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© 2017

Russian-European Relations in the Balkans and Black Sea Region

Great Power Identity and the Idea of Europe

Book

Table of contents

About this book

Introduction

This book provides a detailed analysis of Russia’s ‘great power identity’ and the role of Europe in forming this identity. ‘Great power identity’ implies an expansionist foreign policy, and yet this does not explain all the complexities of the Russian state. For instance, it cannot explain why Russia decided to take over Crimea, but provided only limited support to break-away regions in Eastern Ukraine. Moreover, if Russia is in geo-economic competition with Europe, why has no serious conflict erupted between Moscow and other post-Soviet states which developed closer ties with the EU? Finally, why does Putin maintain relationships with the European countries that imposed tough economic sanctions on Russia? Vsevolod Samokhvalov provides a more nuanced understanding of Russia’s great power identity by drawing on his experience in regional diplomacy and research and applying a constructivist methodology. The book will appeal to students and scholars of international relations, in particular Russian-European relations, Russian foreign policy and Russian studies.


Vsevolod Samokhvalov helps us understand contemporary Russian relations with Europe and the world by exploring how Soviet and current Russian foreign policy elites understand their past. In particular, Soviet and Russian great power identity has been forged in contact and conflict with the frontier sweeping from the Black Sea to the Balkans, as imagined in historical fiction and universally read history textbooks. Samokhvalov opens the readers' eyes to an entirely new dimension of Russian foreign policy and its origins.

– Professor Ted Hopf, National University of Singapore

Keywords

inter-ethnic conflicts Russian-European security interaction conflict resolution Russian-European crisis politics of the Black Sea region Soviet mind-set Valentin Pikul Russian indentity in literature Soviet discourse Russian-European interaction colloboration between Russia and Europe

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of LiegeLiegeBelgium

About the authors

Vsevolod Samokhvalov is a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK, and a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Liege, Belgium. He is also a Visiting Professor to the College of Europe. Vsevolod has worked as policy analyst and journalist in the Black Sea region, Balkans, London and Brussels.

Bibliographic information

Reviews


“With this book, Vsevolod Samokhvalov makes an important contribution to the literature. The rich empirical material and the depth of analysis represent an important added value of the study. This book will be without doubt an interesting and revealing reading for scholars of history, political science, and literature.” (Katsiaryna Yakouchyk, Democratization, Vol. 26 (2), 2019)

“VSEVOLOD SAMOKHVALOV’S BOOK OFFERS A USEFUL IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS of Russia’s evolving great power identity and representations of Europe, with an empirical focus on European–Russian interaction in the Balkans and the Black Sea region. … Samokhvalov’s book provides an essential and balanced contribution to understanding European–Russian relations through a solid theoretical approach and impressively vast empirical work.” (Marco-Siddi, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 71 (2), 2019)

“The book adds to a growing body of empirically grounded, interpretivist research and significantly benefits from its author’s ability to explain complex processes in clear language. ... The book will appeal to the students of Russian foreign policy, Russian–European relations and the Balkans–Black Sea area. It will also be of interest to anyone engaged in comparative and theoretical research of national and international identities.” (Mikhail Molchanov, International Affairs, Vol.94 (3), 2018)

“The book not only provides an in-depth analysis of Russia’s national identity but also explores the very term ‘identity.’ … I would highly recommend this book—and not only to experts, academics, and politicians. Everyone who has an interest in the subject of East-West relations should pay attention to this publication.” (Ilya Yablokov, The Russian Review, Vol. 77 (2), April, 2018)

“The book will appeal to the students of Russian foreign policy, Russian–European relations and the Balkans–Black Sea area. It will also be of interest to anyone engaged in comparative and theoretical research of national and international identities.” (Mikhail Molchanov, International Affairs, Vol. 94 (3), 2018)