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The Handbook of Global Security Policy by Mary Kaldor, Iavor Rangelov

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Chapter 23 Security Agenda in Russia: Academic Concepts, Political Discourses, and Institutional Practices

Andrey Makarychev

Introduction

In one of his foreign policy pronouncements Vladimir Putin, campaigning for his third presidential term, claimed that the Western countries “have developed a peculiar interpretation of security that is different from ours”.1 Unfortunately, his pessimistic assessment seems to be fair enough. Russia on the one hand, and NATO and the European Union on the other, do indeed approach international security issues differently (like NATO enlargement, the deployment of American antimissile system in Central Europe, or the Syrian debate in the United Nations), as well as the key security concepts (in particular, in an effort to delegitimate Western policies, Putin lambasted “illegal instruments of soft power”). Russia accuses the West of bellicosity, in aggravating situations in countries subjected to humanitarian interventions, violating their sovereignty, and artificially keeping afloat obsolete stereotypes about Russia, etc. In response, Russia receives accusations from the West of neoimperial ambitions and unilateralism, in using energy weaponry against consuming countries, and so on.

One may agree that since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US-led West has not been interested in strategic security partnership with Russia (Trenin, 2011) – perhaps to the same extent that Russia was not ready politically or technically for such a partnership. ...

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