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Title: A study of the civilisational aspects of Russian soft power in contemporary Ukraine
Author: Hudson, Victoria Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 5363 0786
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis contributes to an in-depth understanding of the concept of soft power, which according to Joseph Nye indicates the ability to achieve foreign policy goals through cultural attraction. For the purposes of this study of Russian cultural influence in Ukraine, soft power is rearticulated to highlight the ability to engage in mean-making and cultural-ideational leadership on the international stage. A critique of Nye justifies a reframing of soft power, which is supplied by drawing on the analytical power of post-Marxist hegemony and discourse theory. The methodology through which this concept is operationalised empirically emphasises outcomes over inputs, thus appraisals of soft power must account for whether the discourses promoted by mean-making initiatives resonate favourably with target audiences. Desk-based and field research supports an argument that Moscow acknowledges the need for soft power, understood here in terms of ‘sovereignty of spirit’. This civilisational approach is explored further, and the target narratives advanced by significant proponents of the discourse, namely the Russkiy Mir Foundation, the Russian Orthodox Church and foreign policy officials, are identified. Insights into the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to promote spiritually-infused discourses are provided, and new developments observed. Finally, the extent of Russian ‘civilisational’ soft power is estimated through surveys and focus groups gauging audience reception to the ideational narratives promoted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics ; JZ International relations