Neu-Eurasianism: Possible causality between the Ideology and Russian Foreign policy

Gazieva, Madina, Slavic Languages and Literatures - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Lynch, Allen, Politics, University of Virginia
Clowes, Edith, Slavic, University of Virginia

Vladimir Putin has long shown himself to be pragmatic in his foreign policy decisions; as such, in terms of international relations Putin can be considered a realist. However, in recent years, changes in the international community’s power structure has led to Russia feeling emboldened to take more hostile actions based on the ideology of neo-Eurasianism. This thesis will analyze neo-Eurasianism’s tenets and discern whether, to what extent, and by what means they have been influencing Putin’s recent foreign policy objectives, strategies, and behavior. I will describe neo-Eurasianism and its role in efforts to re-establish Russia’s great power status. Next, I will discuss three strategies by which this can occur: supporting the development of a multipolar world, strategic reorganization of Russia, and weakening the West. I examine if and to what extent these three strategies can be seen in the context of five case studies: Ukraine, the Eurasian Economic Union, Syria, the 2016 U.S. election and the question of Russian interference, and Venezuela. I find that although the Kremlin’s threats seem to be strategically motivated, they also seem to be influenced by neo-Eurasianist ideology (as seen in efforts to reassert Russia’s position as a prominent power in the world by upsetting the U.S.-led international order and destabilizing the West). Nevertheless, Putin’s neo-Eurasianism is pragmatic and legitimizing, devoid of actual ideological adherence.

MA (Master of Arts)
Neo-Eurasianism, Eurasianism, Realism, Vladimir Putin, Russia, The Ukraine Crisis, The Eurasian Economic Union, The Syrian Civil War, Russia-Iran-Turkey Alliance, The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, Venezuela , Russian Foreign Policy
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