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An abiding antagonism: realism, idealism, and the mirage of western-Russian partnership after of the Cold War

Wohlforth, William C. and Zubok, Vladislav (2017) An abiding antagonism: realism, idealism, and the mirage of western-Russian partnership after of the Cold War. International Politics, 54 (4). pp. 405-419. ISSN 1384-5748

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Identification Number: 10.1057/s41311-017-0046-8

Abstract

Europe’s security environment is critically dependent on nature of the relationship between Russia and the broader west. What are the obstacles in the way of a stable partnership? Against the conventional wisdom that foregrounds domestic politics, we establish the importance of an abiding clash of definitions of national interest on both sides. The US and Russian strategic perspectives draw on the modern historical experience of both sides, are consistent with well-established international relations theories and are independent of particular personalities such as Putin’s. We demonstrate that though personalities, ideas, and contingency played their roles, these basic clashing perspectives existed even during the euphoric days of the Cold War’s end. Success in negotiating an improvement of US-Russian relations will require a pragmatic compromise between deeply divergent interests. Stable economic and political relations may be possible, but the first step in attaining it is recognizing the scale of the challenge.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/journal/41311
Additional Information: © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International History
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2017 15:28
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2017 11:15
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/79132

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