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Russia and the Liberal World Order

  • Anne L. Clunan

While Russian leaders are clearly dissatisfied with the United States and the European Union, they are not inherently opposed to a liberal world order. The question of Russia's desire to change a liberal international order hangs on the type of liberalism embedded in that order. Despite some calls from within for it to create a new, post-liberal order premised on conservative nationalism and geopolitics, Russia is unlikely to fare well in such a world.

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1 Andrey Kortunov, “The Inevitable, Weird World,” Russia in Global Affairs No. 4 (October–December 2016),; and Sergei Karaganov, “Global Challenges and Russian Foreign Policy,” Russia in Global Affairs, November 20, 2016,

2 Clunan, Anne L., The Social Construction of Russia's Resurgence (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) and Clunan, Anne L., “Historical Aspirations and the Domestic Politics of Russia's Pursuit of International Status,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 47, no. 3–4 (2014), pp. 281–90.

3 Fyodor Lukyanov, “In the Moonlight,” Russia in Global Affairs No. 3 (July–September 2017),

4 Alexander Losev, “Neo-Mercantilism, Neo-Modernism or Neo-Imperialism?” No. 3 (July–September 2017),

5 Ruggie, John Gerard, “Multilateralism,” International Organization 46, no. 3 (1992), pp. 561–98; Ikenberry, G. John, After Victory (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001); and Ikenberry, G. John, “The Liberal International Order and Its Discontents,” Millenium 38, no. 3 (2010), pp. 509–21.

6 Simpson, Gerry, “Two Liberalisms,” European Journal of International Law 12, no. 3 (2001), pp. 537–72.

7 Ibid., p. 539.

8 Kortunov, “The Inevitable.”

9 Bull, Hedley, The Anarchical Society (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977) and Buzan, Barry, From International to World Society? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Ruggie, John Gerard, “International Regimes, Transactions, and Change,” International Organization 36, no. 2 (1982), pp. 379415 ; and Ruggie, “Multilateralism.”

10 Strange, Susan, “Cave! Hic Dragones,” International Organization 36, no. 2 (1982), pp. 479–96.

11 Simpson, “Two Liberalisms.”

12 Ibid., p. 537.

13 Clunan, Anne L., “Redefining Sovereignty,” in Shawki, Noha and Cox, Michaelene, eds., Negotiating Sovereignty and Human Rights: Actors and Issues in Contemporary Human Rights Politics (Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate Publishing, 2009), pp. 726 .

14 Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, “Resources: Security Council Resolutions Referencing R2P,” January 7, 2016,

15 Blyth, Mark, Great Transformations (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

16 Blyth, Mark, Austerity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

17 Ruggie, “International Regimes”; and Blyth, Great Transformations.

18 Bordo, Michael D. et al. , “Is Globalization Today Really Different than Globalization a Hundred Years Ago?” in Collins, Susan and Lawrence, Robert, eds., Brookings Trade Policy Forum (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1999), pp. 172 .

19 Falk, Richard, “State of Siege,” International Affairs 73, no. 1 (1997), pp. 123–36.

20 Clunan, Social Construction; and Trenin, Dmitri, Post-Imperium (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2011).

21 Tsygankov, Andrei, Russia and the West from Alexander to Putin (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

22 Clunan, Social Construction.

23 Sergei Karaganov, “2016—A Victory of Conservative Realism,” Russia in Global Affairs No. 1 (January–March 2017),–A-Victory-of-Conservative-Realism-18585.

24 Makarychev, Andrey and Morozov, Viatcheslav, “Multilateralism, Multipolarity, and Beyond,” Global Governance 17, no. 3 (2011), pp. 353–73.

25 Sovet po Vneshnei i Oboronnoi Politike, “Strategiia dlia Rossii. Rossiiskaia Vneshnaia Politika: konets 2010x-nachalo 2020x” [Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, “A Strategy for Russia. Russian Foreign Policy: The End of the 2010s–the Beginning of the 2020s”], May 23, 2016,тезисы_23мая_sm.pdf.

26 Karaganov, “Global Challenges.”

27 Makarychev and Morozov, “Multilateralism.”

28 Sergei Karaganov, “How the World Looks from the Russian Perspective,” Russia in Global Affairs, August 1, 2016,

29 Karaganov, “Global Challenges.”

30 Ibid.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid.; and Karaganov, “2016—A Victory.”

33 Karaganov, “How the World Looks.”

34 D'Agostino, Anthony, The Rise of Global Powers (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

35 Doyle, Michael W., Ways of War and Peace (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997), pp. 389420 .

36 Karaganov, “2016.”

37 Kortunov, “The Inevitable.”

38 Ibid.

39 Karaganov, “2016.”

40 Ibid.; Losev, “Neo-Mercantilism”; and Kortunov, “The Inevitable.”

41 Larson, Deborah Welch and Shevchenko, Alexei, “Shortcut to Greatness,” International Organization 57, no. 1 (2003), pp. 77109 ; Clunan, “Historical Aspirations”; Lukyanov, “In the Moonlight”; and Makarychev and Morozov, “Multilateralism.”

42 Losev, “Neo-Mercantilism”; and Chubais, Igor, Ot Russkoi Idei–k Idee Novoi Rossii (Moscow: Izdatel'skii dom “Sotsial'naia zashchita,” 1997).

43 World Bank, “Russian Federation - Systematic Country Diagnostic: Pathways to Inclusive Growth,” Washington, D.C., 2016,; World Bank, “GDP Ranking 2016” (July 2017),; and World Bank, “World Development Indicators Database” (November 15, 2017),

44 Sil, Rudra, “Which of the BRICS Will Wield the Most Influence in Twenty-Five Years?International Studies Review 16, no. 3 (2014), pp. 456–60.

45 Losev, “Neo-Mercantilism.”

46 Strange, Susan, “Wake up, Krasner! The World Has Changed,” Review of International Political Economy 1, no. 2 (1994), pp. 209–19; Cerny, Philip G., “Globalization and the Changing Logic of Collective Action,” International Organization 49, no. 4 (1995), pp. 595625 ; and Blyth, Austerity.

47 Anne L. Clunan, “The Great Powers of Small-Scale,” Paper prepared for delivery at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada, March 26–29, 2014; and Brooks, Stephen G., Producing Security (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2005).

48 Jude Clemente, “U.S. Set to Rival Russia in Oil and Gas Exports,” Forbes, February 25, 2017; and International Energy Agency, “Key World Energy Statistics 2017,”

49 Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, The Red Web (Philadelphia: Perseus Books Group, 2015).

50 Milanovic, Branko, Global Inequality (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2016).

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