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Center for Security Studies

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Why Study Emotions in International Relations?

Image courtesy of US Government/Wikimedia.

This article was originally published by E-International Relations (E-IR) on 8 March 2018.

Looking around the globe today it does not take long to see that world politics is awash with emotions. Nations adopt policy standpoints that suggest an acute anxiety of an untrustworthy and hostile ‘outside’. The same countries can be, paradoxically, themselves divided by emotional legacies left by historical grievance and injustice.  Military insurgent and extremist groups function through the strategic manipulation of fear and terror. States continue to talk tough, seeking to intimidate and deter ‘rogue’ counterparts with the threat of sanctions and military action.

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Electoral Turnout in Russian Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, 1991 – 2016

Data sources: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, at <https://www.idea.int/data-tools/data/voterturnout>, Central Electoral Commission of Russia, at <http://www.izbirkom.ru/region/izbirkom>, and the CD-rom Rossiiskievybory v tsifrakh i kartakh (Mercator and IGRAN 2007).

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This graphic tracks overall voter turnout in Russian presidential and parliamentary elections from 1991 to 2016. To find out more about voter turnout trends and electoral mobilization in Russian federal elections, see Inga Saikkonen’s contribution to the latest edition of the Russian Analytical Digest here. To check out the CSS’ full collection of graphs and charts, click here.

The Confrontation Between the West and Russia: A Tale of Concentric Circles

Image courtesy of European External Action Service/Flickr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Carnegie Moscow Center on 8 February 2018.

Much like Europeans do not fully grasp the angst generated by prospects of Western-incited regime change in Russia, Russians dismiss far too easily how toxic in the EU is Moscow’s political and financial backing of European extreme right-wing movements. Both are viewed as direct threats to existential interests. So long as that deep-seated mistrust regarding each other’s destructive intent toward one another prevails, channels for cooperation will remain limited, and cooperation at the global level will be ad hoc and transactional.

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An EU-Russia Modus Vivendi in the East?

Image courtesy of Etereuti/Pixabay

This article was originally published by the Carnegie Moscow Center on 17 January 2018.

There are signs that the EU and Russia are managing their relations better in their common neighborhood. Neither has achieved its ambitions in countries such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Although a “grand bargain” is not possible at the moment, the two sides have a common interest in halting a deterioration in relations.

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China-Russia Security Cooperation: Geopolitical Signalling with Limits

Image courtesy of padrinan/pixabay.

This article was originally published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) on 16 January 2018.

Summary

China-Russia enhanced security cooperation is a form of geopolitical signalling. Despite closer relations, the coming years will tell whether such cooperation is sustainable as the relationship is expected to turn increasingly asymmetrical due to China’s continuing rise. It is unlikely that China’s relationship with Russia would turn into an actual military alliance in the future, however. China’s strategic partnership with Russia is the most comprehensive among its strategic partnerships. The two countries have also enhanced coordination in internationally topical issues. In June 2017, China and Russia signed a general plan for bilateral military cooperation for the years 2017–2020.

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