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Foreign policy institutions of the Russian government have been evolving for centuries. The most drastic changes took place about three hundred years ago when the Russian Empire emerged in the early 1700s and when the basic institutional foundation of Russian diplomacy was shaped. The next substantial change took place in 1917, when a new communist state was established. The dissolution of the Soviet Union, however, has brought only minor changes to Russia’s foreign policy institutions. We will discuss these historical events briefly and then focus on more contemporary developments.
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What were the main characteristics of the institutions of foreign policy in the Soviet Union? How have they changed in the past twenty-five years?
Which nongovernmental organizations deal with foreign policy in Russia? Do you personally think that the role of NGOs in foreign policy should increase, decrease, or remain the same?
What foreign policy issues are within the competence of the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation? Speaking of Russia and other countries, what are the potential negative outcomes of the military influencing a country’s foreign policy?
What is the role of the president of the Russian Federation in the country’s foreign policy?
Compare (using help from your professor) Russia’s foreign policy institutions with similar foreign policy institutions in a different country. You may select the United States as an example. Compose a list of similarities and differences. Discuss them in class. Describe your personal view: How open to the public’s control should a country’s foreign policy be? How significant should the role of the public be in a country’s foreign policy?
Federal Security Service
of the Russian Federation (in English, commonly abbreviated as FSB) is the centralized system of federal services performing security-related tasks.
Institutional foreign policy
Established institutional practices and identifiable political interests that do not shift unexpectedly.
Personalized foreign policy
Policy based on the immediate interests and choices, rational or not, of the leader and the most powerful political elites.
The legislative body elected by popular vote (Russia’s national parliament).
Valdai International Discussion Club
An informal group of international scholars, political experts, and journalists who discuss Russia, its domestic and foreign policy, and its role in the world. The Valdai Club holds annual sessions after which the participants usually meet with Vladimir Putin for an informal exchange of opinions on the most important issues.
Vertical of power
The subordination of policies of all government institutions to the president and his administration.
The communist concept of the global and rapid transformation of political power to replace capitalism.
go back to reference Brown, Archie (1997). The Gorbachev Factor. New York: Oxford University Press. CrossRef Brown, Archie (1997). The Gorbachev Factor. New York: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
go back to reference Golz, A. (2007). “Rossiyskaya Imperiya i Rossiyski Militarism” [Russian Empire and Russian Militarism], in I. M. Kliamkin (ed.), Posle imperii. Moscow: Fond Liberal’naia missiia. Golz, A. (2007). “Rossiyskaya Imperiya i Rossiyski Militarism” [Russian Empire and Russian Militarism], in I. M. Kliamkin (ed.), Posle imperii. Moscow: Fond Liberal’naia missiia.
go back to reference Mearsheimer, John J. (2014). “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin.” Foreign Affairs, September/October, 93 (5), 77–89. Mearsheimer, John J. (2014). “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin.” Foreign Affairs, September/October, 93 (5), 77–89.
- Institutions and Decision-Makers in Russian Foreign Policy
- Macmillan Education UK
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- Chapter number
- Chapter 3