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Strategies of Secession and Counter-Secession

Emerging Powers, Role Contestation and Conflict Behaviour: Is There a Renewed Russia Threat?

Cameron Thies
Arizona State University
Cameron Thies
Arizona State University

Emerging powers like Russia are a puzzle since they are unlike the majority of states for which diplomacy and theory has been developed. Uncertainty about Russia’s rise has led some in foreign policy circles to decry a renewed “Russia threat,” while others see Russia as integrating relatively peacefully into the existing international order. Structural theories of international relations expect that Russia’s rise should lead to conflict. Foreign policy approaches suggest that internal and external shocks may promote change, but recognize many factors also work to promote stability. We investigate whether and how Russia has changed its foreign policy orientation and conflict behavior using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Drawing upon foreign policy role theory, we analyze Russia’s post-WWII identity and examine changes in Russian conflict behavior using statistical techniques designed to capture structural breaks.
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