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  • Author: Amitai Etzioni
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: In May 2013 the Pentagon released an unclassified summary of the top-secret Air-Sea Battle (ASB) Concept. ASB serves to focus the Pentagon's efforts to organize, train and equip the armed forces against advanced weapons systems that threaten the US military's unfettered freedom of access and action in the global commons. While officials claim ASB is merely improve service interoperability and could be applied in any number of conflict situations, this article argues that in fact the doctrine represents the Pentagon's plan for confronting China's increasingly capable and confident military. This raises two urgent questions: how does ASB fit into an overall US foreign policy toward China – and, if a military confrontation cannot be avoided, are there less risky alternatives, such a maritime blockade, that can achieve the same ends as ASB?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Roger E Kanet
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Throughout the Cold War, studies of Soviet foreign policy were generally 'atheoretical'. In so far as they were based on theoretical models from international relations, those models tended to be some version of 'realism' or 'neorealism'. Over the past two decades, since the end of the Cold War, other approaches – especially those based on 'constructivism' – have challenged the domination of the 'realist' framework in studies of Russian foreign policy. The articles in this special issue of International Politics examine the strengths and weaknesses of the various theoretical frameworks employed to explain Russian policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Joan DeBardeleben
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The improved relations between Russia and the European Union (EU) in the 1990s were followed by a rise in tension since 1999. This article argues that constructivism can provide important insights into the basis of continuing difficulties. Drawing on the nature of the two actors, the author argues that the foreign policy identities of both actors are in a formative process, and thus the construction of inter-subjective meanings has the potential to be a particularly transformative element in the relationship. Both the Russian Federation and the EU are relatively new as regional and global actors, and both are in the process of forming their foreign policy identities, although in quite different contexts. Neither the EU nor Russia has developed a strategic conception for the relationship, and political discourse often obstructs communication rather than furthering the generation of inter-subjective meanings. The article argues that a constructivist analysis can help to expose the deep interconnections between normative disagreements, conflicting constructions of interests and differing concepts of governance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Valentina Feklyunina
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Russia's relations with Poland in the post-Soviet period have been greatly affected by their divergent historical narratives that have shaped their dominant identities and have been further promoted by the political elites to maintain these identities. However, Moscow's attempts to project a more positive image in Poland in recent years have involved re-articulating some elements of the official narrative. Drawing on social constructivism, this article presents a theoretical framework that can be applied to an analysis of Russia's foreign policy, and illustrates its benefits by examining Russia's policy towards Poland.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Poland, Soviet Union, Moscow
  • Author: Maria Raquel Freire
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Russian foreign policy is both an expression of Moscow's internal political dealings around the presidential administration and the bureaucracies that support it, with their focus on the shaping and making of foreign policy, as well as its implementation, which is grounded in Russia's stated goal of its reassertion in the international system as a major power. This is a process that is embedded in continuous interaction between different levels of agency and the construction of understandings and perceptions, both at the domestic and the international level. Looking at foreign policy as a process, the article argues that the study of foreign policy should go beyond strictly positivist assumptions, as relations between the different actors and the foreign policy approaches that these suggest are embedded in structural, material and ideational dimensions. Departing from this conceptual frame, the article looks at Russian foreign policy, seeking to understand how the internal/external linkages take place in the process of policy construction, looking in particular at socialisation processes and normative adaptation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Licínia Simão
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article looks at Russian foreign policy from the perspective of the individuals responsible for decision making. The focus on the individual level of analysis aims to shed light on the evolving dynamics of Russian foreign policymaking and complement existing analysis on the role of ideas, world views and influential groups in foreign policy analysis, with insights from neo-classical realism and constructivism. Whereas the former sees the state as the transmission belt between international power distributions and political action, the latter underlines the roles of ideas and norms to explain agency. In this context, the article is well placed to deal with the evolving relationship between leaders' views and situational constraints, including other actors involved in setting foreign policy priorities and the external environment. How are decisions taken in the context of Russia's foreign policy under President Putin and Medvedev? What is the role of the presidents from both a legal (constitutional) and a practical perspective? The article maps Russian political leaders' decisions, under Putin and Medvedev, using two case studies: Putin's decision to support the US-led post-9/11 war on terror and Medvedev's decision to go to war with Georgia in 2008.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Nikita Lomagin
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Among the domestic interest groups that play a role in influencing Russian foreign policy the Russian Orthodox Church has become an important actor. Its most important role has been that of supporting the emergence of a new nationalist Russian identity to undergird Russian policy. On specific policy issues, it has advocated the political reunification of Eastern Slavic Orthodox peoples, the emergence of a multipolar international system and the restatement of traditional values as the foundation for the pursuit of global human rights.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Bertil Nygren
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This essay presents the argument that analysts, crystal ball readers and general future-tellers generally should to a much higher extent rely on claimed interests of great powers than on resources alone in predictions of future behaviour of great powers. Analysts should analyse what states want to do given what they could do, as much as analyse what states could do based on their resources, or analysts should analyse state policy intentions as much as state policy resources.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: John Berryman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The article provides a broad overview of the fluctuating connections between the controversial and ambiguous field of modern geopolitics and Russia. Given the pivotal significance of the Russian challenge within the early hypotheses of Mahan and Mackinder, the article first explores those distinctive geographical and spatial considerations that helped shape the development of the Russian Empire. The place of geopolitics in the Cold War is then reviewed, including both its policy orientation and the exchanges between the proponents of geopolitical realism and liberal internationalism. In conclusion, the article examines the post-Cold War renaissance of geopolitics, reviewing both theoretical developments and policy implications for Russian foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Nicole Mellow, Peter Trubowitz
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The attacks of September 11 and the resulting war on terrorism present a puzzle to conventional explanations of foreign policy bipartisanship. Public anxiety about the international environment increased sharply after the attacks in 2001, but this did not translate into greater foreign policy consensus despite the initial predictions of many analysts. In this article, we advance a theory of foreign policy bipartisanship that emphasizes its domestic underpinnings to explain the absence of consensus in Washington. We argue that bipartisanship over foreign policy depends as much on domestic economic and electoral conditions as on the international security environment. Using multivariate analysis of roll call voting in the House of Representatives from 1889 to 2008, we show that bipartisanship over foreign policy is most likely not only when the country faces a foreign threat but also when the national economy is strong and when party coalitions are regionally diverse. This was the case during the Cold War. Despite concern about terrorism in recent years, economic volatility and regional polarization have made bipartisan cooperation over foreign policy elusive.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Washington, Central Asia