sense of strategicdissonance between the West and Russia, 10 as the relationship is stuck
between a series of longer-term Cold War era problems and new, post-Cold
War problems, with each compounding the other. Although cooperative
projects have been established, therefore, talk of ‘strategic
partnership’ faded in the mid 2000s and an increasing sense of
dissonance, even competition, has emerged, as illustrated and emphasised
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.
are morally bankrupt at home and
pursue reckless and dangerous international policies abroad. This gap,
set in the foundations of relations between the West and Russia in the
early 1990s, has grown and is the font of the strong sense of strategicdissonance that increasingly characterises the relationship.
The war in Ukraine that began in 2014, the most serious
emergency in relations for many years