Russia and the Changing International System: An Introduction

  • Emel Parlar Dal
  • Emre Erşen


This introductory chapter argues that Russia’s role in the changing international system as well as its main motives and instruments in its regional and global engagements should be evaluated in accordance with its multiple actorness in the international system, its distinct interpretation of the international order and its mixed approach to multilateralism. Russia’s reading of the present world order differs significantly from the interpretation of its Western counterparts. In fact, the Russian vision of world politics is far from being “Western” at the normative level, since it does not act as a “norm taker” in the current international structure and rather tends to impose its own norms by challenging the norm diffusion strategies initiated by the Western powers. Against this background, it is important to grasp how Russia’s “illiberal” approach to the international order shapes its foreign policy outcomes as well as its problematic relations with the West.


Russian foreign policy Rising powers International order Global governance Russia-West relations 


  1. Allison, Roy. 2017. Russia and the Post-2014 International Legal Order: Revisionism and Realpolitik. International Affairs 93 (3): 519–543. Scholar
  2. Averre, Derek, and Lance Davies. 2015. Russia, Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect: The Case of Syria. International Affairs 91 (4): 813–834. Scholar
  3. Charap, Samuel, John Drennan, and Pierre Noël. 2017. Russia and China: A New Model of Great-Power Relations. Survival: Global Politics and Strategy 59 (1): 25–42. Scholar
  4. Clunan, Anne L. 2018. Russia and the Liberal World Order. Ethics & International Affairs 32 (1): 45–59. Scholar
  5. Götz, Elias, and Camille-Renaud Merlen. 2019. Russia and the Question of World Order. European Politics & Society 20 (2): 133–153. Scholar
  6. Holm, Minda, and Vibeke Schou Tjalve. 2018. Visions of an Illiberal World Order? The National Right in Europe, Russia and the US. Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, November 5.
  7. Johnson, Juliet, and Seçkin Köstem. 2016. Frustrated Leadership: Russia’s Economic Alternative to the West. Global Policy 7 (2): 207–216. Scholar
  8. Kaczmarski, Marcin. 2015. Russia-China Relations in the Post-crisis International Order. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Levitsky, Steven, and Lucan A. Way. 2010. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Macfarlane, S. Neil. 2006. The ‘R’ in BRICs: Is Russia an Emerging Power? International Affairs 82 (1): 41–57. Scholar
  11. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2018. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s Remarks at BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting, Pretoria. June 4.
  12. Miskimmon, Alister, and Ben O’Loughlin. 2017. Russia’s Narratives of Global Order: Great Power Legacies in a Polycentric World. Politics and Governance 5 (3): 111–120. Scholar
  13. Oğuzlu, Tarık, and Emel Parlar Dal. 2013. Decoding Turkey’s Rise: An Introduction. Turkish Studies 14 (4): 617–636. Scholar
  14. Parlar Dal, Emel. 2019. Status Competition and Rising Powers in Global Governance: An Introduction. Contemporary Politics.
  15. Pieper, Moritz. 2019. Rising Power Status and the Evolution of International Order: Conceptualising Russia’s Syria Policies. Europe-Asia Studies. Scholar
  16. Radin, Andrew, and Clint Reach. 2017. Russian Views of the International Order. Santa Monica: Rand.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Romanova, Tatiana. 2018. Russia’s Neorevisionist Challenge to the Liberal International Order. The International Spectator 53 (1): 76–91. Scholar
  18. Sakwa, Richard. 2017. Russia Against the Rest: The Post–Cold War Crisis of World Order. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Tsereteli, Mamuka. 2018. Can Russia’s Quest for the New International Order Succeed? Orbis 62 (2): 204–219. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emel Parlar Dal
    • 1
  • Emre Erşen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of International RelationsMarmara UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Political Science and International RelationsMarmara UniversityIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations