The influences and sources of post-Soviet Russian foreign policy: a view of the Caucasus region
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The collapse of the Soviet Union and the apparent transition of its successor states to democracy gave rise to the hopes of greater cooperation between the United States and Russia. These hopes were met instead by a contradictory mix of cooperation and confrontation and the growing rumblings of a nationalistic Russia harboring fanciful desires of restoring its fallen empire. The aim of this thesis was to explore the various influences that shaped the goals and means of Russian foreign policy. The approach taken is to examine the synergistic effects of a variety of political, geographic, economic, cultural and ethnic influences rather than searching for a systemic explanation of Russian actions. Using the Caucasus region as a starting point for investigation, this author demonstrates how these factors, in combination and isolation account for the development of Russian action. Equally as important is the recognition that these factors are not new to post-Soviet but previously influenced both Imperial and Soviet Russia.
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