The construction of crisis : the ‘internal‑identitarian’ nexus in Russian‑European relations and its significance beyond the Ukraine crisis

Pieper, MA 2016, 'The construction of crisis : the ‘internal‑identitarian’ nexus in Russian‑European relations and its significance beyond the Ukraine crisis' , Politics in Central Europe, 12 (1) , pp. 95-110.

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Since 2012 and with Putin’s return to the presidency, Russian politics underwent a process of securitization of domestic politics. This laid the groundwork for the crisis in European‑Russian relations that culminated in the ‘Ukraine crisis’ from late 2013. This article will trace the domestic determinants of Russian foreign policy choices and narratives since 2012 that help explain the political deadlock between ‘the West’ and Russia over the European Union’s ‘Eastern Partnership’. It will thereby also analyze the effects for the Russian perception of agency between the US and the EU as well as path dependencies that European Union sanctions have created. Not only Russia’s relationship with the West is at stake in this stand‑off. The ‘Ukraine crisis’ has developed into a fundamental systemic crisis of the Putinite regime. Only if Putin’s ‘social contract’, which had guaranteed economic well‑being in exchange for political inactivity, was to be eroded by sanctions imposed on Russia, the ‘civilizational’ narrative of Russian exclusivity would be endangered. A new social contract will be a generational task and will have to take stock of the nexus between internal determinants and identitarian foreign policy choices. It will also be the first step in recalibrating European‑Russia relations.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Politics in Central Europe
Publisher: De Gruyter
ISSN: 1801-3422
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: MA Pieper
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2016 10:26
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:50

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