many salient features of the
political landscape that did not fit the abridged story. Indeed, in many
ways, this mainstream orthodoxy was an automatic response to the
stimulus of seeing protests as precipitating democratic upheaval and the
end of Putin, a reflexive return to ‘transitionology’ and
the hope for democratic change in Russia.
In the excitement, the protest demonstrations, often hailed
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.
in analysts might not reduce surprise or
help to ‘get Russia right’. This leads to the second set
of problems, the dominance of a misleading orthodoxy about
Russia’s domestic and international trajectory.
The rise of ‘transitionology’: Russia
– moving on?
The collapse of the Warsaw Pact and
the USSR led to a new confidence in the ‘end of history
surprise, Chapter 1 looks first 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’ (the
conviction that post-communist states were moving towards democracy) as
the main lens through which