The Putin doctrine? How the ideas of a 20th century thinker sidelined by the Soviets help shape Russia’s new foreign policy – Valdai Club


But what is most interesting from an international relations perspective are the ideas that form the basis of Putin’s new Russian doctrine of IR, which treats civilization as a powerful frame of reference in interstate relations. In the cases of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, cultures can transcend other formal associations. “The Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians,” writes Putin, “are [all] the heirs of ancient Rus, which was the largest state in Europe. The suggestion here is that civilizational ties could be more stable, deeper and even more human than intergovernmental relations based on national and intermediary interests by the current political leaders of the three countries.

Putin’s article opens at least four interconnected avenues of interpretation of how Russia can behave internationally and structure its relations with the immediate neighborhood.

This may signal that Russia is joining other powerful actors like China, India, Iran and other “revisionist states” in seeing world politics as entering a new era defined by the multiplicity of cultural discourses and civilizational, in which civilization becomes one of the crucial elements. elements of the new structure of international relations (in addition to states, international organizations and law, and regional / global social movements).

This may suggest that the Russian leader believes that the long period of the past three centuries in which the West has been a dominant economic, cultural and political force is not only coming to an end but is being replaced by a new paradigm. This paradigm presents the emergence of the civilizational model of international relations and regional dialogue, in which cultural / civilizational similarities and differences will perhaps influence global models of collaboration, confrontation and dependence.

It may also mean that in the world of civilizations, some small and medium-sized states (such as Belarus or Ukraine) will have to make crucial choices that may reshape the current form of power-based geopolitics to adapt. to a membership-based model. to a regionally or globally dominant civilization.

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