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Title: Russian-American cooperation in the Middle East : an analysis of Moscow's interests, leverage, and strategies of linkage
Author: Notte, Hanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5437
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This study assesses the drivers of Russia's security cooperation with the United States in the Middle East since 11 September 2001. The four empirical case studies analyze Russian-US cooperation: (1) in stabilizing Iraq after Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003; (2) in eliciting Syria's troop withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005; (3) in imposing UN sanctions against Iran in 2010, and (4) in demilitarizing Syria's chemical weapons in 2013-2014. Through these cases, I probe to what extent Russian cooperation is driven by linkage diplomacy and expectations of US reciprocity, as opposed to Russian interests in the Middle East itself. The analysis also unpacks Russia's pursuit of leverage vis-à-vis the US in the context of cooperation. The study argues that Russia's security, non-proliferation, and economic interests in the Middle East are the principal drivers of its cooperation with the US in this region. This remains the case during moments of rapprochement and deteriorating diplomatic relations alike. Moreover, Moscow's co-operative strategy entails measures to counter-balance its support for US policy by building leverage for itself and its regional allies. However, there is sparse evidence of Moscow making its cooperation conditional upon gains on other issues in the Russian-US bilateral agenda. The infrequency of explicit linkage diplomacy in Russian-US cooperation reflects principled policy on both sides, and American perceptions of the meaningfulness and costliness of Russia's cooperation. Unlike what is implied in the cooperation literature, the concrete institutional form of cooperation has little explanatory value for the infrequent evidence of linkage. That said, a Russian expectation of what is termed diffuse reciprocity is always a contextual driver of cooperation, especially when Russian-US relations are on an upward trajectory. Moscow routinely hopes that its cooperation will make an atmospheric contribution to its bilateral relationship with Washington, which can then be used to seek accommodation over other bilateral issues.
Supervisor: Penslar, Derek J. ; MacFarlane, Stephen N. Sponsor: ESRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available