This book focuses on the Western difficulties in interpreting Russia. It begins with by reflecting on some of the problems that are set in the foundations of Russia's post-Cold War relationship with the West. The book points to problems that emerge from linguistic and historical 'interpretation'. It looks at the impact of Russia's decline as a political priority for the West since the end of the Cold War and the practical impact this has had. It then reflects on the rising influence, especially, but not only, in public policy and media circles, of 'transitionology' as the main lens through which developments in Russia were interpreted. The book then examines the evolution of the West's relationship with Russia since the end of the Cold War, focusing particularly on the NATO-Russia relationship. It focuses on the chronological development of relations and the emergence of strategic dissonance from 2003. The book also looks at Russian domestic politics, particularly the Western belief in and search for a particular kind of change in Russia, a transition to democracy. It continues the exploration of domestic politics, but turns to address the theme of 'Putinology', the focus on Putin as the central figure in Russian politics.
the final part of the discussion which outlines some of the
problems of the current mainstream discussion of Russia, which is
drowning in a discourse of speculation and rumour,
‘Putinology’ and historical analogies. This creates a
great deal of additional noise that blocks the signal.
Moving on from Russia
Russia has been prominent in a flood
of editorials, media interviews and
The end of Putin (again)?
Since Putin returned to the
presidency in 2012, ‘Putinology’ has dominated the
mainstream Western discussion about Russia. It has become the central
pillar of what appears as a form of ‘neo-Kremlinology’, as
observers seek to interpret subtle and often ambiguous indications of
the relative influence of those who are close to Putin and thus on
developments in Russia were interpreted.
Finally, it sketches out a series of problems such as the prevalence of
‘Putinology’ and historical analogies.
Chapter 2 examines the evolution of
the West’s relationship with Russia since the end of the Cold
War, focusing particularly on the NATO–Russia
relationship. Practical cooperation has taken place and a deep and wide