How the West Lost Russia: Explaining the Conservative Turn in Russian Foreign Policy

In: Russian Politics
Nicolai N. Petro University of Rhode Island,

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A decade ago many Russian analysts concluded that the West’s efforts to preserve its global superiority would be futile and the emergence of a polycentric world was inevitable. To benefit from this transition Russia should adopt a strategy that combined great power realism and “traditional” Russian values. This strategy, first elaborated in Vladimir Putin’s Valdai Speech of 2013, is known as ‘Civilizational Realism’. This article describes the emergence of Russia’s new sense of self-worth, how and why Russia gradually lost faith in the West as a potential partner, and how, through the internal adoption and external projection of conservative multicultural values, Russia hopes to forge a new, and more pluralistic, world order.

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