International Norms And Identity

Authored by: Valentina Feklyunina

Routledge Handbook of Russian Foreign Policy

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138690448
eBook ISBN: 9781315536934
Adobe ISBN:


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The rise of social constructivism has had a major impact on our understanding of Russian foreign policy. This chapter provides an overview of the existing constructivist work. The constructivist literature on Russia’s international behaviour is remarkably diverse. It encompasses studies with fairly different epistemological and methodological positions, which focus on different aspects of Russia’s foreign and security policies, ranging from the role of ideas in policy change to Russia’s engagement with cultural mega projects. Some studies explicitly articulate their constructivist positions, while others avoid attaching the label of ‘constructivism’ – and sometimes even explicitly differentiate their approach from constructivism – but nevertheless draw on the concepts which are central to the constructivist viewpoint. The chapter begins by discussing some of the key constructivist assumptions and introducing key concepts. The second section presents an overview of several major strands within the existing constructivist work on Russian foreign policy, by focusing on such themes as (i) Russia’s identity; (ii) recognition and non-recognition of Russia’s identity by Others; (iii) norms; and (iv) practices and habits. The third section looks at various methodological challenges as they are addressed in constructivist studies of Russian foreign policy. The chapter concludes by discussing possible avenues for future research.

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