Russia’s Policy and International Cooperation: The Challenges and Opportunities of Soft Power

  • Natalia Bubnova
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy and International Relations book series (SID)


Despite the recent upsurge in global armed conflict, the role of soft power in international relations is steadily increasing. Russian political discourse to this date still lacks a common understanding of what soft power is, while Russia’s policy actors much too often tend to focus on military programmes, pressure through strength, coercive influence, and the threat of use of force. Yet the untapped resource of Russia’s soft power rests in what both local pundits and western Russian experts turn a blind eye to. It is the desire, engrained in Russia’s traditional culture, literature, and national perception, to do good, seek meaning that goes beyond material benefits, tend to the weak, and consider the needs of each and every nation, whether large or small. This soft power, if inactivated and promoted through public diplomacy, would go a long way in a world that sees a gradual expansion in the space of human freedom and dignity.


Soft power Public diplomacy Country ratings Syria conflict Ukrainian crisis US-Russia relations National idea 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Bubnova
    • 1
  1. 1.Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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