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Mapping Eurasia in an Open World: How the Insularity of Russia’s Geopolitical and Civilizational Approaches Limits Its Foreign Policies

Mapping Eurasia in an Open World: How the Insularity of Russia’s Geopolitical and Civilizational Approaches Limits Its Foreign Policies

by Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University, and Nicole Weygandt, Cornell University

Russia’s Eurasian view of the world brings together anti-Western and state-centric elements. Placed at the center of its own geo-political sphere of influence and civilizational milieu, Russia’s worldview is self-contained and insular. What Russian policy slights is the global context in which its primacy over a heterogeneous Eurasia is embedded and which, when disregarded, can impose serious costs. This paper traces the broad contours of Russia’s geopolitical and civilizational Eurasianism, linking it to earlier scholarship on regions and civilization. We also explore selected aspects of Russia’s foreign security (Crimea and Ukraine) and economic (energy) policies as well as the constraints they encounter in an increasingly global world that envelops Russia and Eurasia in a larger context.

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Perspectives on Politics  /  Volume 15, Issue 2  /  June 2017, pp. 428-442