Making Russia forever great: imperialist component in the Kremlin’s foreign policy

Ostap Kushnir

ORCID: Ostap Kushnir: 0000-0003-4058-8059

Pages: 41-59

Edition: Lublin 2018

DOI: --

Citation method: Ostap Kushnir, ‘Making Russia forever great: imperialist component in the Kremlin’s foreign policy’, Yearbook of the Institute of East-Central Europe, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2018, pp. 41-59.

Abstract: The article outlines the geopolitical rationale behind contemporary Russian expansionism, as well as presents the asymmetric and “hybrid” mechanisms utilized by the Kremlin to solidify its authority in the post-communist space. To do this, the article refers to the findings of American, British, Polish and Ukrainian intellectuals on the nature of the Russian political identity. The four commonly used theoretical frameworks explaining contemporary Russian expansionism are described and critically assessed (imperial, diversionary, divergent identities and “angry guy”). Apart from this, the Russian and foreign political philosophic thought of the XIX-XXI centuries is referred to. The latter was done to trace the evolution of the Russian Byzantium-type governing tradition and national identity. The article puts forward the hypothesis that Russian expansionism, alongside the Russian sentiment towards an imperialist worldview, are tested by historical patterns of national policy-making which bring the state to its civilizational glory. In this light, it will be futile to expect that Russia can fully democratize, build a Western type of a nation-state and start conducting open policies.


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