Democracy and Progressive Modernity in Constructions of Community: Europe, the United States, and the Russian ‘Other’
This chapter analyzes how the foreign policy elites in the ‘base’ of the triangular diplomacy framework frame their relationship with the Russian ‘target’/‘Other.’ The United States defined the Self in transatlantic terms; European Union and Germanys focused on a European Self; while France presented the Self in national terms. All stressed the discourse of progressive modernity, which emphasizes Russia’s disruption of peaceful collaboration, but only the United States emphasized democracy/freedom, which hinges on the very nature of the Russian Other. These differences are significant because the progressive modernity discourse suggests that relations with Russia can return to normal once it changes its behavior, while the democracy/freedom frame suggests that conflict will endure until Russia itself changes. There may, therefore, be a fault line within the base that Russia could exploit.
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