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Title: Russia, NATO and the EU : the Yeltsin years
Author: Vita-Finzi, Leo.
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2005
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Russian foreign policy in the 1990s, though in many ways chaotic, demonstrated a general move from an initial pro-Western strategy to a more 'independent' and 'pragmatic nationalist' strategy. The main feature of this move was a much more critical stance towards the West. Yet the Russian leadership displayed very different attitudes to two major Western organisations: while fiercely critical of NATO it was neutral or positively disposed towards the ED. The thesis tries to discover why this was so by means of two explanatory frameworks. The first is an application of realist foreign policy theory. Neoclassical realism explains state foreign policy through the study of the international distribution of material power and the manner in which state elites attempt to alter this in their favour. The second framework uses constructivist insights into national culture. National identity strongly influences how policy-makers view the world and the possibilities open to them. An understanding of how the national identity debate develops helps to explain the policies they undertake. The analysis demonstrates that each of the two schemes illuminates many aspects of Russian policy-making in the 1990s and that they are complementary rather than alternative approaches. Equally they leave much unanswered, and the details of policy-making are sometimes not well explained. The suggestion is that further research into Russian foreign policy (under Putin, for example) would require a more detailed focus on bureaucratic politics and interpersonal rivalries within the elite as a complement to the kind of analysis undertaken here.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available