Great Eurasian Power in the Stream of Changes


The world politics of the age is characterized by the sharpening of the global challenges and at the same time blockage of many of the multilateral mechanisms, providing international decision making as well as by deterioration of legal framework of the political orders. These conditions are too much extent a product of the transition to the new stage of globalization, which has not received relevant conceptualization in scholarly assessments. However, the departure from previous 70-years period in the evolution of the global system is quite visible (although, the latter was not homogeneous either as it included at least two major sub-periods). Despite the high uncertainty of the current global trends, one of its identifiable characteristics becomes the rise of cultural and civilization dimension in global discrepancies. In the previous period the impact of culture on international politics was masked by the conditions of bipolarity and interstate rivalry. In the 1990s its growing acknowledgement manifested itself in a simplified model of the “Clash of Civilizations”. The evidences in favour of this concept precluded deep thinking regarding the real cultural codes of individual societies. Meanwhile, without such in depth understanding unprepared reaction to the social, economic, humanitarian and political challenges leads to the consequences which are far from expected. For example, without analysis of the civilization and cultural roots of the Russian society it is difficult to assess the place of the Russian state in international system and patterns of its behavior. The study of national features of individual societies, however, could be productive only when  they  are compared with more general regularities. In this regard, the Western analysts often attribute Russia some patterns which are shared by all major powers (including the eagerness to protect its interests by force when it is perceived necessary). The myths about Russia are often supported by  an  unsophisticated approach, built upon the mirror vision of the West. It ignores the motives of national survival in Russian history and politics. Meanwhile, Russian view of the world is also guided by its messianic perspective, which associates Russian contribution to the international order with the concept of justice.


international order; globalization; Cold War; Russia; civilizational approach; political mission.

Authors: Anatoly Torkunov

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