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Interpreting change

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.

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‘We’ve moved on’

was reported to suggest that NATO was seen as a ‘threat’ to Russia. Yet this was to miscast the nature of a difficult relationship. The doctrine actually posits NATO as a ‘danger’. It also clearly defines the distinction between ‘threat’ and ‘danger’: a ‘threat’ is defined as the realistic possibility of an armed conflict arising, while a ‘danger’ is a situation with the

in The new politics of Russia
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behind this idea, perhaps because he was reckoned to have a particularly good personal relationship with the Russian President. 74 In fact, on a visit to Moscow that month, Lord Robertson attributed similar ideas to the US, FRG, Italy and Canada. 75 Robertson’s public remarks on his visit to Russia were most noteworthy for his candid admission of the lack of substance in Russia–NATO relations to date. In

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security
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against each other during the Cold War, ensuring an uneasy and at times tense balance. ‘Armed transparency’ had been achieved thanks to new technologies of verification, leading to arms-control measures, détente and eventually the peaceful collapse of one side. Since 1989, it was argued, there had not been any balance, but rather economic and political co-operation and integration. Why, then, now enlarge NATO and thereby risk unbalancing and remilitarising a relationship between Russia and the West, which since 1989 had been relatively stable? Russia, critics maintained

in Destination Europe

conferences, seminars and workshops. Indeed, nearly every major development in NATO’s post-Cold War transformation can be linked in some respect to the PfP initiative and evolution. NATO enlargement now proceeds with a baseline of indicators and criteria developed from PfP. The NATO relationships with Russia and Ukraine build on and use PfP’s mechanisms and underlying principles. NATO’s important operations in the Balkans depended upon initial training and exercises via PfP and utilised PfP’s civil-military interaction between NATO and non-NATO nations to make national

in Limiting institutions?
Russia as ‘a Europe apart’

stated that, of all NATO’s partnerships, the NATO–Russia relationship was the most ‘burdened by misperceptions, mistrust and diverging political agendas’. 7 Despite the effort that went into ‘resets’ or ‘reloads’ of Russia’s relations with the West, this has remained the case. Both sides have numerous complaints about the other. Western observers

in The new politics of Russia
Open Access (free)

drove home to the Russian political and military establishment the limitations on Russian power and influence and persuaded key leaders to pursue policies matching Russia’s means rather than memories of its previous status as a great or superpower. The rise in the perceived threat of international terrorism has provided a common set of interests upon which to build a new Russia–NATO relationship. For NATO, Russia still matters

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security
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A European fin de siècle

transnational diasporas. Each of the nationalist movements in the region is surprisingly global, positioning itself in relation to the ‘West’, that is, the EU, NATO and the United States, but also in respect of Russia (as occasionally does Serbia). Ethnic leaders are vying for the West’s attention, and their strategies are addressed to the ‘international community’ as well as to their direct opponents and

in Mapping European security after Kosovo
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Reinterpreting Russia in the twenty-first century

, and emphasised a sense of Russian competition with the West. As one Russian observer put it, in 2014, Russia ‘broke out of the post-Cold War order and openly challenged the U.S.-led system’. The rivalry between Russia and the West, he suggested, is ‘likely to endure for years’. 3 While there are lobbies in the West who seek a return to a more positive relationship with Russia, and some have suggested

in The new politics of Russia

the constitutional position of NATO. 20 Jackson was centrally involved in the best-known red card incident of the entire NATO Kosovo campaign. This came right at the end of Operation Allied Force , just as the deployment of KFOR was about to commence. Jackson was ordered by SACEUR to deploy a force to confront Russian troops who had made a ‘dash’ to the airport in

in The Kosovo crisis and the evolution of post-Cold War European security