Building: Faculty of Arts Floor: Ground Room: FA001
The current Ukraine crisis appears to be anything but a case study for exploring the issue of international peace. While Russia has engaged in hostilities in Ukraine to advance its material interests, it has pursued arguably more peaceful paths for advancing its agenda with the West. More specifically, Russia has utilized humanitarian arguments to justify its actions in Crimea. It may have done so to avoid transforming a regional conflict into a broader military confrontation with the West. Russia’s humanitarian arguments centered on a doctrine of responsibility to protect, albeit a version which diverges from the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. The West has largely rejected these humanitarian justifications. Yet Russia continues to make them, despite Western sanctions. It may be trying to create conditions conducive to the emergence of a permissive norm which allows it to peaceably, vis-à-vis the West, pursue its regional interests. This paper explores these matters, applying Finnemore and Sikkink’s norm dynamics model to examine Russian rhetorical action regarding its actions in Ukraine. In doing this, this paper illustrates how under-utilized this model has been because scholars have primarily used it to explain the advocacy of liberal norms by non-state entrepreneurs.