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Since Russia has re-emerged as a global power, its foreign policies have come under close scrutiny. In Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin, Andrei P. Tsygankov identifies honor as the key concept by which Russia's international relations are determined. He argues that Russia's interests in acquiring power, security and welfare are filtered through this cultural belief and that different conceptions of honor provide an organizing framework that produces policies of cooperation, defensiveness and assertiveness in relation to the West. Using ten case studies spanning a period from the early nineteenth century to the present day – including the Holy Alliance, the Triple Entente and the Russia-Georgia war – Tsygankov's theory suggests that when it perceives its sense of honor to be recognized, Russia cooperates with the Western nations; without such a recognition it pursues independent policies either defensively or assertively.Read more
- Takes a social-constructivist approach to international relations
- Ten extended case studies exemplify the author's theory
- Offers a sophisticated treatment of Russia's international behavior by identifying several enduring patterns in the country's foreign policy
Reviews & endorsements
"An original analysis of the long sweep of Russian foreign policy over the last two centuries, examined through the prism of the concept of "honour". The work provides a convincing framework for analysis based on three modes of Russian behaviour, cooperation, defensiveness and assertiveness. The notion is then applied in ten cases studies, ranging from the Holy Alliance of 1814-53 to the Russo-Georgian war of 2008, in which honour is seen to have played a central role in shaping policy and perceptions. Tsygankov offers a compelling and original analysis of Russia foreign policy that will be essential reading for historians and political scientists, and above all for scholars of international relations."
Richard Sakwa, University of KentSee more reviews
"In a sweeping historical analysis, Tsygankov explains major shifts in Russia’s willingness to cooperate with the West in terms of honor. All states have a set of core values that must be defended in order to maintain national dignity and self-respect, a commitment that explains why states sometimes engage in foolhardy or wasteful undertakings. Tsygankov brings to bear his considerable expertise without ostentation to write a simple, yet highly informative analysis of Russian foreign policy. This succinct and elegant book is essential reading for understanding Russia’s foreign policy today."
Deborah Welch Larson, University of California, Los Angeles
"Andrei Tsygankov's work on the role of honor in Russian foreign policy makes a very important contribution not only to Russian historical studies but also to international relations theory."
Anatol Lieven, Kings College London
"Tsygankov’s ambitious study of Russian foreign policy seeks to explain and assess three patterns in Russia’s relations with the West that reappear throughout Russian history—cooperation, defensiveness, and assertiveness. Following Reus-Smit, Tsygankov argues that states have a moral purpose that drives their behavior, best captured by the concept of Honor."
Anne Clunan, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Tsygankov builds on his previous writing on Russian foreign policy and provides a more expansive and complete study of the motivations for Russian foreign polity … it provides valuable insight not only into Russian foreign policy but also notions of Russian identity"
J. R. Clardie, Choice
"Those who have read Tsygankov's other works will not be disappointed in diving into this theoretically interesting and information-rich analysis of important elements that have long driven Russian perspectives and actions…His analyses are as compelling as they are interesting. In sum, this over 300-page volume provides a tour d'horizon of many of the most important Russian-Western foreign policy initiatives and interactions of the nineteenth, twentieth, and early twenty-first centuries. The volume is a must-read for those who desire to understand the Russian foreign policy weltanschauung."
John Pat Willerton, H-Net Reviews
"Tsygankov believes that the Russian sense of honor is the key to understanding the long history of the country’s relations with the West … Whether Russia cooperates with, defends itself from, or takes the offensive against the West is determined by Russia’s sense of honor, along with the degree of security that Russians feel, and not by Russia’s quest for power or the structure of the international system. Tsygankov examines this dynamic in different phases of Russian history, from the post-Napoleonic period to today. He takes international relations theory seriously and places himself squarely in the constructivist camp."
Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
"… a clear and distinct argument about why Russia acts in the way that it does and how international engagement with the Kremlin might be structured to achieve more cooperative outcomes … This book not only highlights perhaps the most important driver of contemporary Russian foreign policy, but it also explains why Russia’s controversial stance on issues such as the Syrian conflict, which has isolated it internationally, continues to be supported by the larger Russian public."
"Tsygankov’s ambitious study of Russian foreign policy seeks to explain and assess three patterns in Russia's relations with the West that reappear throughout Russian history - cooperation, defensiveness, and assertiveness. Following Reus-Smit, Tsygankov argues that states have a moral purpose that drives their behavior, best captured by the concept of honor."
Anne Clunan, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"[Andrei Tsygankov] reminds us that Russia has for centuries believed in its special role as a great power with values that are superior to those of Europe, and in this book he sets out to explain the historical evolution of Russia’s foreign policy and its perpetual ambivalence toward cooperating with the West."
Angela Stent, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy
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- Date Published: June 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107668034
- length: 330 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.44kg
- contains: 6 b/w illus. 17 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Theory:
2. Honor in international relations
3. The Russian state and its honor
4. Russia's relations with the West
Part II. Honor and Cooperation:
5. The Holy Alliance, 1815–53
6. The Triple Entente, 1907–17
7. The collective security, 1933–9
8. The war with terrorism, 2001–5
Part III. Honor and Defensiveness:
9. The Recueillement, 1856–71
10. The peaceful coexistence, 1921–39
11. Containing NATO expansion, 1995–2000
Part IV. Honor and Assertiveness:
12. The Crimean War, 1853–6
13. The early Cold War, 1946–9
14. The Russia-Georgia War, August 2008
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