’s assertiveness in order to highlight

empirical problems with employing the theory of authoritarian expansionism for

interpreting Russia’s behaviour. I have selected cases across historical eras—the

Crimean War, the Cold War and the Russia–Georgia War—which have been critically

important to the theory’s establishment and progression.

Crimean War

The advocates of the theory of authoritarian expansionism have advanced two

assumptions regarding the decision by Russia to go to war with the Ottoman Empire.

15For analysis of anti-Russian currents within the American political class and media circles, see

Tsygankov (2009) and English and Svyatets (2010).

704 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

First, they have argued that the Tsar’s ultimatum to the Sultan over the rights of

Orthodox Christians was predetermined by Russia’s traditional desire to conquer

Constantinople.16 Second, they have assumed that the autocratic nature of St

Petersburg’s decision making precluded any serious opposition to the Tsar’s plan.

Evidence for these assumptions is far from conclusive.

Nicholas did not seek to topple the Sultan. The Tsar’s objectives were more limited

and included the defence of the rights of Russia’s co-religionists residing within the

Ottoman Empire, preservation of the prestige of a European power, and the right to

maintain a fleet in the Black Sea. More than a third of the Ottoman Empire’s

population—approximately 13 million people—was Orthodox Christian, and the

Treaty of Kuchuk Kainardzhi provided Russia with special rights to protect Orthodox

Christians within the Ottoman Empire. Although these rights were not clearly defined,

Article 7 obligated the Porte to ‘give the Christian faith and its churches firm

protection’, and it granted ‘the Ministries of the Russian Imperial Court [the right] to

protect all interests of the church built in Constantinople’.17 As a member of the Holy

Alliance, Russia also viewed its commitment to the rights of Orthodox Christians as

consistent with its European obligations. In Nicholas’s perception, he was challenging

the Sultan on the issue of the Holy Places to return the Ottoman principalities to the

European Concert.18 Finally, the Tsar sought to confirm Russia’s control over the

Straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, which was vital to Russia’s economic

ties to Europe. The Crimean War resulted less from Russia’s expansionism and more

from the West and Russia’s incorrect perceptions of each other’s motives, as well as

from Nicholas’s overconfidence.

It would be equally wrong to assume that Nicholas’s assertiveness met no opposi-

tion at home. Advocates of a more restrained policy within the political class included

Nicholas’s most influential advisors, such as Count Nesselrode and Baron Brunnow,

who urged him to be cautious in negotiations with the Ottomans and consultations

with Austria and Prussia. On the other side of the political spectrum, Slavophiles

proclaimed the Crimean War to serve the ‘holy’ purpose of reviving Russia’s Christian

mission and pressured the Tsar to extend military support for the Balkan Slavs—

advice that Nicholas never accepted.19

Cold War

The early Cold War provides another seminal case of the theory of authoritarian

expansionism which places emphasis on the Soviet expansionist ideology and

16See for example, Kissinger (1994, pp. 140–44), Geyer (1987, p. 65) and MacKenzie (1993, p. 220).
17For the text of the agreement, see Dmytryshyn (1974, pp. 97–107).
18The Tsar’s stated objectives were that ‘all the Christian parts of Turkey must necessarily become

independent, must become again what they [formerly] were, principalities, Christian states, as such re-

enter the family of the Christian states of Europe’ (Vinogradov 1993, p. 170).
19Part of it was that Nicholas was wary of the Slavophiles’ insistence on abolition of serfdom.

Domestic censorship for the Slavophiles remained tight, and the war objectives were kept as limited

and status-quo oriented. Disappointed in Nicholas and the course of the war, the Slavophiles soon

began to withdraw their support (for details, see Curtiss 1979, pp. 557–60). The Tsar also rejected plans

from his own court to attack Constantinople (Fuller 1992, pp. 235–36).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 705

totalitarian structure of Josef Stalin’s decision making (Kennan 1961; Kissinger 1994).

Again, the reality is far too complex to be adequately expressed by supporters of the

theory of authoritarian expansionism.

The historical record shows that Soviet international objectives after World War II

were limited and shaped by the state’s perception of strategic interests, rather than

communist ideology.20 Before the end of 1945, Stalin acted with restraint and

generally in the spirit of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements as he interpreted them. He

was willing to tolerate Poland’s independence, although not outside the Soviet area of

influence (Suny 1998, p. 344). He also planned no communist takeovers in Europe and

advised the leaders of communist parties in Italy, France, Hungary and Bulgaria to

cooperate with national governments and not to expect to assume power within the

foreseeable future (Roberts 1999, p. 19; LaFeber 1997, p. 20)—partly because he

wanted to prevent the strengthening of independent communist centres (Daniels 1985,

p. 220). In addition—and consistent with the agreement on the division of influence he

had devised with Churchill—Stalin refused to interfere in Greece (Pikhoya 2007, p.

146). He further abstained from interfering in Finland, which he viewed as

maintaining a generally ‘friendly’ international posture (Alperovitz 1971, p. 22).

Outside Europe, Stalin advised Chinese communists to enter into a coalition with their

enemies, the nationalists (Roberts 1999, p. 19). He also refused to defy the United

States by intervening in Japan and landing in Hokkaido, as some of his advisers

encouraged him to do after Truman had dropped two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima

and Nagasaki in August 1945 (Suny 1998, p. 345).

The really radical turn in the Soviet attitude toward the West did not take place

until the Marshall Plan was officially proclaimed in June 1947. ‘There is little

evidence’, wrote Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, ‘that before the

Marshall Plan Stalin had any master plan for immediate expansion’ (Zubok &

Pleshakov 1996, p. 130). Even after Truman had proclaimed his new doctrine in

March 1947, Stalin was hoping to continue political ties and negotiations with the

United States and Great Britain. In April, during a long meeting with State Secretary

George Marshall, Stalin argued for a possible compromise on ‘all the main questions’

and insisted that ‘it was necessary to have patience and not become pessimistic’

(Kissinger 1994, p. 444). Marshall, however, was of a different opinion, and in his

radio address on 28 April he indicated that the United States was no longer in a mood

to deliberate and was planning to take decisive actions (Kissinger 1994, p. 445). On 5

June he delivered his Marshall Plan speech, in which he pledged financial assistance for

the post-war reconstruction of the European continent. In response, Stalin and

Molotov articulated their alternative to Western policy by creating a separate bloc

with the Eastern European states and suppressing any opposition to their policy

within the region. At home, the new course meant a return to the pre-war system of

mass mobilisation and repressions.

In addition, the Soviet power structure, as highly centralised as it was, did allow for

opposition to the policy of assertiveness. Immediately following the war, Stalin’s most

20This is not to say that ideology was unimportant. Yet, it was more important as ‘the internal lens

through which the state viewed the very legitimacy of its actions’ (Gaddis 1997, p. 290) than as a

justification for hard-line actions toward the West.

706 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

impatient comrades wanted him to cross the Elbe and occupy some parts of the

Western European nations—advice that he rejected as impractical.21 From the other

side of the political spectrum, a former Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov and the

ambassador to the United States Andrei Gromyko defended the ‘liberal’ approach

that included more respect for the choices of Eastern European states and more

extensive negotiations with the Western ones (Zubok & Pleshakov 1996, pp. 29–30;

Pikhoya 2007, pp. 106–8). What exacerbated the situation, making it ever more

difficult to prevent a full-fledged political confrontation, was the two sides’

international ambitions and mistrust of each other’s intentions. Stalin’s geopolitically

limited ‘socialist imperialism’ was met with the West’s global ‘democratic imperial-

ism’.22 Had the West been be less revisionist and fearful of the Kremlin’s preparedness

to penetrate the Western nations,23 there was a possibility that Stalin would have

continued with post-war cooperative security arrangements.

The Russia–Georgia War

Similar problems exist with the claims of the theory of authoritarian expansionism

that an autocratic Moscow was seeking to establish imperial control over Tbilisi and

that the war with Georgia was part of a broader geopolitical plan to revive Russia’s

hegemony in the former Soviet region and to challenge the West globally (Asmus 2010,

pp. 9, 14, 217–18; Blank 2009, p. 104; Cornell & Starr 2009b, p. 8; Sherr 2009, p.

224).24

Russia’s relationship with its Caucasian neighbour has evolved through several

increasingly unhappy stages and Moscow’s objectives have been defensive, aiming

mainly to prevent NATO expansion and the inclusion of Georgia and potentially

Ukraine into the alliance. Just as Tbilisi was angry with Moscow’s unwillingness to

honour Georgia’s independence and the right to choose a foreign-policy orientation,

Russia was frustrated with the lack of recognition by the United States and NATO.

While it is plausible to assume the Kremlin’s intention was to gain full control over

Georgia, it is at least as plausible to interpret Russia’s motives as driven by defence

and security considerations. The interests of Russia’s security are at least as helpful in

determining its behaviour and explaining why it limited itself to recognising Abkhazia

and South Ossetia’s independence, but abstained from pursuing the more expansionist

objectives of removing Saakashvili from power and establishing a pro-Kremlin regime

in Tbilisi. The theory of authoritarian expansionism lacks nuance and a sense of

proportion and, by presenting Russia as inherently imperialist and anti-Western, this

theory is less inclined to consider seriously the impact of contemporary developments

and international interactions on Russia’s behaviour.

21For example, General Semyon Budennyi advocated such intervention. Stalin reportedly responded

to Budennyi by posing the rhetorical questions ‘how are we to feed them?’ (Akstyutin 1995).
22The terms of ‘socialist’ and ‘democratic’ imperialism come from Zubok and Gaddis, respectively

(Zubok 2009, ch. 2; Gaddis 1997, pp. 284, 289).
23See, for example, CIA (1948, pp. 4–7) and NSC (1948, pp. 1–2). For analysis of the United States’

inflated assessments of the Soviet threat after the war, see Evangelista (1982).
24Other scholars argued that the war assisted the Kremlin with its internal legitimacy (Allison 2008,

p. 1169; Filippov 2009).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 707

Western nations and Georgia too bear responsibility for Russia’s increasingly

assertive behaviour in the Caucasus. By assisting Tbilisi with its political transition

after the Rose Revolution and not interfering with its efforts to restore control over

Adjara, the Kremlin expected Georgia to honour its interests in the Caucasus by not

pressing for immediate military withdrawals, excluding the use of force from dealings

with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and consulting Russia on vital security issues such

as membership in NATO. Soon, however, Tbilisi adopted a strategy of solving

territorial disputes without assistance from Russia and by relying on support from the

United States. By 2004 Washington had provided $1.2 billion in aid in the previous

decade, and deployed military advisors in Georgia. The United States was determined

to secure its access to Caspian oil and strengthen its geostrategic presence in the

Caucasus, which the Kremlin saw as evidence of America’s bias and lack of

recognition of Russia’s role in the region. The United States did little to restrain

Georgia’s militarisation and ambitions to reign in its autonomous regions by force.25

While Russia was increasing its support for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, NATO and

US officials did not hide their backing of Tbilisi, and rarely criticised Georgia’s actions

in public. For example, less than a month before the war, the US Secretary of State

Condoleezza Rice travelled to Europe. She found no time to visit Moscow, but on 9

July she went to Tbilisi to demonstrate support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and

NATO aspirations.

It is also unrealistic to assume that the Kremlin’s decision-making system was

autocratic enough to exclude a serious debate within the ruling circles. According to

Gleb Pavlovski, one faction within the Kremlin wanted to march on Tbilisi in order to

challenge the West and fully revive Russia’s domination in the Caucasus (Felgenhauer

2009, pp. 178–79). Another faction had more modest objectives, but did consider a

decision to remove Saakashvili. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign

Minister Sergei Lavrov both indicated that they wanted the Georgian President ‘to go’

and at first considered this a condition for a ceasefire (Asmus 2010, pp. 199, 220). Still

another faction seems to have been satisfied with achieving a military victory over

Georgia and recognition of its rebellious provinces.26 The ruling structure was far

from uniform or consolidated.

Towards a better understanding of Russia

The analysis in this article suggests the theory of authoritarian expansionism has a

rather limited ability to understand Russia and its foreign policy. Not only does the

theory tend to misrepresent the direction and scope of Russia’s international actions,

but it is potentially misleading regarding the sources of such actions. Because of its

emphasis on the role of domestic ‘authoritarianism’ in determining foreign policy, the

theory of authoritarian expansionism tends to miss other important sources of state

international behaviour, such as security conditions and actions by outside powers

towards Russia. It is not that the theory of authoritarian expansionism is necessarily

25According to the former Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili (2007), Georgia planned a military

invasion of South Ossetia in 2006.
26This objective seems to have been favoured by President Medvedev (2008).

708 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

wrong, but it is biased and incomplete and therefore potentially wrong. To apply the

late Martin Malia’s (1999, p. 9) diagnosis, ‘the West is not necessarily most alarmed

when Russia is in reality most alarming, nor most reassured when Russia is in fact

most reassuring’. The theory’s tendency to essentialise Russia’s internal conditions and

exaggerate its international ambitions should therefore make analysts pause before

adopting the theory of authoritarian expansionism framework and policy recommen-

dations.

A better approach to Russia would be to devise a more complex classification of

Russia’s foreign policy. The historical record will show that since its emergence as an

independent centralised state, Russia has followed not one but several distinct

trajectories in relations with the West (Tsygankov 2012). From opening a permanent

mission in Rome in the early seventeenth century to the collective security policy

before World War II, Russia frequently sided with a coalition of Western states

against those whom it viewed as challenging Russian values of security. The second

distinct trajectory of Russia’s relations with the West has been that of defensiveness or

balancing through domestic revival and flexible international alliances. It included

Russia’s periods of recovery after the Time of Troubles, the war with Sweden, the

Crimean War, the Communist Revolution and the Soviet disintegration. Finally,

historically Russia has resorted to assertiveness in relations with the West, as

exemplified by the cases considered above of the Crimean War, Cold War and the

Russia–Georgia war of August 2008. The theory of authoritarian expansionism is

applicable only to the third trajectory of Russia’s foreign policy and to a limited

degree.

A better approach to Russia would be one free from crude biases and hypocritical

recommendations. Such approaches should be eclectic and draw from various theo-

retical traditions by incorporating ideas of domestic institutions, considerations of

national security and international recognition as sources of the nation’s foreign

policy.27 The first task ought to be to establish a meaningful context in which Russia

acts and seeks to achieve its goals. Scholarly responsibility demands that we should

establish it by studying the relevant historical, social, psychological and political

contexts behind what ostensibly are ‘autocratic’ decisions. Proceeding from the 200-

year-old vision of Russia by the Marquis de Custine as an essentially aggressive

nation, or engaging in reconstruction of the Kremlin’s motives without sufficient

evidence at hand, is unlikely to facilitate a better understanding of the country or

produce sound policy recommendations. How the Russians themselves describe their

system of commitments to relevant social communities should give us a better clue as

to what the purpose, legitimacy and scope of their actions might be. The second task

should be to analyse the level of power and confidence that provides the state with the

required platform for acting, and it incorporates power capabilities, institutional

capacity and the leadership’s perceptions of actions necessary for implementing the

vision. Even if the domestic belief system supports assertive international behaviour,

Russia may lack the resources to act on it. Finally, a scholar of foreign policy must

carefully monitor the actions of the Western states toward Russia. As constructivism

27For a recent attempt to offer a more sophisticated analysis of relationships between

authoritarianism and foreign policy, see Chambers (2010).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 709

teaches us, such external actions may serve the purpose of external legitimisation of

Russia’s behaviour on the international scene. By providing various forms of support

the outside world may have the power to encourage Russia not to resort to revisionist

behaviour. Only such an eclectic approach, sensitive to local systems of perceiving the

outside world, national security interests and the behaviour of outsiders, may bring us

closer to a better understanding of an enormously complex country, such as Russia.

San Francisco State University

References

Akstyutin, Yu. (1995) ‘Pochemu Stalin dal’neishemu sotrudnichestvu s soyuznikami predpochel
konfrontatsiyu c nimi?’, in Narinski, M. M. (ed.) (1995) Kholodnaya voina: novyye podkhody,
novyye dokumenty (Moscow, Russian Academy of Sciences).

Allison, R. (2008) ‘Russia Resurgent? Moscow’s Campaign to ‘‘Coerce Georgia to Peace’’’,
International Affairs, 84, 6.

Alperovitz, G. (1971) ‘How Did the Cold War Begin?’, in LaFaber, W. (ed.) (1971) The Origins of the
Cold War, 1941–1947: A Historical Problem with Interpretations and Documents (New York, John
Wiley & Sons).

Ambrosio, T. (2009) Authoritarian Backlash: Russian Resistance to Democratization in the Former
Soviet Union (London, Ashgate).

Asmus, R. D. (2010) A Little War that Shook the World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the West
(New York, Palgrave Macmillan).

Baker, P. & Glasser, S. (2005) Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution (New
York, Simon & Shuster).

Blank, S. (2009) ‘From Neglect to Duress: The West and the Georgian Crisis before the 2008 War’, in
Cornell, S. E. & Starr, F. (eds) (2009a).

Bremmer, I. (2006) The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall (New York,
Public Affairs).

Brown, J. D. J. (2010) ‘A Stereotype, Wrapped in a Cliché, Inside a Caricature: Russian Foreign Policy
and Orientalism’, Politics, 30, 3.

Brown, M. E., Lynn-Jones, S. M. & Miller, S. E. (eds) (1996) Debating the Democratic Peace
(Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press).

Brzezinski, Z. (2004) ‘Moscow’s Mussolini’, Wall Street Journal, 20 September.
Bugajski, J. (2009) Dismantling the West: Russia’s Atlantic Agenda (Washington, DC, Potomac

Books).
Chambers, L. (2010) ‘Authoritarianism and Foreign Policy: The Twin Pillars of Resurgent Russia’,

Caucasus Review of International Affairs, 4, 2, Spring.
Cheney, R. (2006) ‘Vice President’s Remarks at the 2006 Vilnius Conference, The White House’, Office

of the Vice President, 4 May, available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov, accessed 7 February 2007.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (1948) ‘Threats to the Security of the United States’, Central

Intelligence Agency, 28 September, available at: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-
of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/assessing-the-soviet-threat-the-early-cold-
war-years/docs.html, accessed 10 November 2009.

Clunan, A. L. (2009) The Social Construction of Russia’s Resurgence: Aspirations, Identity, and Security
Interests (Baltimore, MD, The John Hopkins University Press).

Cohen, A. (2007) ‘Domestic Factors Driving Russia’s Foreign Policy’, Heritage Foundation Policy
Brief, November.

Cohen, A. (2010) ‘Time to Revise Obama’s Russian ‘‘Reset’’ Policy’, The Heritage Foundation, 26
October.

Cohen, A. & Dale, H. C. (2010) ‘Russian Anti-Americanism: A Priority Target for US Public
Diplomacy’, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, 2373, 24 February.

Cohen, S. F. (1985) Homo Sovieticus (New York, W.W. Norton).
Cohen, S. F. (2001) Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia (New York,

W.W. Norton).
Cornell, S. E. & Starr, F. (eds) (2009a) The Guns of August 2008: Russia’s War in Georgia (New York,

M. E. Sharpe).
Cornell, S. E. & Starr, F. (2009b) ‘Introduction’, in Cornell, S. E. & Starr, F. (eds) (2009a).

710 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

Council on Foreign Relations (2006) Russia’s Wrong Direction: What the United States Can and Should
Do, Independent Task Force 57 (New York, Council on Foreign Relations).

Curtiss, J. S. (1979) Russia’s Crimean War (Durham, NC, Duke University Press).
Daniels, R. V. (1985) Russia: The Roots of Confrontation (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press).
Dmytryshyn, B. (ed.) (1974) Imperial Russia: A Source Book, 1700–1917 (Hinsdale, IL, Harcourt).
Donaldson, R. H. & Nogee, J. L. (1998) The Foreign Policy of Russia (Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe).
Duncan, P. J. S. (2000) Russian Messianism: Third Rome, Revolution, Communism and After (London,

Routledge).
Edwards, J. & Kemp, J. (2006) ‘We Need to be Tough with Russia’, International Herald Tribune, 12

July.
Engerman, D. C. (2010) Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Soviet Experts (Oxford,

Oxford University Press).
English, R. R. (2000) Russia and the Idea of the West. Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold

War (New York, Columbia University Press).
English, R. & Svyatets, E. (2010) ‘A Presumption of Guilt? Western Media Coverage of the 2008

Russia–Georgia War’, Paper presented at the annual convention of the International Studies
Association, New Orleans, 17–20 February.

Evangelista, M. A. (1982) ‘Stalin’s Postwar Army Reappraised’, International Security, 7, 1, Winter.
Felgenhauer, P. (2009) ‘After August 7: The Escalation of the Russia–Georgia War’, in Cornell, S. E.

& Starr, F. (eds) (2009a).
Filippov, M. (2009) ‘Diversionary Role of the Georgia–Russia Conflict: International Constraints and

Domestic Appeal’, Europe-Asia Studies, 61, 10, December.
Fish, S. (2005) Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics (Cambridge, Cambridge

University Press).
Foglesong, D. S. (2007) The American Mission and the ‘Evil Empire’ (Cambridge, Cambridge

University Press).
Foner, E. (1998) The Story of American Freedom (New York, Free Press).
Frum, D. &. Perle, R. (2003) An End to Evil: How to Win a War on Terror (New York, Random

House).
Fuller, W. C., Jr (1992) Strategy and Power in Russia, 1600–1914 (New York, Free Press).
Gaddis, J. L. (1997) We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History (Oxford, Clarendon Press).
Gartoff, R. L. (1985) Détente and Confrontation: American–Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan

(Washington, DC, Brookings Institution).
Geyer, D. (1987) Russian Imperialism: The Interaction of Domestic and Foreign Policy 1860–1914 (New

York & Hamburg, Berg Publishers).
Holloway, D. (1984) The Soviet Union and the Arms Race (New Haven, CT, Yale University Press).
Hopf, T. (2002) Social Construction of International Politics: Identities and Foreign Policies, Moscow,

1955 and 1999 (Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press).
Kanet, R. (ed.) (2009) A Resurgent Russia and the West: The European Union, NATO and Beyond

(Dordrecht, Republic of Letters Publishing).
Kennan, G. F. (1961) Russia and the West under Lenin and Stalin (New York, A Mentor Book).
Kissinger, H. (1994) Diplomacy (New York, Simon & Shuster).
Kohn, H. (1953) Panslavism: Its History and Ideology (Notre Dame, IN, University of Notre Dame

Press).
Kolko, G. (1994) Century of War: Politics, Conflicts, and Society since 1914 (New York, The New

Press).
Kramer, D. J. (2010a) ‘Resetting US–Russian Relations: It Takes Two’, Washington Quarterly, 33, 1,

January.
Kramer, D. J. (2010b) ‘America’s Silence Makes Us Complicit in Russia’s Crimes’, Washington Post,

20 September.
LaFeber, W. (1997) America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945–1996, 8th edn (New York, The McGraw-

Hill).
Lapidus, G. W. (2007) ‘Between Assertiveness and Insecurity: Russian Elite Attitudes and the Russia–

Georgia Crisis’, Post-Soviet Affairs, 23, 2.
Larson, D. W. & Shevchenko, A. (2010) ‘Status Seekers: Chinese and Russian Responses to US

Primacy’, International Security, 34, 4.
LeDonne, J. P. (1997) The Russian Empire and the World, 1700–1917: The Geopolitics of Expansion and

Containment (Oxford, Oxford University Press).
Legvold, R. (2007) ‘Russian Foreign Policy during State Transformation’, in Legvold, R. (ed.) (2007)

Russian Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century and the Shadow of the Past (New York,
Columbia University Press).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 711

LeVine, S. (2010) ‘Reset, Rethought’, Foreign Policy, 11 November.
Lucas, E. (2009) The New Cold War: The Future of Russia and the Threat to the West (London,

Palgrave).
MacKenzie, D. (1993) ‘Russia’s Balkan Policies under Alexander II, 1855–1881’, in Ragsdale, H. (ed.)

(1993).
Malia, M. (1999) Russia under Western Eyes (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press).
Mankoff, J. (2009) Russian Foreign Policy: The Return of Great Power Politics (Boulder, CO, Rowman

& Littlefield).
Mansfield, E. D. & Snyder, J. (2007) Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War

(Cambridge, Cambridge University Press).
McCain, J. (2003) ‘McCain Decries ‘‘New Authoritarianism in Russia’’’, statement delivered on the

Senate floor, 4 November, available at: http://mccain.senate.gov, accessed 5 February 2007.
McFaul, M. (2001) Russia’s Unfinished Revolution (Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press).
Medvedev, D. (2008) ‘Why I had to Recognize Georgia’s Breakaway Regions’, Financial Times, 26

August.
Nation, R. C. (1992) Black Earth, Red Star: A History of Soviet Security Policy, 1917–1991 (Ithaca,

NY, Cornell University Press).
National Security Council (NSC) (1948) US Objectives With Respect to the USSR to Counter Soviet

Threats to US Security, National Security Council Report, 2 November, available at: http://
www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/coldwar/nsc20-4.htm, accessed 10 November 2009.

Neumann, I. B. (1996) Russia and the Idea of Europe. A Study in Identity and International Relations
(London, Routledge).

Odom, W. E. (2001) ‘Realism about Russia’, National Interest, 64, 4, Fall.
Okruashvili, I. (2007) ‘Irakli Okruashvili: President khotel ubrat’ Badri’, Izvestiya, 28 September.
Oren, I. (1995) ‘The Subjectivity of Democratic Peace’, International Security, 20, 2.
Oren, I. (2002) Our Enemy and US: America’s Rivalries and the Making of Political Science (Ithaca,

NY, Cornell University Press).
Petrovich, M. B. (1956) The Emergence of Russian Panslavism, 1856–1870 (New York, Columbia

University Press).
Pikhoya, R. (2007) Moskva. Kreml’. Vlast’. Sorok let posle voiny (Moscow, Rus’-Olimp).
Pipes, R. (1997) ‘Is Russia Still an Enemy?’, Foreign Affairs, 76, 5, September–October.
Pipes, R. (2004) ‘Give Chechens a Land of Their Own’, New York Times, 9 September.
Ragsdale, H. (ed.) (1993) Imperial Russian Foreign Policy (Cambridge, Cambridge University

Press).
Riazanovsky, N. V. (1959) Nicholas I and Official Nationality in Russia, 1825–1855 (Berkeley, CA,

University of California Press).
Ringman, E. (2002) ‘The Recognition Game: Soviet Russia Against the West’, Cooperation and

Conflict, 37, 2.
Roberts, G. (1999) The Soviet Union in World Politics: Coexistence, Revolution and Cold War, 1945–

1991 (London, Routledge).
Safire, W. (1994) ‘Strategic Dilemma’, New York Times, 1 December.
Satter, D. (2007) ‘Russia: Rebuilding the Iron Curtain’, Testimony to US House of Representatives,

Committee on Foreign Affairs, 17 May, available at: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/110/35430.
pdf, accessed 10 November 2009.

Seton-Watson, H. (1967) The Russian Empire, 1801–1917 (Oxford, Oxford University Press).
Sherr, J. (2009) ‘The Implications of the Russia–Georgia War for European Security’, in Cornell, S. E.

& Starr, F. (eds) (2009a).
Shevtsova, L. (2010) ‘Resetology’, The American Interest, 6, 2, November–December.
Shlapentokh, V. (2009) ‘Russian Anti-Americanism’, New York Times, 5 October.
Suny, R. G. (1998) The Soviet Experiment: Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States (Oxford, Oxford

University Press).
Taylor, A. J. P. (1954) The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848–1918 (Oxford, Oxford University

Press).
Trenin, D. (2009) Getting Russia Right (Washington, DC, Carnegie Endowment for International

Peace).
Tsygankov, A. P. (2009) Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy (London,

Palgrave Macmillan).
Tsygankov, A. P. (2010) Russia’s Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity, 2nd edn

(Boulder, CO, Rowman & Littlefield).
Tsygankov, A. P. (2012) Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin: Honor in International Relations

(Cambridge, Cambridge University Press).

712 ANDREI P. TSYGANKOV

Tuminez, A. S. (2000) Russian Nationalism since 1856: Ideology and the Making of Foreign Policy
(Boulder, CO, Rowman & Littlefield).

Ulam, A. (1968) Expansion and Coexistence: The History of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1967 (New
York, Praeger).

Vinogradov, V. N. (1993) ‘The Personal Responsibility of Emperor Nicholas I for the Coming of the
Crimean War: An Episode in the Diplomatic Struggle in the Eastern Question’, in Ragsdale, H.
(ed.) (1993).

Wallander, C. A. (2008) ‘Russian Power and Interests at the Next Stage in US–Russian Relations’,
Testimony before the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, United States
Congress, 8 May, available at: http://www.csce.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction¼ContentRecords.
ViewTranscript&ContentRecord_id¼423&ContentType¼H&ContentRecordType¼H&CFID¼
756971&CFTOKEN¼19664130, accessed 10 November 2009.

Wohlforth, W. (1993) The Elusive Balance: Power and Perception during the Cold War (Ithaca, NY,
Cornell University Press).

Zubok, V. M. (2009) A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev
(Chapel Hill, NC, The University of North Carolina).

Zubok, V. M. & Pleshakov, C. (1996) Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev
(Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press).

EXPLANATIONS OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN POLICY 713

Copyright of Europe-Asia Studies is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to

multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users

may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 1 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
EMPIRE AND AN EMPIRE OF THE EAST?

WHERE DID WE GET TO BEFORE THE BREAK?

IS IT JUST ABOUT TERRTITORY (UKRAINE AND TAIWAN) OR IS IT ABOUT IDEAS (FREEDOM VERSUS DICTATORSHIP) AS WELL?

WHERE IS ALL THIS HEADING?

UGLY AMERICAN OR EMPIRE OF LIBERTY? – THERE ARE TWO BIG STORIES ABOUT THE UNITED STATES IN THE WORLD TODAY.
FOR CENTURIES, THE UNITED STATES DENIED THAT IT WAS AN EMPIRE. NOW MOST COMMENTATORS ARE HAPPY TO DESCRIBE
IT AS AN EMPIRE, BUT AS A DIFFERENT EMPIRE TO, SAY, THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE.

CHINA AND USA RUB UP AGAINST EACH OTHER IN THE SOUTH CHINA AND EAST CHINA SEAS.

SINCE THE 1500S, WHAT IS NOW THE UNITED STATES LOOKED LIKE A EUROPEAN EMPIRE

REMEMBER THAT THERE HAS ONLY BEEN A UNITED STATES SINCE 1776.
Of course, the Americas were settled from Asia and by roaming 20,000 years hunter ago. gatherer bands between 11
Another was Europe thing and to not think China about that is the conquered fact that the it Americas in the 1500s.
For the best part of one thousand years, 300- with wars, 1300, no migrations Europe unity was (except and a squabbling
invasions. Christianity) jumble and of states many
EUROPEANS WERE CLOSEST TO THE AMERICAS – CLOSER THAN THE ROMANS, INDIANS OR CHINESE!
EUROPEANS WERE RELATIVELY POOR AND WARLIKE WITH POWERFUL INCENTIVES TO SAIL THE OCEAN AND TO ROB
RESOURCES WHERE THEY COULD.

Vasco Da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope, making it clear that there was an easy sea route to the Indian Ocean, India and the
SPICE ISLANDS. THE MONGOLS HAD BLOCKED THE LAND ROUTE – THE OLD SILK ROAD. It opened up sea routes to the East
Indies for the spice trade. Da Gama’s objective was a faster route to the East African slave trades. Da Gama was a wealthy slave
trader out for personal gain.

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS IN 1492 HOPED TO SAIL WEST TO THE RICHES OF ASIA BUT HE HAD UNDERESTIMATED THE SIZE OF
THE EARTH BY ABOUT HALF. AND COLUMBUS DID NOT REALISE THAT THE AMERICAN CONTINENT STOOD IN HIS WAY. BY THE
1500S EUROPEANS HAD COLONISED JUST ABOUT ALL OF THE AMERICAS AND DISPOSSESSED THE NATIVE AMERICANS.

THE

SINO-RUSSIAN
CHALLENGE

TOTHE

WORLDORDER
MATIOMALIDENTITIES,BILATERALRELATIONS

GILBERTROIM

STEPHENF.COHEN

WAR
WITH
RUSSIA?
FROMPUTIN&UKRAINETO

TRUMP&RUSSIAGATE

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 2 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

It was not long before the Colombian Exchange brought great wealth to Europe and disease and slavery to the Americas. The
marriage of racism and imperialism led European to enforce widespread enslavement and exploitation of millions of people in the
Americas. Diseases such as smallpox did the heavy lifting in terms of facilitating European imperialism.

Doris Lee, ‘Thanksgiving’ (ca. 1935). Gratitude in the face of challenges. 1620 the pilgrims compared their exodus to the exodus from
Egypt. Half of the people on the Mayflower died from starvation over the next year.

LEGACY OF SLAVERY HAUNTS THE UNITED STATES AND ITS SELF-PROCLAIMED IDEAL OF FREEDOM. 1619 was the year slaves
first came to what is now the United States. Critics argues that the whole purpose of the American project was racial domination and
slavery. It is

a

a

negative

image

of American

that

has

gained

traction.

MAP OF THE UNITED STATES WHEN IT FIRST CAME INTO EXISTENCE BACK IN 1776

THERE REALLY WAS A HAMILTON
BEFORE THE MUSICAL

Alexander Hamilton was one of the FOUNDING FATHERS
f American democracy in 1776.

The United States really was a TRAILBLAZER, the first modern state DEMOCRACY, to abolish and give monarchy, the vote to
set qualified up a adult REPRESENTATIVE men.
Democracy over the next two hundred years would become a big military thing muscle with the for United Team Democracy.
States acting as the inspiration and
And what was the real Hamilton famous for?
In The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton noted that the United Kingdom and the United States were both islands and this
made them uniquely well placed to embrace the concept

f FREEDOM.
ACCORDING states like Russia TO HAMILTON, and China the and problem Germany with were big continental that they were
always fighting each other – constant wars encouraged the rise of dictatorial rule.
By contrast, Britain and the United States had no dangerous borders and therefore no dictator!
The United States was committed to preventing the rise of a king or dictator – that is why power in America to this day is the
divided Supreme three Court. ways between the President, the Congress and
the Hamilton USA needed also had to sound use PROTECTIONIST economic advice, tariffs which to protect was that its infant
industries from European competition.

FOR FIFTY YEARS, THE BIG ENEMY OF THE UNITED STATES WAS BRITAIN – SEEMS INCREDIBLE NOW. IN THE WAR OF 1812, THE
BRITISH BURNED WASHINGTON BEFORE AGREEING TO LEAVE!

FLAWED DEMOCRACY
THOMAS States and JEFFERSON a brilliant was Enlightenment the third president thinker/writer of the United who

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 3 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

f the 1776 American
created “We hold equal, these that Truths they to are be endowed self-evident, by their that Creator all Men with are certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness … ”
The UNITED STATES was supposed to be a ‘new’ and ‘different’ nation founded upon principles of freedom and EQUALITY.
However, there was SLAVERY since 1619 and it was the basis

f the southern economy – cotton, sugar etc.
Jefferson owned over 600 enslaved people during his

lifetime, inherited his the family most plantation of any American and needed president a workforce! – he had
Jefferson also kept hidden his long-term relationship with his six slave children Sally Hemmings with her. after his wife died and
fathered at least
Decades later, Jefferson freed all of Sally Hemings’s children
Jefferson did not grant freedom to any other enslaved family unit.
It is not a good look from today’s perspective on slavery and hypocrisy.

penned Declaration the of Independence: immortal words

OL’ MAN RIVER
• QUESTION: GEOGRAPHICAL DIFFERENT BETWEEN

WHAT IS THE BIG
THE UNITED STATES AND AUSTRALIA?

ANSWER: THE AMERICANS HAVE THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND NOT A DESERT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CONTINENT.
IN 1803, THE AMERICANS BOUGHT THE MIDDLE OF THE AMERICAN CONTINENT FROM A CASH-STRAPPED NAPOLEON OF
FRANCE.
It is called the Louisiana Purchase and was centred on the Mississippi River and the mid-west from Canada to New Orleans.
THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE cost 15 million dollars – a bargain for some of the best farmland in the world.
In 1867, the United States purchased ALASKA from Russia for seven million dollars, another bargain.

BRAVE NEW

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 4 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

WORLD
Did the United States travel a SPECIAL PATH (Sonderweg as the Germans would say) historically?
wanted America more has always FREEDOM. generated excitement among European visitors who
It all started with a tour of the United States in 1831 by a famous French writer Alexis de Tocqueville.
He described America as ‘exceptional’
influential In 1835, De books Tocqueville ever that wrote sang ‘Democracy the praises of in America America’, and one
democracy. of the most
What struck de Tocqueville was that the United States was more egalitarian than Europe.
This was because European migrants left behind their class system in Europe.
Class did not matter in this new rich land because there was so much

pportunity, social mobility unmatched anywhere else in the world.
by liberty. In the swearing United allegiance States, it was to the possible new nation to become and American its ideology
citizens of individual simply
“The position of the Americans is quite exceptional,”, wrote Tocqueville.
Of course, there was still slavery, patriarchy, prejudices of all kinds…

CHOSEN BY GOD?

O’SULLIVAN In 1845, a newspaper came up with man a named memorable JOHN MANIFEST phrase to sum DESTINY. up
American history –
means, If you are it is wondering similar to what ‘inevitable’ MANIFEST or ‘obvious’ or ‘clearly going to happen’
The 1846-48 war against Mexico drove the Mexicans out of Texas.

Americans were finally
Native Great dispossessed Plains were of all conquered their lands in the as 1880s the – as one Native American leader
famously put it – ‘the Americans made many promised promises, to but take they our only land kept and they one. did’. They
The United States annexed Hawaii in 1898.
States 1898 war in against control Spain of Cuba put the and United the Philippines.

The Americans took about half of Mexico’s territory in a war in the late 1840s. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-
American War (1846-1848) and was signed on February 2, 1848, at Guadalupe Hidalgo, a city north of the capital where the Mexican
government had fled. The present-day states of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of
Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming plus the south and west of Texas were originally native American and then Mexican before being
conquered by the United States.

THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR
The United States opportunistically exploited geopolitical vacuums first of all in the Americas and then in the Pacific.
You the might Spanish not American know that War the of United 1898 States – the defeated Americans Spain won in the
control war over was about Philippines, at least Puerto in theory). Rico, Guam and Cuba (which
The victory over Spain meant that America’s possessions in the Pacific stretched from Hawaii to the Philippines, Guam,
American Samoa, Wake island).
Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson called the new Pacific lands COLONIES.
But the idea of America being a colonial power created power problems that for defeated America’s the self-image British
Empire as the in 1776. anti-colonial rebel
So instead of colonies, Hawaii and the Philippines became simply OVERSEAS TERRITORIES.
Hawaii and Alaska became states in 1959 and now appear on virtually all published maps of the country.
American Samoa, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas remain TERRITORIES.
The Philippines in independent but closely linked to the United States.
Its critics argue that it the empire. United States is just another

THUS. THE UNITED STATES CLAIMED A PACIFIC EMPIRE IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: THE UNITED STATES TOOK CALIFORNIA
FROM MEXICO, ALASKA FROM RUSSIA, THE PHILIPPINES FROM SPAIN, AND SEVERAL ISLANDS FROM JAPAN.

AMERICA HAS ALWAYS HAD ITS SHARE OF DIVISIONS RACIAL DIVISIONS ARE THE BEST KNOWN. WHAT SAVED AMERICA WAS
AMAZING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 5 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

HOME OF MASS PRODUCTION
America in 1900 was the world’s workshop, much like China is today.
Migration, motor cars, mass production and mass consumerism transformed the American economy between 1900 and 1930.
Electricity brought light to homes, safety to streets and made possible the night-shift in factories.
The electric elevator permitted skyscrapers, leading to urban density;
Machine tools and assembly-line organization transformed the workplace.
The internal combustion engine transformed transportation.
Railways connected the east and west coasts of America opened up the farmland of the mid- West to trade through Chicago
and the GREAT LAKES.
The electric refrigerator changed food supply and eating habits.
A public water supply protected every household;
The retail store replaced homemade clothes and made shopping for clothes affordable
America was a home of PHILANTHROPY – charitable donations to universities and hospialts that would make everything from
X-rays and antibiotics to atomic bombs achievable. .

THE PROGRESSIVE ERA. In the decade before World War One, America was taking in a million migrants a year.

MIGRATION THE KEY TO SUCCESS
the A massive United migration States is program connected means to that all ethnic, regions and of cultural the world ties.
through family,
year In the arrived early in 1900s the United one million States. migrants a
America has always attracted the bright and ambitious.
Of the 104 Americans who have been awarded Nobel Prizes in chemistry, been medicine, immigrants. and physics since 2000,
40 have
American performing students students attract from the around highest- the world.
There are 330 million Americans with
20. living standards higher than that living per capita standards are about in Australia.

DISILLUSIONMENT WITH WORLD WAR ONE

This is a tricky bit.
The United States entered the war late, in 1917, and was on the winning side.
BUT

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 6 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

WORLD WAR ONE GREATLY UNSETTLED THE UNITED STATES- 116,000 mostly young American men died in the fighting,
about two million were disabled, and more than half a million Americans died been from called the the Spanish American Flu Flu
– which as it should started have in a military base in Kansas.
The United States had tried to stay out of the war and only got involved in 1917, just as the Russians exited.
The argument against the war was that the British had tricked the Americans into helping out the Allies basically to save Britain
and France and with no benefit to the United States.
After World War One, Americans voted for REPUBLICAN presidents who made it clear that it DID NOT WANT to be entangled in
Europe’s problems.
This mood is called ‘ISOLATIONISM’.

ISOLATIONISM
A First’ huge – sound political familiar? movement arose called ‘America
In the 1920s and 30s, the United States did not join the the continent Imperial League rise Japan of could of Fascist Nations on
shield the Italy, grounds and Nazi itself did Germany little that from the to the counteract and American world’s even problems.
THE GUY ON THE LEFT IS THE FAMOUS AIRMAN CHARLES LINDBERGH, THE FIRST MAN TO FLY SOLO NONSTOP ACROSS
THE ATLANTIC IN THE 1920S.
AMERICA Lindbergh FIRST was the COMMITTEE best-known and supporter was a constant of the thorn in the side of President
Roosevelt who wanted America to do more to defend DEMOCRACY and fight the NAZIS.
If Democratic you are President wondering Roosevelt why (FDR) the did American not do was more because to help that Britain
would and have France led fight to his the defeat Nazis, in it the 1940 Presidential election.
Most Americans, until Pearl Harbor, did not want to be involved in another European war.

PEARL HARBOR ATTACK IN 1941 ENDED ISOLATIONISM
FIG H

WORLD WAR TWO DREW AMERICA DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO THE PACIFIC WORLD. AUSTRALIA BECAME AMERICA’S MAIN BASE
AND SIGNED THE ANZUS AGREEMENT IN 1951. JAPAN WAS OCCUPIED AND HAS BEEN AN AMERICAN ALLY SINCE WORLD WAR
TWO. THE UNITED STATES HAS REMAINED CLOSELY CONNECTED TO SOUTH KOREA, THE PHILIPPINES AND TO TAIWAN,
EFFECTIVELY CONTAINING THE EASTERN COAST OF MAINLAND CHINA.

WORLD WAR TWO TURNED THE PACIFIC INTO AN AMERICAN LAKE
THE UNITED STATES defeated the Japanese with a fair bit of help from the Chinese who bogged the Japanese down and from
Australia which provided a huge air and sea base for fighting Japan.
Soon 1941, after Australian the Japanese Prime attack Minister on Pearl John Harbour Curtin in December put the importance
of the United States this way: ‘Without any that inhibitions Australia of any looks kind”, to America, he declared, free of “I any
make pangs it quite as to clear our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom’.
The, New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser put it this way: “New Zealand realises that the security and future development
in cooperation of with the the Pacific United can States’. only be satisfactorily achieved
Pearl Harbor attack had utterly discredited the pre-war isolationist movement.
JAPAN, THE PHILIPPINES, SOUTH KOREA AND TAIWAN BECAME COMPLETELY DEPENDENT UPON AMERICAN MILTIARY
POWER FOR THEIR DEFENSE.
complete For decades, monopoly the of United power States in the Pacific maintained an almost
The United States is still in the box seat because so many Australia, Pacific islands New and Zealand coastal and states
Vietnam – Japan, – Philippines, prefer the Taiwan United States to China.

TRUMAN DOCTRINE
Truman’s ‘Truman Doctrine’ speech of March 1947 was an important statement about what role America would play in the
world.
According to Truman, there could be no return to ISOLATIONISM because WORLD COMMUNISM represented a deadly threat to
the American way

f life and had to be stopped.
‘At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 7 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

often not a free
ne…One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative
government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political
ppression….The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon
terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms’.

After the speech, Truman’s approval rating rose from 49% to 60%.

MARSHALL PLAN
WAS A BIG DEAL

But it would take more than military force to save Europe, which was economically ruined by the war.
What Europe needed was American money!
In June 1947 Truman’s new Secretary of State George C. Marshall announced that the United States was willing to assist
European nations in need if they made formal requests for assistance.
Marshall warned that the collapse of Europe’s postwar economy would lead to another economic and political crisis and a third
world war.
According to Marshall, Europe would be able to rebuild and become stable and prosperous with American help.
It all sounded so generous and altruistic!
Britain and France got the most.
Marshall Plan aid went to Turkey in the east, Portugal in the west, Sweden in. the north and Greece in the south!
13 billion US dollars at the time was a small fortune.
And it was money well spent.
No country that took Marshall Plan aid ever turned Communist…
The Europeans built economies that were linked to an American supply chain, ensuring that American firms did well

ut of the new arrangement.

AMERICA WAS INVOLVED ON MULTIPLE FRONTS DURING THE COLD WAR
established North Atlantic in Washington Treaty Organisation on 4 April 1949. (NATO) was
was Up President until opposition the Truman American to had him to election play spending it of cool November more in case
money there 1948 defending Europe.
In 1948, Britain formed the Brussels Pact with four

ther countries and urged the Americans to join.
wish In April and 1949, set up Truman a military gave alliance the United known Kingdom as NATO. its
States. It had twelve Canada founding and ten members countries – in the Western United Europe.
It was the most successful military alliance in all

f history.
To this day, no NATO member has ever left.
ARTICLE on COLLECTIVE 5 of NATO’s DEFENCE founding – an principles attack is on based one member is an an attack on
them all.
The Soviet Union never attacked a NATO member.
called after Ironically, the into 9/11 the play attacks only was time in in support 2001. that ARTICLE of the United 5 has States
been

NATO (THE ORANGE BITS) IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL MILITARY ALLIANCE SINCE WORLD WAR TWO – NO ALLY OF THE UNITED
STATES HAS EVER DEFECTED.

TEAM AMERICA OR AMERICAN EMPIRE?

It is a bit of both – TEAM and EMPIRE are appropriate UNITED STATES. terms to use in relation to the
alliance. countries begged Historians the like have United Britain, noted States France that to and join West West in a European
Germany military
The historian Geir Lundestad has described the distinct new American from Nazi empire invasion as ‘empire or Soviet by
invitation’ occupation as in Eastern Europe.
the On the Americans other hand, had ‘bought’ we aid need and plenty to anti-Communist remember of good that will through

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 8 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

Propaganda. Marshall Plan
American In money other as allies. words, well as there love of was democracy love of motivating American
This was the strength of of countries Team America that were – a willing opposed partnership to Stalin and Communism.
There and States Italy was in Parties. which Western plenty had of Europe, massive opposition especially Communist to the in
and/or France United Socialist
strong But no enough Communist to win Party an election. in the West was ever

By 1947, the Cold War was under way and Europe was divided into rival blocs, Team America and Team Stalin. Orthodox historians
blame Stalin and Revisionist historian blame Truman. There is a case to be made that both

sides motives were defensive rather than aggressive. But there was simply no common ground, no bond of trust once Roosevelt
departed the stage. After the Berlin Airlift ended in stalemate, Europe was frozen into Western and Communist spheres of influence
for forty years.

POPULAR CULTURE DURING THE COLD WAR HELPED THE IDEA THAT AMERICA STOOD FOR FREEDOM. AMERICA IS STILL
WINNING THAT ‘SOFT POWER’ WAR. YOUNG ONES AROUND THE WORLD JUST LOVE AMERICAN CULTURE.

WEST AS THE HOME OF FREEDOM – THE BATTLE OF IDEAS

There were some IMAGE problems for America along the way. The Vietnam War was not just a military disaster for the United States
and a human tragedy all round, but also a propaganda disaster for the West. One of the worst of the American atrocities in Vietnam
occurred in 1969 at My Lai when Lieutenant William Calley ordered his company to massacre 500 Vietnamese villagers (almost all
non-combatant elderly and children). While many in America saw Calley as just another messed-up victim of the war, My Lai severely
harmed the American brand across the world. It was widely assumed that My Lai was a typical atrocity/war crime and not just a one-
off tragedy.

The distressing image of nine-year-old PHAN THI KIM PHUC on fire and fleeing a napalm attack – the front page of the New York
Times in 1972 – was another damaging moment for the American brand. You will be pleased to know that she survived and is still
alive and still campaigning against this type of weapon.

GORBACHEV
HISTORY SOMETIMES SEEMS INEVITABLE WHEN IN FACT INDIVIDUALS MATTER A GREAT DEAL.
There were fundamental flaws in Soviet economy but nothing too fatal.
Then in 1985, the new, youthful General Secretary Gorbachev of took the over Communist the Soviet Party state Mikhail
GORBACHEV’S REFORMS – GLASNOST AND PERESTROIKA destabilised the Soviet Union, which began to unravel.
Gorbachev was the first democratically- Alexander inclined person Kerensky to took lead over Russia from since the tsar back
in 1917 – Kerensky and Gorbachev were equally unsuccessful.

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 9 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

Team Western America Europe, Canada, – United Australia Kingdom, and than itself Pope Team John bigger, Soviet. Paul richer
the Second and more had popular proven

GORBACHEV DECIDED TO ALLOW THE COUNTRIES OF EASTERN
EUROPE TO JOIN TEAM AMERICA!

POLAND BROKE FROM THE SOVIET UNION IN AUGUST 1989
HUNGARY BROKE FROM THE SOVIET UNION IN OCTOBER 1989
EAST GERMANY BROKE FROM THE SOVIET UNION IN NOVEMBER 1989 WHEN THE BERLIN WALL CAME DOWN
CZECHOSLOVAKIA AND ROMANIA BROKE AWAY FROM THE SOVIET UNION IN DECEMBER 1989
BULGARIA BROKE AWAY FROM THE SOVIET UNION IN 1990.
Bottom line here is that Communism was not without popular Soviet enough support. in Eastern Europe to hang on
But Gorbachev was reassured by Western leaders that the former Russian allies in Eastern Europe would not be allowed to join
NATO.

DRUM

ROLLS,

PAY

ATTENTION

BECAUSE

THIS

GETS

COMPICATED.

AT THIS POINT, YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT THE SOVIET UNION WAS MADE UP OF FIFTEEN ‘REPUBLICS’ hence the name the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). By far the largest was the Russian federation, which stretched from Moscow to the Far
East. Look at the bit in yellow. There were three Baltic republics – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Apart from Russia, there were two
large Slavic republics – Ukraine and Belarus. In the south were Georgia and Azerbaizhan plus Armenia. In central Asia, there were five
‘STANS’ – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, and Turkmenistan. THEY ARE ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES NOW.

EXPANSION OF NATO from the 1990s ANGERED RUSSIA

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 10 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

• REALISTS like Mearsheimer, Kissinger and Kennan argued WITH SOME JUSTIFICATION THAT RUSSIA WOULD NEED TO

BE TREATED CAREFULLY AND WITH RESPECT.

George Kennan, the father of CONTAINMENT during the Cold War recently warned left against the Warsaw enlarging Pact:
NATO “the to the most countries fateful that error had of American policy in the entire post Cold War era”.
According Cold War” to to Kennan, which “the it would Russians mark will ‘the gradually beginning react of a quite new
adversely’.
The problem for the Americans is that Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic States desperately WANTED to join NATO.
NATO is very popular; the Americans prioritized the security feelings concerns of of Russia. Poles, Romanians and Estonians
over the hurt
The East Europeans who joined NATO are now happier than ever that they did so.
The Ukrainian War seems to be evidence that the only way to safeguard member of yourself NATO.

from Russian attack is to become a
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine can be read as reinforcing safety Kennan’s from warning a Russian OR as invasion! evidence that
only NATO can provide

WHAT WAS TO BE AMERICA’S ROLE AFTER THE COLD WAR?

TWO TERRIBLE EVENTS IMPACTED UPON ELITE PERCEPTIONS OF THE WORLD IN THE 1990S.
In April 1994, there was a terrible genocide in Rwanda, again a mostly ethnic massacre.
estimated crash More 1994, caused than the deaths 150,000 one by million a of rocket to the 250,000 people Presidents
attack, are women ignited estimated of Burundi several were to also and have weeks Rwanda raped. perished of intense On in a
and 6 plane April and an systematic massacres.
AT THE SAME TIME, THERE WAS A TERRIBLE ETHNIC-BASED WAR in Former Yugoslavia all through the 1990s.
140,000 PEOPLE LOST THEIR LIVES IN EUROPE’S WORST WAR BETWEEN WORLD WAR TWO AND THE RUSSIA UKRAINE
WAR.
The most notorious moment was the GENOCIDAL killing been of taken 7,000 as to prisoners 8,000 Bosnian by Serbian Muslim
paramilitary. men and boys who had
war In many in Ukraine ways – the disputed wars of borders former after Yugoslavia the collapse resemble of a multi-ethnic the
current state.
created US President United Bill Nations Clinton doctrine and British of RESPONSIBILITY PM Tony Blair TO PROTECT cited a
newly (R2P) as even their GENOCIDE justification, of Albanians. accusing Belgrade of ETHNIC CLEANSING and
It all sounded good on paper – American military power would be used to prevent GENOCIDE.
But in practice, much more difficult.

RESPONSIBILITY
TO PROTECT

In practice, however, military interventions to help the weak and vulnerable did not please everybody.

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 11 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

In May 1999, the Americans bombed the Serbian capital Belgrade to prevent what was feared would be a Serbian ethnic
cleansing campaign against Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo.
During the bombing, NATO officials speculated that over 100,000 Albanians had been killed

the number of Albanian deaths is now calculated at 10,000 – not quite an Iraq WMD miscalculation but this did not go
down well in Serbia or its backer, Russia.

THE AMERICANS DID ACHIEVE REGIME CHANGE IN SERBIA
The Serbian dictator Milosevic was eventually ousted in what would become known as a COLOUR REVOLUTION in October
2000.
Kosovo now is effectively independent but its conflict with Serbia continues.
The United States officially recognized the Republic of Kosovo as a country, which declared independence from Serbia on
February 17, 2008, the next day.
Serbia is just about the only country in Europe that supports the Russians in the conflict with Ukraine.
Here is a post on the Russia Today site:
‘AS A SERB, I KNOW THEM! THE WEST. THEIR SOCIAL- DEMOCRATS, LIBERALS AND GREENS. THEY ARE VERY VERY VERY
EVIL! THEY ARE HUMEN TRASH WHICH NEED TO BE TOTALY DEFEETED !! NO PEACE WITH THEM IS POSIBLE!! RUSSIANS
AND CHINESE PEOPLE JUST NEED TO TAKE A LOOK WHAT THE WEST DID TO YUGOSLAVIA. THE SAME SCENARIO WEST
HAS FOR THEM AND ALL INDEPENDENT NATIONS’.

THE 9/11 TERRORIST ATTACKS SUCCEEDED IN TWO WAYS. ONE WAY WAS THE DESTRUCTION OF SYMBOLS OF AMERICAN
WEALTH AND POWER ON AMERICAN SOIL, A BLOW THE LIKE OF WHICH AMERICA HARDLY EVER HAS EXPERIENCED. THE
SECOND SUCCESS WAS IN PROVOKING THE AMERICANS TO INVADE AFGHANISTAN, WHICH PROVED COSTLY AND FAILED TO
PRODUCED A STABLE PRO-AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.

IRAQ WAR OF 2003 DID NOT HELP THE REPUTATION OF THE UNITED STATES

On 20 March 2003, a United States-led international ‘coalition of the willing’ – which included Britain, Australia and Spain –
launched an invasion of Iraq.
The stated aims were to rid Iraq of weapons of mass free destruction, the Iraqi end people Saddam from Hussein’s his
repressive support regime. for terrorism and
But when the Americans invaded, they could find no evidence of Iraq’s WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
There were mass protests around the world pointing out that the United States had no mandate from the United Nations to
invade IRAQ.
By 9 April, US troops were in Baghdad – effectively ending Saddam Hussein’s regime.
On 1 May, US President George W Bush made a speech on an aircraft battle of carrier Iraq is in one which victory he declared in
a war the on war terror over, that saying: began ‘The on September 11, 2001’.
Above President Bush was a huge sign proclaiming MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
Greek In retrospect, word the sign was for an example ARROGANT of HUBRIS, the PRIDE. fancy

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 12 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

BRAND DAMAGE FOR
THE UNITED STATES

Looting in Baghdad and other major cities had destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and there was high
unemployment previous regime’s – army. made worse by the disbandment of the
Across Iraq, the fighting continued as a violent insurgency developed.
Coalition forces and Iraqis working with them were targeted.
IT HAS TO BE SAID THAT MANY AND ALMOST CERTAINLY MOST IRAQIS WANTED SADDAM HUSSEIN TO BE OVERTHROWN.
At the same time, most Iraqis had no wish to become subjects of an American occupation.
looted, Large quantities further fuelling of arms the insurgency. and ammunition had also been
killed No one and knows wounded with certainty in Iraq since how many the 2003 people United have States been invasion.
Around four thousand American soldiers would die in Iraq, mostly in suicide attacks and roadside bombings.
violence AS many caused as 200,000 by the Iraqis U.S., its died allies, from the direct Iraqi war military related and police, and
opposition forces from the time of the invasion up to the present.
The upside is that Iraq today has regular elections, although there are still many, many governance problems.
WAS IT WORTH IT? THERE IS A GOOD CASE FOR SAYING THAT IRAQ DAMAGED AMERICA’S REPUTATION MORE THAN
VIETNAM.

AMERICA’S MAGNITSKY ACT ANGERED RUSSIA
RUSSIA AND CHINA COMPLAIN THAT AMERICA IS THE BIGGEST HYPOCRITE IN THE WORLD AND ALWAYS INTERFERES IN
THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF OTHER COUNTRIES.
According to Russia and China, the United States claims to respect HUMAN RIGHTS but has no respect for the rights of China
or Russia.
For Russia, the classic case of American interference is MAGNITSKY ACT.
Sergei MAGNITSKY was a lawyer in Russia who blew the whistle on corrupt practices.
Magnitsky ended up dead in Moscow mysterious circumstances.
In 2012, the American Congress BLACKLISTED Russian officials in connection with the suspicious death of Magnitsky.
MAGNITSKY-TYPE LEGISLATION HAS BEEN ADOPTED BY COUNTRIES ALL AROUND THE WORLD, INCLUDING AUSTRALIA.
THE AIM OF ‘MAGNITISKY’ LEGISLATION IS TO SANCTION INDIVIDUALS (AS DISTINCT FROM THE RUSSIAN STATE) WHO DO
BAD THINGS LIKE THE MURDER OF MAGNITSKY.
In response, Moscow prevented US-funded non-governmental organisations from working in Russia.
Moscow also banned Americans from adopting Russian children.
EVEN BEFORE THE WAR WITH UKRAINE, RUSSIA FELT THE WEST’S COLD SHOULDER.
According to Russia, the United States should not be sticking its nose into the affairs of other GREAT POWERS.

The chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 was not a good look for the
United States or President Joe
Biden. The Americans spent a fortune in Afghanistan. They did some good things – women went to school and university for
example. However, it all collapsed in a matter of months and the TALIBAN were back in power. The Americans had built shallow roots
in the country with support mainly from a Westernised elite in the cities. 13 American troops died in the last days in Afghanistan amid
chaotic scenes at Kabul airport. Not quite as bad as Vietnam, but not a whole lot better. The image of American weakness may have
encouraged President Putin to think that there

would be a weak American response to an invasion of Ukraine.

IS AMERICAN DECLINE INEVITABLE?

IT IS TOO EARLY TO TELL.
China

and Russia have rushed forward, claiming that their time has come.

In February 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a joint declaration of principles for
a NEW ERA when the United States does not lead the world.

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 13 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

Russia and China claim to represent the new GLOBAL MAJORITY.
On the other hand, we in the West still seem to live in the American era: a period dominated by AMERICAN power, wealth,
institutions, ideas, alliances, and partnerships.

IS AMERICA AN EMPIRE? AND AN EMPIRE OF THE EAST?

MOST AMERICANS DO NOT SEE THINGS THAT WAY, BUT …
Americans have long mostly viewed themselves as the ANTI- and EMPIRE, equality. that is, a democratic republic committed to
freedom
Americans acting as the pride anti-empire themselves that on fought having Hitler’s served Racial the Reich world the by
Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere and the EVIL EMPIRE that was the Soviet Union.
You will recall that George Lucas in STAR WARS framed the Galactic basic principle Empire was as the DEMOCRACY evil enemy
– of Darth a good Vader REPUBLIC fought for whose the EMPIRE while Luke, Hans and Leia fought for the REPUBLIC.
odd Of course given to that our the modern United eyes, States it all was looks clearly hypocritical founded and on slaves
conquest to of work the the native plantations Americans – and clearly then that the is kidnapping the modus of

perandi of an EMPIRE!
The resulted war in of the 1846 United against States Mexico expanded and American 1898 against territory Spain to Texas,
California, Hawaii and the Philippines.
After World War Two, South Korea and Japan joined TEAM AMERICA – clearly the United States GEOGRAPHICALLY is an
EMPIRE OF THE EAST and not just the WEST!
Since 1945, American troops have served abroad 211 times in 67 countries – the Americans maintain around 800 military bases
across the globe.
The well-known interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan are the tip of the iceberg.

MOST AMERICANS THINK THAT THE YEARNING FOR FREEDOM FROM REPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT IS BASIC HUMAN NATURE

• Have a read of President Truman’s famous prediction in American 1953 about optimism how the about Cold War the DEMOCRATIC
would end sums future up of humanity.

• ‘Last week, in my take State the of time the Union to read Message it–I explained to the Congress–and how I think we I will united,
hope finally you more will win attractive all through…As to men the free on both world sides grows of the stronger, Iron Curtain–and
more

as have the to Soviet come hopes a time for of easy change expansion in the Soviet are blocked–then world. there will • or come
Nobody by a about, change can say whether inside for sure the by when Kremlin. revolution, that is going or trouble to be, in or the
exactly satellite how states, it will • will–or Whether whether the Communist the change that rulers a comes change shift about their
will occur. in policies some of other their way-I own have free

not a doubt in the world

• that wonderful patience I have science a and deep golden has courage, and forged age–an abiding earth.’ we for shall age us faith
to when some do in the we day away can destiny move with use on poverty of the into free peaceful a and men. new human era–a
tools With misery everywhere on

• Truman was almost certainly right that the attractiveness of the ‘free world’
was a decisive factor in
causing the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Is Russians the Western and young ‘way of Chinese? life’ still a big attraction for young
We will find out the answer to that question in your lifetimes.

RUSSIA’S LEADERSHIP VIEWS THE WEST AS A WHINGING ENTITLED WOKE PRINCESS THAT HAS HAD ITS DAY AND WILL, LIKE
NARCISSUS, DROWN IN THE POOL AFTER FALLING IN LOVE WITH ITS OWN REFLECTION. IF YOU THINK I EXAGGERATE, YOU
NEED TO READ RUSSIA TODAY. IF YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD OF NARCISSUS, TIS A GREEK MYTH.

IS THIS A CHANCE FOR AMERICAN REDEMPTION?

4/1/2023, 7:29 pmUNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Page 14 of 14file:///Users/_son_of_peter/Desktop/UNITED%20STATES%20OF%20AMERICA.html

China and Russia have rushed forward, claiming that their time has come.
Vladimir when In February the Putin United 2022, issued States Chinese a does joint President not declaration lead Xi the
Jinping of world. principles and Russian for a NEW President ERA
Russia and China claim to represent the new GLOBAL MAJORITY.
On the other hand, we in the West still seem to live in the American era: ideas, a alliances, period dominated and partnerships.
by AMERICAN power, wealth, institutions,
UKRAINE IS IN MANY WAYS THE PERFECT WAR FOR THE UNITED STATES – AN OPPORTUNITY TO WEAKEN RUSSIA
WITHOUT LOSING AMERICAN TROOPS.
winner In the West, in terms supporting of popular ‘brave’ opinion. Ukraine against ‘oppressive’ Russia is a
nearly In 2022, $50 the billion Biden in administration assistance to Ukraine, and the U.S. Congress have directed
It included humanitarian, financial, and military support.
This help refugees, is but a new money law Ukrainian enforcement, going tof version Ukrainian and of independent the people
Marshall and radio Plan institutions, broadcasters, not just military including
The billion European EUROS worth Union recently of aid to promised Ukraine. that in 2023 it will send 18
Arguably North Korea repressive make America policies look on good the part in the of eyes China, of two Russia key Iran
Western and demographics – young and female voters.
IS THE UKRAINE WAR A SECOND CHANCE FOR AMERICA, A SHOT AT REDEMPTION?
Will America blow it? We will see.

The War in Ukraine May Be Impossible to Stop.
And the U.S. Deserves Much of the Blame.
Caldwell, Christopher

ProQuest document link

FULL TEXT
In the Paris daily Le Figaro this month, Henri Guaino, a top adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy when he was president of

France, warned that Europe’s countries, under the shortsighted leadership of the United States, were

“sleepwalking” into war with Russia. Mr. Guaino was borrowing a metaphor that the historian Christopher Clark

used to describe the origins of World War I.

Naturally, Mr. Guaino understands that Russia is most directly to blame for the present conflict in Ukraine. It was

Russia that massed its troops on the frontier last fall and winter and —having demanded from NATO a number of

Ukraine-related security guarantees that NATO rejected —began the shelling and killing on Feb. 24.

But the United States has helped turn this tragic, local and ambiguous conflict into a potential world conflagration.

By misunderstanding the war’s logic, Mr. Guaino argues, the West, led by the Biden administration, is giving the

conflict a momentum that may be impossible to stop.

He is right.

In 2014 the United States backed an uprising —in its final stages a violent uprising —against the legitimately

elected Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych, which was pro-Russian. (The corruption of Mr. Yanukovych’s

government has been much adduced by the rebellion’s defenders, but corruption is a perennial Ukrainian problem,

even today.) Russia, in turn, annexed Crimea, a historically Russian-speaking part of Ukraine that since the 18th

century had been home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

One can argue about Russian claims to Crimea, but Russians take them seriously. Hundreds of thousands of

Russian and Soviet fighters died defending the Crimean city of Sevastopol from European forces during two sieges

—one during the Crimean War and one during World War II. In recent years, Russian control of Crimea has seemed

to provide a stable regional arrangement: Russia’s European neighbors, at least, have let sleeping dogs lie.

But the United States never accepted the arrangement. On Nov. 10, 2021, the United States and Ukraine signed a

“charter on strategic partnership” that called for Ukraine to join NATO, condemned “ongoing Russian aggression”

and affirmed an “unwavering commitment” to the reintegration of Crimea into Ukraine.

That charter “convinced Russia that it must attack or be attacked,” Mr. Guaino wrote. “It is the ineluctable process

of 1914 in all its terrifying purity.”

This is a faithful account of the war that President Vladimir Putin has claimed to be fighting. “There were constant

supplies of the most modern military equipment,” Mr. Putin said at Russia’s annual Victory Parade on May 9,

referring to the foreign arming of Ukraine. “The danger was growing every day.”

Whether he was right to worry about Russia’s security depends on one’s perspective. Western news reports tend to

belittle him.

The rocky course of the war in Ukraine thus far has vindicated Mr. Putin’s diagnosis, if not his conduct. Though

Ukraine’s military industry was important in Soviet times, by 2014 the country barely had a modern military at all.

Oligarchs, not the state, armed and funded some of the militias sent to fight Russian-supported separatists in the

east. The United States started arming and training Ukraine’s military, hesitantly at first under President Barack

Obama. Modern hardware began flowing during the Trump administration, though, and today the country is armed

to the teeth.

Since 2018, Ukraine has received U.S.-built Javelin antitank missiles, Czech artillery and Turkish Bayraktar drones

and other NATO-interoperable weaponry. The United States and Canada have lately sent up-to-date British-

designed M777 howitzers that fire GPS-guided Excalibur shells. President Biden just signed into law a $40 billion

military aid package.

In this light, mockery of Russia’s battlefield performance is misplaced. Russia is not being stymied by a plucky

agricultural country a third its size; it is holding its own, at least for now, against NATO’s advanced economic,

cyber and battlefield weapons.

And this is where Mr. Guaino is correct to accuse the West of sleepwalking. The United States is trying to maintain

the fiction that arming one’s allies is not the same thing as participating in combat.

In the information age, this distinction is growing more and more artificial. The United States has provided

intelligence used to kill Russian generals. It obtained targeting information that helped to sink the Russian Black

Sea missile cruiser the Moskva, an incident in which about 40 seamen were killed.

And the United States may be playing an even more direct role. There are thousands of foreign fighters in Ukraine.

One volunteer spoke to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation this month of fighting alongside “friends” who

“come from the Marines, from the States.” Just as it is easy to cross the line between being a weapons supplier

and being a combatant, it is easy to cross the line from waging a proxy war to waging a secret war.

In a subtler way, a country trying to fight such a war risks being drawn from partial into full involvement by force of

moral reasoning. Perhaps American officials justify exporting weaponry the way they justify budgeting it: It is so

powerful that it is dissuasive. The money is well spent because it buys peace. Should bigger guns fail to dissuade,

however, they lead to bigger wars.

A handful of people died in the Russian takeover of Crimea in 2014. But this time around, matched in weaponry

—and even outmatched in some cases —Russia has reverted to a war of bombardment that looks more like World

War II.

Even if we don’t accept Mr. Putin’s claim that America’s arming of Ukraine is the reason the war happened in the

first place, it is certainly the reason the war has taken the kinetic, explosive, deadly form it has. Our role in this is

not passive or incidental. We have given Ukrainians cause to believe they can prevail in a war of escalation.

Thousands of Ukrainians have died who likely would not have if the United States had stood aside. That naturally

may create among American policymakers a sense of moral and political obligation —to stay the course, to

escalate the conflict, to match any excess.

The United States has shown itself not just liable to escalate but also inclined to. In March, Mr. Biden invoked God

before insisting that Mr. Putin “cannot remain in power.” In April, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s explained that

the United States seeks to “see Russia weakened.”

Noam Chomsky warned against the paradoxical incentives of such “heroic pronouncements” in an April interview.

“It may feel like Winston Churchill impersonations, very exciting,” he said. “But what they translate into is: Destroy

Ukraine.”

For similar reasons Mr. Biden’s suggestion that Mr. Putin be tried for war crimes is an act of consummate

irresponsibility. The charge is so serious that, once leveled, it discourages restraint; after all, a leader who commits

one atrocity is no less a war criminal than one who commits a thousand. The effect, intended or not, is to foreclose

any recourse to peace negotiations.

The situation on the battlefield in Ukraine has evolved to an awkward stage. Both Russia and Ukraine have

suffered heavy losses. But each has made gains, too. Russia has a land bridge to Crimea and control of some of

Ukraine’s most fertile agricultural lands and energy deposits, and in recent days has held the battlefield

momentum. Ukraine, after a robust defense of its cities, can expect further NATO support, know-how and weaponry

—a powerful incentive not to end the war anytime soon.

But if the war does not end soon, its dangers will increase. “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months,”

the former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger warned last week, “before it creates upheavals and tensions that

will not be easily overcome.” Calling for a return to the status quo ante bellum, he added, “Pursuing the war beyond

that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine but a new war against Russia itself.”

In this, Mr. Kissinger is on the same page as Mr. Guaino. “To make concessions to Russia would be submitting to

aggression,” Mr. Guaino warned. “To make none would be submitting to insanity.”

The United States is making no concessions. That would be to lose face. There’s an election coming. So the

administration is closing off avenues of negotiation and working to intensify the war. We’re in it to win it. With time,

the huge import of deadly weaponry, including that from the newly authorized $40 billion allocation, could take the

war to a different level. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine warned in an address to students this month that

the bloodiest days of the war were coming.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this

or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: [email protected].

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

DETAILS

Subject: World War II; Presidents; Military aid

Location: Russia; United States–US; Black Sea; Crimea; Ukraine

Company / organization: Name: North Atlantic Treaty Organization–NATO; NAICS: 928120

Identifier / keyword: Russian Invasion of Ukraine (2022); War and Armed Conflicts; United States

International Relations

Publication title: New York Times (Online); New York

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: May 31, 2022

Section: opinion

Publisher: New York Times Company

Place of publication: New York

Country of publication: United States, New York

Publication subject: General Interest Periodicals–United States

Source type: Blog, Podcast, or Website

Language of publication: English

Document type: News

ProQuest document ID: 2671533557

LINKS
Find Full Text

Database copyright  2023 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms and Conditions Contact ProQuest

Document URL: https://ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login?url=https://www.proquest.com/blogs-podcasts-

websites/war-ukraine-may-be-impossible-stop-u-s-

deserves/docview/2671533557/se-2?accountid=15112

Copyright: Copyright 2022 The New York Times Company

Last updated: 2022-05-31

Database: ProQuest One Academic

  • The War in Ukraine May Be Impossible to Stop. And the U.S. Deserves Much of the Blame.

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 1 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

!! Cart

Enter keywords, authors, DOI, ORCID etc

Advanced search

This Journal !

Volume 64, 2012 – Issue 4

Submit an article Journal homepage

Europe-Asia Studies ”

3,450
Views

11
CrossRef
citations to date

2
Altmetric

Discussion Article

Assessing Cultural and
Regime-Based Explanations
of Russia’s Foreign Policy.
‘Authoritarian at Heart and
Expansionist by Habit’?
Andrei P. Tsygankov
Pages 695-713 | Published online: 08 May 2012

# Download citation
$ https://doi-org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/10.1080/09668136.2012.67156
8

Abstract

!Listen”#$

+

% Log in | Register
Access provided by University of

Wollongong

Full access””

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 2 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Scholars disagree on how to interpret Russia’s

assertive foreign policy. According to some

observers, Russia’s authoritarian culture and

political system have historically required the

Kremlin to depend on the Western threat

image at home and to engage in revisionist

behaviour abroad. These observers

recommend that Western nations abstain

from engaging Russia as an equal contributor

to shaping the global system. This article

assesses the validity of the authoritarian

expansionism theory by comparing it to other

prominent perspectives on foreign policy,

realism and constructivism. The article argues

that, by perceiving Russia’s historical and

institutional distinctness as fundamentally

threatening to the West, the theory overlooks

important sources of foreign policy

contestation at home and potentially varying

directions abroad. The article selects the

historically important cases of the Crimean

War, the Cold War and the Russia–Georgia

War to demonstrate the theory’s !aws and to

highlight the role of factors other than Russia’s

authoritarianism in the nation’s foreign policy.

RUSSIA’S INTERNATIONAL BEHAVIOUR CONTINUES TO

provoke lively disagreementsamong scholars

Previous

article
& View issue table of

contents

Next

article “

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 3 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

In this article

and policy makers alike. While some view

Russia as largely accommodationist and non-

threatening to the West, others perceive the

Kremlin’s objectives as expansionist and

disrespectful towards existing international

rules.1The arrival of Barak Obama to power in

the USA and his attempts to ‘reset’ relations

with Russia have yet to clarify the question of

the motives for the Kremlin’s international

behaviour. Those on the sceptical side argue

that the reset advocates misread Russia’s

intentions and undermine Western allies

(Kramer 2010a, 2010b; Cohen 2010; LeVine

2010). According to this line of reasoning,

Russia’s authoritarian culture and political

system require the Kremlin to depend on the

Western threat image at home and to engage

in revisionist behaviour abroad (Shlapentokh

2009; Cohen & Dale 2010; Shevtsova 2010). It

leads to the conclusion that the Western

nations are better o” trying to contain or

transform Moscow, rather than engaging with

it as an equal contributor in shaping the global

system.

Behind the policy debate about Russia’s

intentions are profound theoretical, historical

and ethical questions. Is a more democratic

Russia likely to act in accordance with the

United States and Europe in international

a”airs? Does an authoritarian Russia

Related
research ‘

Recommended
articles

People
also
read

( Figures & data ) References * Supplemental

# Citations + Metrics , Reprints & Permissions  View PDF

+. Full Article/ Top

Home All Journals Europe-Asia Studies List of Issues Volume 64, Issue 4
Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Expl ….

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 4 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Abstract

The theory of
Russia’s
authoritarian
expansionism

Critique

Three
illustrations

Towards a better
understanding of
Russia

Additional
information

Footnotes

necessarily present a threat to the West?

Should Russia’s cultural and regime-based

di”erence serve as a su#cient basis for

excluding the nation from the list of partners

and potential allies? More generally, should a

di”erence in political system and values—

whether it concerns Russia, China, Iran or

another country—be treated by Western

nations as potentially threatening their values

and interests?

This article seeks to assess the validity of the

authoritarian or expansionist Russia approach

by comparing it to two other prominent

perspectives on foreign policy: realism and

constructivism. Instead of focusing on Russia’s

domestic authoritarianism, realism and

constructivism study the foreign-policy impact

of international anarchy and norms,

respectively. I argue that as a guide to

understanding Russia’s international

behaviour, the theory of authoritarian

expansionism is at best insu#cient and at

worst misleading. By emphasising Russia’s

purportedly autocratic nature, it overlooks

important sources of contestation within the

nation’s political system and the potentially

varying directions of its foreign policy. By

perceiving Russia’s historical and institutional

distinctness as fundamentally threatening the

West, the theory of authoritarian

Vladimir Putin’s
last stand: the
sources of
Russia’s Ukraine
policy

Andrei
Tsygankov
Post-Soviet A”airs

Published online:
4 Feb 2015

##

In search of an
identity: Russian
foreign policy
and the end of
ideology

Margot Light
Journal of
Communist
Studies and
Transition Politics

Published online:
12 Aug 2006

##

Russian foreign
policy and
geopolitics in
the Post-Soviet

“”””

“”””

$$$$

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 5 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

expansionism also displays the tendency to

deny Russia its own interests and stakes

within the international system. As a result,

many of the theory’s advocates blame

Moscow for everything that has gone wrong in

relations with Western nations and invariably

o”er policy advice that amounts to isolating or

containing Russia.

The article is organised in four parts. The next

section re!ects on the theory of authoritarian

expansionism’s assumptions and historical

evolution. After identifying the theory’s

propositions and intellectual roots, I o”er an

analysis of several biases from which it su”ers.

I then move to an empirical analysis by

selecting three cases of Russia’s foreign policy

that have been important to the progression

of the theory of authoritarian expansionism.

My interpretation of these seminal cases—the

Crimean War, the Cold War and the Russia–

Georgia War—highlights the role of factors

other than Russia’s authoritarianism. The

conclusion summarises the article’s $ndings

and calls for a more complex and dynamic

understanding of Russia than the theory of

authoritarian expansionism-based

understanding.

The theory of Russia’s authoritarian

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 6 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

expansionism

Authoritarian expansionism and other
theories of Russia’s foreign policy

The central claims of the theory of

authoritarian expansionism may be

summarised in terms of two main

propositions—one of a descriptive and one of

a causal nature. The descriptive proposition

states that Russia’s main foreign-policy

objectives include the preservation and

expansion of the country’s imperial borders

and institutions. The causal proposition comes

in two distinct versions. Version One links

Russia’s expansionism to its authoritarian

culture and propensity to impose itself onto

other nations. The latter is expressed through

the political regime’s overcon$dence and

readiness to act unilaterally, rather than in the

spirit of international cooperation. Version

Two places emphasis on the leadership’s low

con$dence and internal insecurity. The

regime’s insecurity and preoccupation with

political survival lead to a diversionary form of

expansionism. This version assumes the public

to be generally passive and uninterested in the

state’s international activities.

The two versions assume diverse types of

expansionism and have distinct policy

implications. While Version One identi$es

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 7 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

what might be called ‘expansionism from

strength’ or ‘missionary expansionism’, Version

Two describes expansionism that is driven by

weakness or desperation and seeks to divert

the internal public’s attention from the

regime’s lack of legitimacy and e”ectiveness.

The two versions also di”er with respect to the

perception of cooperation of Western nations

with Russia (see ). While both versions

are sceptical of the possibility of developing a

robust relationship with Russia, Version One—

by highlighting broad authoritarian support

for international expansionism—is

considerably more pessimistic than Version

Two.

The description of Russia’s international

objectives and main causes of behaviour

abroad by the theory of authoritarian

expansionism contrasts with other theories of

Russia’s foreign policy. In particular, the theory

of authoritarian expansionism di”ers from

realist and social constructivist theories.

Realists typically emphasise material

capabilities and the status of a great power as

Table 1

TABLE 1
PROPOSITIONS ABOUT RUSSIA’S
AUTHORITARIAN EXPANSIONISM

Download CSV Display Table

0

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 8 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

state international objectives. Scholars

working in this tradition view the Russian state

as acting within the same constraints of an

international anarchical system that de$nes

the choices of other states. Although internal

factors such as ideology, nature of

government and political culture matter as

well, their role is to specify, and sometimes to

cover for but never to contradict, ‘genuine’

national interest. Realists view national

interest as a geopolitically enduring reality,

rather than something open to

interpretations, and de$ne such interest as a

preservation and enhancement of power

within the existing international system. For

instance, realists have argued that the Soviet

leaders, while employing a revolutionary

ideology and acting under a totalitarian

system of government, defended Russia’s

traditional state interests.2

To social constructivists, what matters most is

not power or material capabilities objectively

de$ned but what those may mean to the Self

in terms of acquiring recognition from its

signi$cant Other. In the Russian context,

Europe and the West in general played the

role of the signi$cant Other and prominently

$gured in Russia’s debates about national

identity by creating the meaningful

environment in which Russia’s rulers defended

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 9 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

their foreign-policy choices.3Constructivists

argue that although state behaviour is shaped

by power calculations, such behaviour can

only be understood in contexts of everyday

interactions and socio-historical development.

Even if anarchy is ‘out there somewhere’,

constructivists say, we ought to focus on

everyday interactions for understanding what

anarchy means and how social contexts of

power are being formed and unformed.

Constructivist scholars of Soviet foreign policy

therefore view such policy in terms of

signalling to the Western nations the Kremlin’s

desire for equality and recognition (Nation

1992; Ringman 2002).

compares the theory of authoritarian

expansionism to other theories of Russia’s

foreign policy.

Evolution of the theory of
authoritarian expansionism

The context and the long history of the theory

of Russia’s expansionism may be traced to

European reactions to Nicholas’s suppression

Table 2

TABLE 2
THEORIES OF RUSSIA’S FOREIGN

POLIC Y

Download CSV Display Table

0

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 10 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

of Polish demands for independence in 1830–

1831. Russia did not limit itself to suppressing

what was then an internal revolt, but also

played a prominent role during the nationalist

revolutions of the 1840s in Europe. In 1846,

Russia led the way in suppressing the Polish

uprising in Kraków, which was a part of the

Hapsburg state under the Vienna convention.

InJuly 1848, Nicholas suppressed revolutions

in the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and

Wallachia—partly to assist Turkey in defeating

the Romanian nationalist movement. In 1849,

Russia provided Austria with $nancial and

diplomatic assistance to strengthen its

position in Italy and Nicholas committed

almost 200,000 troops to help the Hapsburgs

to suppress the revolt in Hungary (Riazanovsky

1959, p. 248).

By suppressing internal opposition to the

monarchical rule, Nicholas acted within the

constraints of the Holy Alliance and had no

hegemonic ambitions of his own.4Although

Russia acted in a multilateral spirit and only

did what the system expected the Tsar to do,

Nicholas was labelled the Gendarme of Europe.

Such a presentation of Russia was partly a

product of the continent’s power struggle.

Britain and France were not satis$ed with the

Vienna system and each sought to challenge

Russia’s rise as a great power competitor

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 11 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

(Taylor 1954, p. 61). No less signi$cant,

however, was Russia’s and Europe’s growing

divergence in values. European liberals now

associated Poland, and other nations that

challenged monarchies, with progressive

values, and Russia with imperialism and

repression. Russia was now deemed too

‘barbaric’ and ‘autocratic’ (Malia 1999, p. 99).

Today, scholars such as John LeDonne

continue to argue that during the 1830s and

1840s the Russians were ‘dangerously close to

the establishment of their hegemony in the

Heartland’, and that Russia’s ‘expansionist

urge’ remained ‘unabated until 1917’ (LeDonne

1997, pp. 314, 348).

Such was the political context for the

emergence of the theory of authoritarian

expansionism in the liberal West. The Polish

question did not go away, and the Polish elite

led another uprising in 1863, during which the

European powers, again, opposed Russia’s

e”ort to manage the issue and preserve

existing territorial boundaries.5Intellectually,

the view of Russia as a barbaric expansionist

power was supported by foreign travellers,

such as the Marquis de Custine, who began to

promote this view even before the Polish

uprising. The United States had begun to

develop negative perceptions of Russia after

the assassination of Alexander II in 1881, as

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 12 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

immigrant groups (especially Jewish ones)

engaged in anti-Russian lobbying in the United

States to ‘liberate’ Russia from autocracy and

anti-Semitism.6The perception of Russia as a

dangerous autocratic power grew stronger as

Alexander III and Nicholas II sought to

preserve their in!uence in the Balkans. As

theories of authoritarian Panslavism began to

develop in the early twentieth

century,7scholars became convinced of the

primacy of ‘Panslavist imperialism’ in the Tsar’s

outlook (Geyer 1987; Tuminez 2000).

The social revolution in Russia in October 1917

provided another powerful impetus for

developing the perception of the country as an

expansionist autocracy. The Soviet Union

diverged from the West in terms of internal

institutions and it challenged the West’s sense

of military security. The Bolsheviks’ dissolution

of the Constituent Assembly in January 1918,

its doctrine of world revolution, and the

establishment of the Communist International

(Comintern) in 1919 in order to spread

communist ideas and set up new communist

parties abroad, all contributed to the

perception of Soviet Russia as perpetuating—

in the most dangerous way—the mode of

authoritarian expansionism. Even after the

Bolsheviks had renounced the idea of world

revolution and dissolved the Comintern, the

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 13 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

majority of the West’s politicians and scholars

could not change their mind about the Soviet

system. Scholars became convinced that the

idea of peaceful coexistence was a Soviet

cover for an ideological expansion or an

o”ensive war on the West. A classic statement

of this position can be found in George

Kennan’s (1961, p. 179) condemnation of ‘a

regime, the attitude of which towards Western

governments, psychologically and politically,

was equivalent to that which would prevail

toward an enemy in time of war’. Many

observers rejected the position that the Soviet

leaders’ attitudes re!ected a defensive

response to the equally hostile Western

governments, citing the Soviet Union’s

authoritarian ideology as the reason for their

distrust. For Kennan, Western governments

came to hate the Soviet leaders ‘for what they

did’, whereas the Bolsheviks hated the

Western states ‘for what they were, regardless

of what they did’ (Kennan 1961, p. 181,

emphasis in original). This distinction has

become common in Western scholarship of

Soviet foreign policy since the Cold War.8

Despite the end of the Cold War, many

observers have continued to interpret Russia

as an authoritarian state with expansionist

instincts, and not as a normal state or one

abiding by acceptable rules of international

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 14 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

behaviour. Conservative representations of

the Russia-threat argument tend to focus on

the nation’s political culture (Pipes 1997;

Odom 2001; Cohen 2007), while more liberal

interpretations place responsibility for Russia’s

‘anti-Western’ policies on the Kremlin’s

leadership (Council on Foreign Relations 2006;

Lapidus 2007; Legvold 2007, p. 98; Wallander

2008). Conservative perception was especially

visible in justi$cations of expanding NATO to

the east by incorporating former parts of

Russia’s sphere of in!uence. For example, the

New York Times columnist William Sa$re (1994)

pursued the ‘window of opportunity’ argument

by insisting on the need to extend alliance

membership to Poland, Hungary, the Czech

Republic, the Baltic states and ultimately

Ukraine, because ‘Russia is authoritarian at

heart and expansionist by habit’. It had to be

done promptly, he added, ‘while Russia is

weak and preoccupied with its own revival,

and not later, when such a move would be an

insu”erable provocation to a superpower’

(Sa$re 1994). Richard Pipes provided the

perspective of an academic and historian. He

reminded his readers about Russia’s ‘heavy

burden of history’ and failure to make ‘a clean

break with its Soviet past’ (Pipes 1997, p. 67).

To Pipes, Russians are yet to ‘overcome not

only the communist legacy but also that of the

czars and their partner, the Orthodox Church,

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 15 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

which for centuries collaborated in instilling in

their subjects disrespect for law, submission to

strong and wilful authority, and hostility to the

West’ (Pipes 1997, p. 70). He then cautioned

against viewing the country as a potential ally,

as Russia might still return as an enemy ‘if

those who guide its destiny, exploiting the

political inexperience and deep-seated

prejudices of its people, once again aspire to a

glory to which they are not yet entitled’ (Pipes

1997, p. 78).

The Kremlin’s international assertiveness in

the wake of the coloured revolutions in the

former Soviet region has instilled additional

fears in both conservative and liberal Western

analysts. Russia has been frequently viewed as

reviving the lost empire, ‘back-pedalling’ on

democracy and challenging the West’s vital

interests in the world (Brzezinski 2004; Council

on Foreign Relations 2006; Cheney 2006;

Satter 2007; Lucas 2009; Bugajski 2009).

Russia’s intervention in Georgia in August

2008 provided a fresh pretext for resorting to

the theory of authoritarian expansionism.

Although Russia has legitimate interests in the

Caucasus, many scholars and commentators

explained the Kremlin’s intervention either in

terms of Russia’s expansionist determination

to secure full control over Georgia’s territory

and resources (Asmus 2010; Blank 2009;

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 16 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Cornell & Starr 2009b, p. 8; Sherr 2009), or the

Kremlin’s perceived insecurity in response to

the coloured revolutions and its search for

internal legitimacy (Cohen 2007; Lapidus 2007;

Allison 2008; Ambrosio 2009; Filippov 2009).

As a result, both conservative and liberal

perspectives were sceptical about Moscow

entering cooperative arrangements with

Western nations voluntarily. As an

authoritarian revisionist state, it was expected

instead that Russia would use available

opportunities to upset American plans to

remain the dominant world power. If this

reasoning iscorrect, it is suggested, American

policy makers would be wise to abandon any

search for partnership with post-Soviet Russia

and stay $rm in resisting its power aspirations.

Critique

The theory of authoritarian expansionism

su”ers from biases of essentialism, cultural

ethnocentrism and political hypocrisy.

Essentialism

The $rst problem concerns the theory of

authoritarian expansionism’s presentation of

Russia as a never changing entity that is

constantly preoccupied with imperialist plans

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 17 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

to subjugate and occupy other nations. This

tendency to essentialise Russia and its foreign

policy downplays the role of factors others

than the nation’s political culture or the

regime’s strategic design. As a result, little

serious consideration is given to the possibility

that Russia’s international assertiveness may

be designed as a response to actions by the

West and to seek relatively limited objectives.

For example, despite frequent claims that St

Petersburg’s nineteenth-century policy sought

to topple the Ottoman Empire and conquer

Constantinople,9Russia’s eastern goals were

far less ambitious. These objectives included

protection of the Orthodox Christians in the

Balkans and the right to have a secure

passage of Russian vessels through the Black

Sea. Although inside Russia there had been

supporters of the drive to Constantinople

within intellectual and foreign-policy circles, it

would be a mistake to view Russia’s foreign

policy as driven by their views. Even after

defeat in the Crimean War, the government

did not turn away from Europe as Russia’s

hard-liners had hoped. As Chancellor

Alexander Gorchakov’s activities

demonstrated, St Petersburg wanted

recognition of its interests in the Black Sea,

which Russia was prepared to defend even at

the cost of German uni$cation.

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 18 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Even Soviet international policy had more

limited goals than many Western scholars and

politicians believed. With the exception of the

brief period of the drive for world revolution,

the Kremlin mainly sought to establish the

Soviet Union as a great power and recognised

member of the international community, not

to expand the Soviet geopolitical boundaries.

The Cold War, including the Soviet occupation

of Eastern Europe, the Cuban missile crisis in

1962 and the military intervention in

Afghanistan in 1979, also cannot be

adequately understood without considering

actions by the Western nations. Western

suspicion and mistrust toward the Soviet

Union served to strengthen its determination

to act assertively. From the willingness to work

with Russia before and during the meeting at

Yalta, Great Britain and the United States soon

moved to unilateral and potentially

confrontational behaviour. Ideological

di”erences notwithstanding, Stalin and his

entourage did not abandon their attempts to

mend fences with the West until Truman had

made public his doctrine of globally containing

communism on 12 March 1947 and the

Marshall Plan had been proclaimed in June of

the same year.

It is equally problematic to present Russia’s

more recent assertiveness as a part of a plan

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 19 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

by the Kremlin to restore the empire and

dominate its neighbours, even at the price of

confrontation with the West. Those accusing

Russia of reviving the lost empire, back-

pedalling on democracy and challenging the

West’s vital interests in the world oversimplify

the extremely complex process of Russia’s

transformation and its relations with Western

nations. In particular, much of Russia’s

assertiveness was a product of the United

States’ regime-change policy, e”orts to

achieve nuclear superiority and the West’s

post-Cold War advancement into what Russia

perceived as the sphere of its geopolitical

interests.10It is misleading to ignore the

interactive nature of Russia–West relations,

presenting Russia as an essentialist entity with

once-and-forever formed values and

behavioural patterns.

Ethnocentrism

The above-noted essentialist presentation of

Russia’s foreign policy in part results from the

theory of authoritarian expansionism’s

cultural ethnocentrism. Rather than viewing

other cultural communities as a source of

learning, ethnocentric theories tend to

perceive them as a potential threat precisely

because of their di”erence from the self.

Ethnocentrism precludes the theory of

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 20 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

authoritarian expansionism from being able to

appreciate Russia’s historical, geopolitical and

institutional distinctness because ethnocentric

ideas assume the superiority of their own

culture and the inferiority of others.

A good example of a Western ethnocentric

theory is that of democratic peace, according

to which democracies do not go to war with

each other.11Critics of the democratic peace

theory pointed out that it re!ects American

values of what is ‘democratic’ and that those

values themselves have been shaped by the

United States’ perception of external threats

(Oren 1995, 2002). Upon closer inspection, the

theory of democratic peace is a mirror image

of the authoritarian expansionism theory.

Simply put, the two theories say that by not

$ghting each other Western-style democracies

tend to act peacefully and cooperatively

abroad, whereas the non-Western

authoritarian systems, such as Russia, are

bullish and expansionist exactly because they

are non-democracies. Yet social structures and

internal conditions are far more complex than

the two theories present. For example, in the

post-communist context, democratisation is

not infrequently accompanied by state

weakness, thereby allowing the re-emergence

and the rise of a previously dormant militant

ethnic nationalism. As a result, not only do

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 21 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

some of the newly established democracies go

to war against each other, but they may also

do so in part as a result of their moving away

from authoritarianism (Mans$eld & Snyder

2007). Similarly, authoritarian regimes that

lack popular legitimacy may be cautious

enough and abstain from assertive foreign

policy if they perceive such policy as

potentially destabilising. Just as authoritarian

regimes may be compatible with building an

inclusive national identity and an e#cient

economy,12such regimes may be compatible

with a moderate international behaviour.

The highly simplistic treatment of Russia’s

political system becomes especially

problematic in the post-Soviet context. Indeed,

if judged by the degree of public support,

rather than by institutionalisation of e”ective

checks and balances, Russia’s political system

can hardly be called undemocratic.13Yet

Russia’s system is still emerging, and can

hardly be labelled either as an established

democracy or as pure authoritarianism. More

nuanced categories and theories need to be

developed if we are to match Russia’s

domestic conditions to its foreign policy. Even

within the West, meanings of democracy

change over time,14and it makes little sense

to analyse the Russian post-communist

‘democracy’ by comparing it to the model of

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 22 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Western societies (McFaul 2001; Fish 2005;

Baker & Glasser 2005), rather than to Russia’s

own history.

Hypocrisy

The essentialism and ethnocentrism of the

authoritarian expansionism theory also feed

into questionable policy recommendations.

Presenting Russia as an autocratic power that

invariably threatens the outside world leaves

other countries with few options regarding

engaging Russia. If Russia—especially in

presentation of Version One of the theory of

authoritarian expansionism—was, is and will

remain an autocratic and anti-Western

imperialist state, then the West must either

contain or confront it. Such recommendations

do not only tend to perpetuate the tense state

of West–Russia relations; they are also

politically hypocritical because they deny

Russia interests and stakes that the Western

nations themselves view as fundamental to

their own existence. Russia’s interests and

values are not only perceived as incompatible

with those of the West; they are also viewed as

illegitimate and not worthy of recognition.

An example of these kinds of

recommendations for Western governments

might be the calls by many advocates of the

theory of authoritarian expansionism to

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 23 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

punish and contain the Kremlin following its

assertive post-9/11 policy. Disappointed by

Russia’s unwillingness to follow the United

States’ international agenda, analysts and

members of the American political class, such

as Senator John McCain and Vice President

Dick Cheney, issued multiple statements

indicating their concerns with Russia’s new

‘imperialism’ and energy ‘blackmail’.15Steps

were proposed, such as revoking Russia’s

membership in the G8, severing its ties with

other Western institutions, banning private

investments and recognising the

independence of secessionist territories (in the

case of Chechnya) (McCain 2003; Frum & Perle

2003, p. 263; Pipes 2004; Edwards & Kemp

2006; Council on Foreign Relations 2006).

These would amount to a policy of containing

Russia or returning to where the two nations

were during the Cold War.

Blaming Russia alone for the breakup of the

post-9/11 international coalition is insu#cient

at best and misleading at worst; and

recommendations to contain or punish

Moscow are counter-productive. Denying

Russia its political and energy interests and

the right to set an independent foreign policy

is sure to come with large political and

economic costs. Such an approach is not likely

to discipline a Russia that continues to be in a

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 24 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

position not to yield to external pressures.

Continuous treatment of Russia as a potential

threat, rather than a legitimate member of

international society, may indeed bring to

power in Moscow those who are interested in

exacerbating relations with the West.

Politically, it may generate a prolonged cycle of

hostilities shaped by Russia and the West’s

clashing perceptions of each other’s

intentions. NATO expansion, as well as military

interventions in Kosovo and Iraq, has already

done its share of damage in this respect. Hard-

line nationalists in Russia will only be grateful

to hawkish pundits and politicians for assisting

them in constructing an image of the West as

a threat.

Three illustrations

This section reviews several cases of Russia’s

assertiveness in order to highlight empirical

problems with employing the theory of

authoritarian expansionism for interpreting

Russia’s behaviour. I have selected cases

across historical eras—the Crimean War, the

Cold War and the Russia–Georgia War—which

have been critically important to the theory’s

establishment and progression.

Crimean War

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 25 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

The advocates of the theory of authoritarian

expansionism have advanced two

assumptions regarding the decision by Russia

to go to war with the Ottoman Empire. First,

they have argued that the Tsar’s ultimatum to

the Sultan over the rights of Orthodox

Christians was predetermined by Russia’s

traditional desire to conquer

Constantinople.16Second, they have assumed

that the autocratic nature of St Petersburg’s

decision making precluded any serious

opposition to the Tsar’s plan. Evidence for

these assumptions is far from conclusive.

Nicholas did not seek to topple the Sultan. The

Tsar’s objectives were more limited and

included the defence of the rights of Russia’s

co-religionists residing within the Ottoman

Empire, preservation of the prestige of a

European power, and the right to maintain a

!eet in the Black Sea. More than a third of the

Ottoman Empire’s population—approximately

13 million people—was Orthodox Christian,

and the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainardzhi provided

Russia with special rights to protect Orthodox

Christians within the Ottoman Empire.

Although these rights were not clearly de$ned,

Article 7 obligated the Porte to ‘give the

Christian faith and its churches $rm

protection’, and it granted ‘the Ministries of

the Russian Imperial Court [the right] to

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 26 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

protect all interests of the church built in

Constantinople’.17As a member of the Holy

Alliance, Russia also viewed its commitment to

the rights of Orthodox Christians as consistent

with its European obligations. In Nicholas’s

perception, he was challenging the Sultan on

the issue of the Holy Places to return the

Ottoman principalities to the European

Concert.18Finally, the Tsar sought to con$rm

Russia’s control over the Straits of the

Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, which was

vital to Russia’s economic ties to Europe. The

Crimean War resulted less from Russia’s

expansionism and more from the West and

Russia’s incorrect perceptions of each other’s

motives, as well as from Nicholas’s

overcon$dence.

It would be equally wrong to assume that

Nicholas’s assertiveness met no opposition at

home. Advocates of a more restrained policy

within the political class included Nicholas’s

most in!uential advisors, such as Count

Nesselrode and Baron Brunnow, who urged

him to be cautious in negotiations with the

Ottomans and consultations with Austria and

Prussia. On the other side of the political

spectrum, Slavophiles proclaimed the Crimean

War to serve the ‘holy’ purpose of reviving

Russia’s Christian mission and pressured the

Tsar to extend military support for the Balkan

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 27 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Slavs—advice that Nicholas never accepted.19

Cold War

The early Cold War provides another seminal

case of the theory of authoritarian

expansionism which places emphasis on the

Soviet expansionist ideology and totalitarian

structure of Josef Stalin’s decision making

(Kennan 1961; Kissinger 1994). Again, the

reality is far too complex to be adequately

expressed by supporters of the theory of

authoritarian expansionism.

The historical record shows that Soviet

international objectives after World War II

were limited and shaped by the state’s

perception of strategic interests, rather than

communist ideology.20Before the end of 1945,

Stalin acted with restraint and generally in the

spirit of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements as

he interpreted them. He was willing to tolerate

Poland’s independence, although not outside

the Soviet area of in!uence (Suny 1998, p.

344). He also planned no communist

takeovers in Europe and advised the leaders

of communist parties in Italy, France, Hungary

and Bulgaria to cooperate with national

governments and not to expect to assume

power within the foreseeable future (Roberts

1999, p. 19; LaFeber 1997, p. 20)—partly

because he wanted to prevent the

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 28 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

strengthening of independent communist

centres (Daniels 1985, p. 220). In addition—

and consistent with the agreement on the

division of in!uence he had devised with

Churchill—Stalin refused to interfere in Greece

(Pikhoya 2007, p. 146). He further abstained

from interfering in Finland, which he viewed as

maintaining a generally ‘friendly’ international

posture (Alperovitz 1971, p. 22). Outside

Europe, Stalin advised Chinese communists to

enter into a coalition with their enemies, the

nationalists (Roberts 1999, p. 19). He also

refused to defy the United States by

intervening in Japan and landing in Hokkaido,

as some of his advisers encouraged him to do

after Truman had dropped two nuclear bombs

on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945

(Suny 1998, p. 345).

The really radical turn in the Soviet attitude

toward the West did not take place until the

Marshall Plan was o#cially proclaimed in June

1947. ‘There is little evidence’, wrote Vladislav

Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, ‘that before

the Marshall Plan Stalin had any master plan

for immediate expansion’ (Zubok & Pleshakov

1996, p. 130). Even after Truman had

proclaimed his new doctrine in March 1947,

Stalin was hoping to continue political ties and

negotiations with the United States and Great

Britain. In April, during a long meeting with

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 29 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

State Secretary George Marshall, Stalin argued

for a possible compromise on ‘all the main

questions’ and insisted that ‘it was necessary

to have patience and not become pessimistic’

(Kissinger 1994, p. 444). Marshall, however,

was of a di”erent opinion, and in his radio

address on 28 April he indicated that the

United States was no longer in a mood to

deliberate and was planning to take decisive

actions (Kissinger 1994, p. 445). On 5 June he

delivered his Marshall Plan speech, in which

he pledged $nancial assistance for the post-

war reconstruction of the European continent.

In response, Stalin and Molotov articulated

their alternative to Western policy by creating

a separate bloc with the Eastern European

states and suppressing any opposition to their

policy within the region. At home, the new

course meant a return to the pre-war system

of mass mobilisation and repressions.

In addition, the Soviet power structure, as

highly centralised as it was, did allow for

opposition to the policy of assertiveness.

Immediately following the war, Stalin’s most

impatient comrades wanted him to cross the

Elbe and occupy some parts of the Western

European nations—advice that he rejected as

impractical.21From the other side of the

political spectrum, a former Foreign Minister

Maxim Litvinov and the ambassador to the

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 30 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

United States Andrei Gromyko defended the

‘liberal’ approach that included more respect

for the choices of Eastern European states and

more extensive negotiations with the Western

ones (Zubok & Pleshakov 1996, pp. 29–30;

Pikhoya 2007, pp. 106–8). What exacerbated

the situation, making it ever more di#cult to

prevent a full-!edged political confrontation,

was the two sides’ international ambitions and

mistrust of each other’s intentions. Stalin’s

geopolitically limited ‘socialist imperialism’ was

met with the West’s global ‘democratic

imperialism’.22Had the West been be less

revisionist and fearful of the Kremlin’s

preparedness to penetrate the Western

nations,23there was a possibility that Stalin

would have continued with post-war

cooperative security arrangements.

The Russia–Georgia War

Similar problems exist with the claims of the

theory of authoritarian expansionism that an

autocratic Moscow was seeking to establish

imperial control over Tbilisi and that the war

with Georgia was part of a broader geopolitical

plan to revive Russia’s hegemony in the

former Soviet region and to challenge the

West globally (Asmus 2010, pp. 9, 14, 217–18;

Blank 2009, p. 104; Cornell & Starr 2009b, p. 8;

Sherr 2009, p. 224).24

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 31 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Russia’s relationship with its Caucasian

neighbour has evolved through several

increasingly unhappy stages and Moscow’s

objectives have been defensive, aiming mainly

to prevent NATO expansion and the inclusion

of Georgia and potentially Ukraine into the

alliance. Just as Tbilisi was angry with

Moscow’s unwillingness to honour Georgia’s

independence and the right to choose a

foreign-policy orientation, Russia was

frustrated with the lack of recognition by the

United States and NATO. While it is plausible

to assume the Kremlin’s intention was to gain

full control over Georgia, it is at least as

plausible to interpret Russia’s motives as

driven by defence and security considerations.

The interests of Russia’s security are at least as

helpful in determining its behaviour and

explaining why it limited itself to recognising

Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s independence,

but abstained from pursuing the more

expansionist objectives of removing

Saakashvili from power and establishing a pro-

Kremlin regime in Tbilisi. The theory of

authoritarian expansionism lacks nuance and

a sense of proportion and, by presenting

Russia as inherently imperialist and anti-

Western, this theory is less inclined to consider

seriously the impact of contemporary

developments and international interactions

on Russia’s behaviour.

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 32 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Western nations and Georgia too bear

responsibility for Russia’s increasingly

assertive behaviour in the Caucasus. By

assisting Tbilisi with its political transition after

the Rose Revolution and not interfering with

its e”orts to restore control over Adjara, the

Kremlin expected Georgia to honour its

interests in the Caucasus by not pressing for

immediate military withdrawals, excluding the

use of force from dealings with South Ossetia

and Abkhazia, and consulting Russia on vital

security issues such as membership in NATO.

Soon, however, Tbilisi adopted a strategy of

solving territorial disputes without assistance

from Russia and by relying on support from

the United States. By 2004 Washington had

provided $1.2 billion in aid in the previous

decade, and deployed military advisors in

Georgia. The United States was determined to

secure its access to Caspian oil and strengthen

its geostrategic presence in the Caucasus,

which the Kremlin saw as evidence of

America’s bias and lack of recognition of

Russia’s role in the region. The United States

did little to restrain Georgia’s militarisation

and ambitions to reign in its autonomous

regions by force.25While Russia was

increasing its support for Abkhazia and South

Ossetia, NATO and US o#cials did not hide

their backing of Tbilisi, and rarely criticised

Georgia’s actions in public. For example, less

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 33 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

than a month before the war, the US Secretary

of State Condoleezza Rice travelled to Europe.

She found no time to visit Moscow, but on 9

July she went to Tbilisi to demonstrate support

for Georgia’s territorial integrity and NATO

aspirations.

It is also unrealistic to assume that the

Kremlin’s decision-making system was

autocratic enough to exclude a serious debate

within the ruling circles. According to Gleb

Pavlovski, one faction within the Kremlin

wanted to march on Tbilisi in order to

challenge the West and fully revive Russia’s

domination in the Caucasus (Felgenhauer

2009, pp. 178–79). Another faction had more

modest objectives, but did consider a decision

to remove Saakashvili. Prime Minister Vladimir

Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei

Lavrov both indicated that they wanted the

Georgian President ‘to go’ and at $rst

considered this a condition for a cease$re

(Asmus 2010, pp. 199, 220). Still another

faction seems to have been satis$ed with

achieving a military victory over Georgia and

recognition of its rebellious provinces.26The

ruling structure was far from uniform or

consolidated.

Towards a better understanding of

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 34 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Russia

The analysis in this article suggests the theory

of authoritarian expansionism has a rather

limited ability to understand Russia and its

foreign policy. Not only does the theory tend

to misrepresent the direction and scope of

Russia’s international actions, but it is

potentially misleading regarding the sources

of such actions. Because of its emphasis on

the role of domestic ‘authoritarianism’ in

determining foreign policy, the theory of

authoritarian expansionism tends to miss

other important sources of state international

behaviour, such as security conditions and

actions by outside powers towards Russia. It is

not that the theory of authoritarian

expansionism is necessarily wrong, but it is

biased and incomplete and therefore

potentially wrong. To apply the late Martin

Malia’s (1999, p. 9) diagnosis, ‘the West is not

necessarily most alarmed when Russia is in

reality most alarming, nor most reassured

when Russia is in fact most reassuring’. The

theory’s tendency to essentialise Russia’s

internal conditions and exaggerate its

international ambitions should therefore

make analysts pause before adopting the

theory of authoritarian expansionism

framework and policy recommendations.

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 35 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

A better approach to Russia would be to

devise a more complex classi$cation of

Russia’s foreign policy. The historical record

will show that since its emergence as an

independent centralised state, Russia has

followed not one but several distinct

trajectories in relations with the West

(Tsygankov 2012). From opening a permanent

mission in Rome in the early seventeenth

century to the collective security policy before

World War II, Russia frequently sided with a

coalition of Western states against those

whom it viewed as challenging Russian values

of security. The second distinct trajectory of

Russia’s relations with the West has been that

of defensiveness or balancing through

domestic revival and !exible international

alliances. It included Russia’s periods of

recovery after the Time of Troubles, the war

with Sweden, the Crimean War, the

Communist Revolution and the Soviet

disintegration. Finally, historically Russia has

resorted to assertiveness in relations with the

West, as exempli$ed by the cases considered

above of the Crimean War, Cold War and the

Russia–Georgia war of August 2008. The

theory of authoritarian expansionism is

applicable only to the third trajectory of

Russia’s foreign policy and to a limited degree.

A better approach to Russia would be one free

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 36 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

from crude biases and hypocritical

recommendations. Such approaches should

be eclectic and draw from various theoretical

traditions by incorporating ideas of domestic

institutions, considerations of national security

and international recognition as sources of the

nation’s foreign policy.27The $rst task ought

to be to establish a meaningful context in

which Russia acts and seeks to achieve its

goals. Scholarly responsibility demands that

we should establish it by studying the relevant

historical, social, psychological and political

contexts behind what ostensibly are

‘autocratic’ decisions. Proceeding from the

200-year-old vision of Russia by the Marquis

de Custine as an essentially aggressive nation,

or engaging in reconstruction of the Kremlin’s

motives without su#cient evidence at hand, is

unlikely to facilitate a better understanding of

the country or produce sound policy

recommendations. How the Russians

themselves describe their system of

commitments to relevant social communities

should give us a better clue as to what the

purpose, legitimacy and scope of their actions

might be. The second task should be to

analyse the level of power and con$dence that

provides the state with the required platform

for acting, and it incorporates power

capabilities, institutional capacity and the

leadership’s perceptions of actions necessary

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 37 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

for implementing the vision. Even if the

domestic belief system supports assertive

international behaviour, Russia may lack the

resources to act on it. Finally, a scholar of

foreign policy must carefully monitor the

actions of the Western states toward Russia.

As constructivism teaches us, such external

actions may serve the purpose of external

legitimisation of Russia’s behaviour on the

international scene. By providing various

forms of support the outside world may have

the power to encourage Russia not to resort to

revisionist behaviour. Only such an eclectic

approach, sensitive to local systems of

perceiving the outside world, national security

interests and the behaviour of outsiders, may

bring us closer to a better understanding of an

enormously complex country, such as Russia.

Related Research Data

The Wilsonian Bias in the Study of

Russian Foreign Policy

Source: Informa UK Limited

Vladimir Putin’s last stand: the sources

of Russia’s Ukraine policy

Source: Informa UK Limited

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 38 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Linking provided by

Additional information

Notes on contributors

Andrei P. Tsygankov

The author thanks the editors of Europe-

Asia Studies and two anonymous

reviewers for their comments and

suggestions. The usual disclaimers apply.

Notes

For examples of scholarship on Russia’s

foreign policy, see Trenin (2009), Manko”

(2009), Tsygankov (2010), Lucas (2009),

Bugajski (2009) and Kanet (2009).

For realist studies of Soviet foreign policy, see,

for example, Ulam (1968), Wohlforth (1993)

and Donaldson and Nogee (1998).

For a development of this argument, see

Neumann (1996), English (2000), Hopf (2002),

Clunan (2009) and Larson and Shevchenko

(2010).

While Prussia wanted to help Austria in

exchange for dominating Germany, Russia had

no such conditions and was assisting Austria

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 39 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

out of Holy Alliance obligations (Taylor 1954, p.

30).

For example, in April 1863, Britain, France and

Austria each sent similar notes to the Russian

government asking for Poland to be given

independence and for its borders to include

Lithuania and Ruthenia (Seton-Watson 1967,

p. 435).

In 1911 the American government even

abrogated the commercial treaty with Russia

(Foglesong 2007, pp. 43–44).

For overviews of Panslavist theories, see Kohn

(1953), Petrovich (1956), Duncan (2000) and

Tuminez (2000).

For important exceptions, see revisionist

scholarship on the West–Soviet relations

(Holloway 1984; Garto” 1985; Cohen 1985;

Kolko 1994). For analysis of Western

scholarship as re!ective of an enemy’s

perception, see Oren (2002) and Foglesong

(2007). For a recent study of Sovietologists, see

Engerman (2010).

For such claims, see, for example, Kissinger

(1994, pp. 140–44), Geyer (1987, p. 65) and

MacKenzie (1993, p. 220).

For development of this argument, see

Tsygankov (2010, ch. 6).

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 40 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

For a summary of the debate, see Brown et al.

(1996). For other works critical of Western

ethnocentrism in analysing Russia, see Malia

(1999), Cohen (2001) and Brown (2010).

For an argument against universality of

economic and political openness for advancing

economic growth, see Bremmer (2006).

Public support for President Putin was

consistently high, ranging from 70% to 80%

during the 2000s. In addition, some polls

showed that almost half (47%) of Russians

thought that the country needed a distinct

kind of democracy that would correspond to

Russia’s national traditions and speci$c

qualities, and only 17% were against a

democratic form of government (Interfax, 18

December 2007).

On contested meanings of democracy in the

United States, see Foner (1998) and Oren

(2002).

For analysis of anti-Russian currents within the

American political class and media circles, see

Tsygankov (2009) and English and Svyatets

(2010).

See for example, Kissinger (1994, pp. 140–44),

Geyer (1987, p. 65) and MacKenzie (1993, p.

220).

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 41 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

For the text of the agreement, see Dmytryshyn

(1974, pp. 97–107).

The Tsar’s stated objectives were that ‘all the

Christian parts of Turkey must necessarily

become independent, must become again

what they [formerly] were, principalities,

Christian states, as such re-enter the family of

the Christian states of Europe’ (Vinogradov

1993, p. 170).

Part of it was that Nicholas was wary of the

Slavophiles’ insistence on abolition of

serfdom. Domestic censorship for the

Slavophiles remained tight, and the war

objectives were kept as limited and status-quo

oriented. Disappointed in Nicholas and the

course of the war, the Slavophiles soon began

to withdraw their support (for details, see

Curtiss 1979, pp. 557–60). The Tsar also

rejected plans from his own court to attack

Constantinople (Fuller 1992, pp. 235–36).

This is not to say that ideology was

unimportant. Yet, it was more important as

‘the internal lens through which the state

viewed the very legitimacy of its actions’

(Gaddis 1997, p. 290) than as a justi$cation for

hard-line actions toward the West.

For example, General Semyon Budennyi

advocated such intervention. Stalin reportedly

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 42 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

responded to Budennyi by posing the

rhetorical questions ‘how are we to feed

them?’ (Akstyutin 1995).

The terms of ‘socialist’ and ‘democratic’

imperialism come from Zubok and Gaddis,

respectively (Zubok 2009, ch. 2; Gaddis 1997,

pp. 284, 289).

See, for example, CIA (1948, pp. 4–7) and NSC

(1948, pp. 1–2). For analysis of the United

States’ in!ated assessments of the Soviet

threat after the war, see Evangelista (1982).

Other scholars argued that the war assisted

the Kremlin with its internal legitimacy (Allison

2008, p. 1169; Filippov 2009).

According to the former Defence Minister

Irakli Okruashvili (2007), Georgia planned a

military invasion of South Ossetia in 2006.

This objective seems to have been favoured by

President Medvedev (2008).

For a recent attempt to o”er a more

sophisticated analysis of relationships

between authoritarianism and foreign policy,

see Chambers (2010).

References

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 43 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

1. Akstyutin, Yu. 1995. “‘Pochemu Stalin

dal’neishemu sotrudnichestvu s

soyuznikami predpochel konfrontatsiyu c

nimi?’”. In Kholodnaya voina: novyye

podkhody, novyye dokumenty, Edited by:

Narinski, M. M. Moscow: Russian Academy

of Sciences. 1995 [Google Scholar]

2. Allison, R. 2008. ‘Russia Resurgent?

Moscow’s Campaign to “Coerce Georgia to

Peace”’. International A!airs, 84(6)

[Crossref], [Web of Science ®],

[Google Scholar]

3. Alperovitz, G. 1971. “‘How Did the Cold War

Begin?’”. In The Origins of the Cold War, 1941–

1947: A Historical Problem with Interpretations

and Documents, Edited by: LaFaber, W. New

York: John Wiley & Sons. 1971

[Google Scholar]

4. Ambrosio, T. 2009. Authoritarian Backlash:

Russian Resistance to Democratization in the

Former Soviet Union, London: Ashgate.

[Google Scholar]

5. Asmus, R. D. 2010. A Little War that Shook the

World: Georgia, Russia, and the Future of the

West, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

[Google Scholar]

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 44 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

6. Baker, P. and Glasser, S. 2005. Kremlin

Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of

Revolution, New York: Simon & Shuster.

[Google Scholar]

7. Blank, S. 2009. “‘From Neglect to Duress:

The West and the Georgian Crisis before the

2008 War’”. Edited by: Cornell, S. E. and

Starr, F. 2009a [Google Scholar]

8. Bremmer, I. 2006. The J Curve: A New Way to

Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall, New

York: Public A”airs. [Google Scholar]

9. Brown, J. D. J. 2010. ‘A Stereotype, Wrapped

in a Cliché, Inside a Caricature: Russian

Foreign Policy and Orientalism’. Politics,

30(3) [Crossref], [Google Scholar]

10. Brown, M. E., Lynn-Jones, S. M. and Miller, S.

E. 1996. Debating the Democratic Peace,

Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

[Google Scholar]

11. Brzezinski, Z. 2004. ‘Moscow’s Mussolini’.

Wall Street Journal, 20 September

[Google Scholar]

12. Bugajski, J. 2009. Dismantling the West:

Russia’s Atlantic Agenda, Washington, DC:

Potomac Books. [Google Scholar]

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 45 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

13. Chambers, L. 2010. ‘Authoritarianism and

Foreign Policy: The Twin Pillars of Resurgent

Russia’. Caucasus Review of International

A!airs, 4(2) Spring [Google Scholar]

14. Cheney, R. ‘Vice President’s Remarks at the

2006 Vilnius Conference, The White House’.

4 May. O#ce of the Vice President. available

at: http://www.whitehouse.gov, accessed 7

February 2007 [Google Scholar]

15. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 28

September 1948. “‘Threats to the Security of

the United States’”. 28 September, Central

Intelligence Agency. available at: https://ww

w.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-int

elligence/csi-publications/books-and-monog

raphs/assessing-the-soviet-threat-the-early-

cold-war-years/docs.html, accessed 10

November 2009 [Google Scholar]

16. Clunan, A. L. 2009. The Social Construction of

Russia’s Resurgence: Aspirations, Identity, and

Security Interests, Baltimore, MD: The John

Hopkins University Press. [Google Scholar]

17. Cohen, A. November 2007. ‘Domestic Factors

Driving Russia’s Foreign Policy’, November,

Heritage Foundation Policy Brief.

[Google Scholar]

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 46 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

18. Cohen, A. 2010. ‘Time to Revise Obama’s

Russian “Reset” Policy’. The Heritage

Foundation, 26 October [Google Scholar]

19. Cohen, A. and Dale, H. C. 2010. ‘Russian

Anti-Americanism: A Priority Target for US

Public Diplomacy’. Heritage Foundation

Backgrounder, 2373 24 February

[Google Scholar]

20. Cohen, S. F. 1985. Homo Sovieticus, New

York: W.W. Norton. [Google Scholar]

21. Cohen, S. F. 2001. Failed Crusade: America

and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia,

New York: W.W. Norton. [Google Scholar]

22. Cornell, S. E. and Starr, F. 2009a. The Guns of

August 2008: Russia’s War in Georgia, New

York: M. E. Sharpe. [Google Scholar]

23. Cornell, S. E. and Starr, F. 2009b.

“‘Introduction’”. Edited by: Cornell, S. E. and

Starr, F. 2009a [Crossref], [Google Scholar]

24. Council on Foreign Relations. 2006. Russia’s

Wrong Direction: What the United States Can

and Should Do, New York: Council on Foreign

Relations. Independent Task Force 57

[Google Scholar]

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 47 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

25. Curtiss, J. S. 1979. Russia’s Crimean War,

Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

[Google Scholar]

26. Daniels, R. V. 1985. Russia: The Roots of

Confrontation, Cambridge, MA: Harvard

University Press. [Google Scholar]

27. Dmytryshyn, B. 1974. Imperial Russia: A

Source Book, 1700–1917, Hinsdale, IL:

Harcourt. [Google Scholar]

28. Donaldson, R. H. and Nogee, J. L. 1998. The

Foreign Policy of Russia, Armonk, NY: M.E.

Sharpe. [Google Scholar]

29. Duncan, P. J. S. 2000. Russian Messianism:

Third Rome, Revolution, Communism and

After, London: Routledge. [Crossref],

[Google Scholar]

30. Edwards, J. and Kemp, J. 2006. ‘We Need to

be Tough with Russia’. International Herald

Tribune, 12 July [Google Scholar]

31. Engerman, D. C. 2010. Know Your Enemy: The

Rise and Fall of America’s Soviet Experts,

Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[Google Scholar]

32. English, R. R. 2000. Russia and the Idea of the

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 48 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

West. Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of

the Cold War, New York: Columbia University

Press. [Crossref], [Google Scholar]

33. English, R. and Svyatets, E. ‘A Presumption

of Guilt? Western Media Coverage of the

2008 Russia–Georgia War’. Paper presented

at the annual convention of the International

Studies Association. 17–20 February, New

Orleans. [Google Scholar]

34. Evangelista, M. A. 1982. ‘Stalin’s Postwar

Army Reappraised’. International Security,

7(1) Winter [Google Scholar]

35. Felgenhauer, P. 2009. “‘After August 7: The

Escalation of the Russia–Georgia War’”.

Edited by: Cornell, S. E. and Starr, F. 2009a

[Google Scholar]

36. Filippov, M. 2009. ‘Diversionary Role of the

Georgia–Russia Con!ict: International

Constraints and Domestic Appeal’. Europe-

Asia Studies, 61(10) December

[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science

®]

, [Google Scholar]

37. Fish, S. 2005. Democracy Derailed in Russia:

The Failure of Open Politics, Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press. [Crossref],

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 49 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

[Google Scholar]

38. Foglesong, D. S. 2007. The American Mission

and the ‘Evil Empire’, Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press. [Google Scholar]

39. Foner, E. 1998. The Story of American

Freedom, New York: Free Press.

[Google Scholar]

40. Frum, D. and Perle, R. 2003. An End to Evil:

How to Win a War on Terror, New York:

Random House. [Google Scholar]

41. Fuller, W. C. Jr. 1992. Strategy and Power in

Russia, 1600–1914, New York: Free Press.

[Google Scholar]

42. Gaddis, J. L. 1997. We Now Know: Rethinking

Cold War History, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[Google Scholar]

43. Garto”, R. L. 1985. Détente and

Confrontation: American–Soviet Relations from

Nixon to Reagan, Washington, DC: Brookings

Institution. [Google Scholar]

44. Geyer, D. 1987. Russian Imperialism: The

Interaction of Domestic and Foreign Policy

1860–1914, New York & Hamburg: Berg

Publishers. [Google Scholar]

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 50 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

45. Holloway, D. 1984. The Soviet Union and the

Arms Race, New Haven, CT: Yale University

Press. [Google Scholar]

46. Hopf, T. 2002. Social Construction of

International Politics: Identities and Foreign

Policies, Moscow, 1955 and 1999, Ithaca, NY:

Cornell University Press. [Google Scholar]

47. Kanet, R. 2009. A Resurgent Russia and the

West: The European Union, NATO and Beyond,

Dordrecht: Republic of Letters Publishing.

[Google Scholar]

48. Kennan, G. F. 1961. Russia and the West

under Lenin and Stalin, New York: A Mentor

Book. [Google Scholar]

49. Kissinger, H. 1994. Diplomacy, New York:

Simon & Shuster. [Google Scholar]

50. Kohn, H. 1953. Panslavism: Its History and

Ideology, Notre Dame, IN: University of

Notre Dame Press. [Google Scholar]

51. Kolko, G. 1994. Century of War: Politics,

Con”icts, and Society since 1914, New York:

The New Press. [Google Scholar]

52. Kramer, D. J. 2010a. ‘Resetting US–Russian

Relations: It Takes Two’. Washington

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 51 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Quarterly, 33(1) January

[Taylor & Francis Online], [Google Scholar]

53. Kramer, D. J. 2010b. ‘America’s Silence

Makes Us Complicit in Russia’s Crimes’.

Washington Post, 20 September

[Google Scholar]

54. LaFeber, W. 1997. America, Russia, and the

Cold War, 1945–1996, , 8th edn, New York:

The McGraw-Hill. [Google Scholar]

55. Lapidus, G. W. 2007. ‘Between Assertiveness

and Insecurity: Russian Elite Attitudes and

the Russia–Georgia Crisis’. Post-Soviet A!airs,

23(2) [Taylor & Francis Online],

[Google Scholar]

56. Larson, D. W. and Shevchenko, A. 2010.

‘Status Seekers: Chinese and Russian

Responses to US Primacy’. International

Security, 34(4) [Crossref], [Google Scholar]

57. LeDonne, J. P. 1997. The Russian Empire and

the World, 1700–1917: The Geopolitics of

Expansion and Containment, Oxford: Oxford

University Press. [Google Scholar]

58. Legvold, R. 2007. “‘Russian Foreign Policy

during State Transformation’”. In Russian

Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century and

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 52 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

the Shadow of the Past, Edited by: Legvold, R.

New York: Columbia University Press. 2007

[Crossref], [Google Scholar]

59. LeVine, S. 2010. ‘Reset, Rethought’. Foreign

Policy, 11 November [Google Scholar]

60. Lucas, E. 2009. The New Cold War: The Future

of Russia and the Threat to the West, London:

Palgrave. [Google Scholar]

61. MacKenzie, D. 1993. “‘Russia’s Balkan

Policies under Alexander II, 1855–1881’”.

Edited by: Ragsdale, H. 1993

[Google Scholar]

62. Malia, M. 1999. Russia under Western Eyes,

Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[Crossref], [Google Scholar]

63. Manko”, J. 2009. Russian Foreign Policy: The

Return of Great Power Politics, Boulder, CO:

Rowman & Little$eld. [Google Scholar]

64. Mans$eld, E. D. and Snyder, J. 2007. Electing

to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to

War, Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press. [Google Scholar]

65. McCain, J. 4 November 2003. “‘McCain

Decries “New Authoritarianism in Russia”’”. 4

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 53 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

November, statement delivered on the

Senate !oor. available at: http://mccain.sena

te.gov, accessed 5 February 2007

[Google Scholar]

66. McFaul, M. 2001. Russia’s Un#nished

Revolution, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University

Press. [Google Scholar]

67. Medvedev, D. 2008. ‘Why I had to Recognize

Georgia’s Breakaway Regions’. Financial

Times, 26 August [Google Scholar]

68. Nation, R. C. 1992. Black Earth, Red Star: A

History of Soviet Security Policy, 1917–1991,

Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

[Google Scholar]

69. National Security Council (NSC). 2 November

1948. US Objectives With Respect to the USSR

to Counter Soviet Threats to US Security, 2

November, National Security Council

Report. available at: http://www.mtholyoke.

edu/acad/intrel/coldwar/nsc20-4.htm,

accessed 10 November 2009

[Google Scholar]

70. Neumann, I. B. 1996. Russia and the Idea of

Europe. A Study in Identity and International

Relations, London: Routledge. [Crossref],

[Google Scholar]

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 54 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

71. Odom, W. E. 2001. ‘Realism about Russia’.

National Interest, 64(4) Fall [Google Scholar]

72. Okruashvili, I. 2007. ‘Irakli Okruashvili:

President khotel ubrat’ Badri’. Izvestiya, 28

September [Google Scholar]

73. Oren, I. 1995. ‘The Subjectivity of

Democratic Peace’. International Security,

20(2) [Crossref], [Google Scholar]

74. Oren, I. 2002. Our Enemy and US: America’s

Rivalries and the Making of Political Science,

Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

[Google Scholar]

75. Petrovich, M. B. 1956. The Emergence of

Russian Panslavism, 1856–1870, New York:

Columbia University Press. [Crossref],

[Google Scholar]

76. Pikhoya, R. 2007. Moskva. Kreml’. Vlast’. Sorok

let posle voiny, Moscow: Rus’-Olimp.

[Google Scholar]

77. Pipes, R. 1997. ‘Is Russia Still an Enemy?’.

Foreign A!airs, 76(5) September–October

[Crossref], [Google Scholar]

78. Pipes, R. 2004. ‘Give Chechens a Land of

Their Own’. New York Times, 9 September

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 55 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

[Google Scholar]

79. Ragsdale, H. 1993. Imperial Russian Foreign

Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press. [Google Scholar]

80. Riazanovsky, N. V. 1959. Nicholas I and

O$cial Nationality in Russia, 1825–1855,

Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

[Crossref], [Google Scholar]

81. Ringman, E. 2002. ‘The Recognition Game:

Soviet Russia Against the West’. Cooperation

and Con”ict, 37(2) [Google Scholar]

82. Roberts, G. 1999. The Soviet Union in World

Politics: Coexistence, Revolution and Cold War,

1945–1991, London: Routledge.

[Google Scholar]

83. Sa$re, W. 1994. ‘Strategic Dilemma’. New

York Times, 1 December [Google Scholar]

84. Satter, D. 17 May 2007. “‘Russia: Rebuilding

the Iron Curtain’”. 17 May, Testimony to US

House of Representatives, Committee on

Foreign A”airs. available at: http://foreigna”

airs.house.gov/110/35430.pdf, accessed 10

November 2009 [Google Scholar]

85. Seton-Watson, H. 1967. The Russian Empire,

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 56 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

1801–1917, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[Google Scholar]

86. Sherr, J. 2009. “‘The Implications of the

Russia–Georgia War for European Security’”.

Edited by: Cornell, S. E. and Starr, F. 2009a

[Google Scholar]

87. Shevtsova, L. 2010. ‘Resetology’. The

American Interest, 6(2) November–

December [Google Scholar]

88. Shlapentokh, V. 2009. ‘Russian Anti-

Americanism’. New York Times, 5 October

[Google Scholar]

89. Suny, R. G. 1998. The Soviet Experiment:

Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States,

Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[Google Scholar]

90. Taylor, A. J. P. 1954. The Struggle for Mastery

in Europe, 1848–1918, Oxford: Oxford

University Press. [Google Scholar]

91. Trenin, D. 2009. Getting Russia Right,

Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for

International Peace. [Google Scholar]

92. Tsygankov, A. P. 2009. Russophobia: Anti-

Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy,

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 57 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

London: Palgrave Macmillan. [Crossref],

[Google Scholar]

93. Tsygankov, A. P. 2010. Russia’s Foreign Policy:

Change and Continuity in National Identity, ,

2nd edn, Boulder, CO: Rowman & Little$eld.

[Google Scholar]

94. Tsygankov, A. P. 2012. Russia and the West

from Alexander to Putin: Honor in

International Relations, Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press. [Crossref],

[Google Scholar]

95. Tuminez, A. S. 2000. Russian Nationalism

since 1856: Ideology and the Making of Foreign

Policy, Boulder, CO: Rowman & Little$eld.

[Google Scholar]

96. Ulam, A. 1968. Expansion and Coexistence:

The History of Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–

1967, New York: Praeger. [Google Scholar]

97. Vinogradov, V. N. 1993. “‘The Personal

Responsibility of Emperor Nicholas I for the

Coming of the Crimean War: An Episode in

the Diplomatic Struggle in the Eastern

Question’”. Edited by: Ragsdale, H. 1993

[Google Scholar]

98. Wallander, C. A. 8 May 2008. “‘Russian

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 58 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Power and Interests at the Next Stage in

US–Russian Relations’”. 8 May, Testimony

before the US Commission on Security and

Cooperation in Europe, United States

Congress. available at: http://www.csce.gov/i

ndex.cfm?FuseAction=ContentRecords.View

Transcript&ContentRecord_id=423&Content

Type=H&ContentRecordType=H&CFID=7569

71&CFTOKEN=19664130, accessed 10

November 2009 [Google Scholar]

99. Wohlforth, W. 1993. The Elusive Balance:

Power and Perception during the Cold War,

Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

[Crossref], [Google Scholar]

100. Zubok, V. M. 2009. A Failed Empire: The Soviet

Union in the Cold War from Stalin to

Gorbachev, Chapel Hill, NC: The University of

North Carolina. [Google Scholar]

101. Zubok, V. M. and Pleshakov, C. 1996. Inside

the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to

Khrushchev, Cambridge, MA: Harvard

University Press. [Google Scholar]

Download PDF

Browse journals by subject Back to top 1

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 59 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Browse journals by subject

Area Studies

Arts

Behavioral Sciences

Bioscience

Built Environment

Communication Studies

Computer Science

Earth Sciences

Economics, Finance, Business & Industry

Education

Engineering & Technology

Environment & Agriculture

Environment and Sustainability

Food Science & Technology

Geography

Global Development

Health and Social Care

Humanities

Information Science

Language & Literature

Law

Mathematics & Statistics

Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing & Allied Health

Museum and Heritage Studies

Back to top 1

4/1/2023, 7:50 pmFull article: Assessing Cultural and Regime-Based Explanations of R…Foreign Policy. ‘Authoritarian at Heart and Expansionist by Habit’?

Page 60 of 60https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1080/09668136.2012.671568

Physical Sciences

Politics & International Relations

Social Sciences

Sports and Leisure

Tourism, Hospitality and Events

Urban Studies

Information for

Authors

R&D professionals

Editors

Librarians

Societies

Open access

Overview

Open journals

Open Select

Dove Medical Press

F1000Research

Opportunities

Reprints and e-prints

Advertising solutions

Accelerated publication

Corporate access

solutions

Help and information

Help and contact

Newsroom

All journals

Books

2 Sign me up

% 3 4

5 6

Keep up to date

Register to receive
personalised research and
resources by email

Copyright © 2023 Informa UK Limited Privacy policy Cookies Terms &

conditions Accessibility

Registered in England & Wales No. 3099067
5 Howick Place | London | SW1P 1WG

Writerbay.net

Do you have a lot of essay writing to do? Do you feel like you’re struggling to find the right way to go about it? If so, then you might want to consider getting help from a professional essay writer. Click one of the buttons below.


Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper