↑ Вгору

Реферат на тему

International Relations


Переглянути реферат


Скачати реферат


Друкувати реферат


Nina Hiekonen 64833

International Relations/ Thesis Writing KKEN61

The Issue of Russian Identity

The issue of identity is important as it provides certain
characteristics of state. It describes a state and resolves questions of
state identification. It characterizes a state in the context of other
states. In addition, it constructs an idea of a state.

Constructivism offers alternative understandings of a number of central
themes in International Relations theory, including the meaning of
anarchy and a balance of power, a relationship between state identity
and interest, and prospects for change in world politics.
Constructivism assumes that actors and structures mutually constitute
each other; anarchy must be interpreted to have a meaning; state
interests are part of the process of identity construction; power is
both material and discursive; and change in world politics is both
possible and difficult (Hopf, 1998:171). For constructivists there is no
“logic” of anarchy apart from the practices that create and instantiate
one structure of identities and interests rather than another; structure
has no existence or causal powers apart from process. Self-help and
power politics are institutions, not essential features of anarchy.
Anarchy is what states make of it (Wendt, 1992:395).

In constructivism, identity is an important creative factor. Identity
plays an important role in world politics. Identities are produced by
interactions, institutions, norms and cultures. In addition, identities
are important for the construction of the state (Wendt 1992). From the
constructivist’s point of view, identities are necessary in
international politics in order to ensure some level of predictability
and order. A world without identities is a world of chaos, a world of
uncertainty. Identities perform necessary functions in a society: they
tell you and others who you are and they tell you who others are. A
state understands others according to the identity it attributes to
them, and reproduces its own identity. (Hopf, 1998:174).

A state identity is formed in a system of states. Hopf assumes that
constructivism, while expecting to uncover differences, identities and
multiple understandings, still assumes that it can specify a set of
conditions under which one can expect to see one identity or another
(Hopf, 1998).

Understanding how identities are constructed, what norms and practices
accompany their reproduction, and how they construct each other is a
major part of the constructivist research program. Constructivism
assumes, a priori, that identities are potentially part of the
constitutive practices of the state, and so, productive of its actions
at home and abroad. Different states behave differently towards other
states, based on the identities of each (Hopf 1998, 174).

Identity of a state in international politics is quite important as it
characterizes the state internally and internationally. Every identity
brings in itself a certain knowledge about the state, its internal and

ain knowledge about the state, its internal and
external issues, as well as state behavior.

One state whose behaviour has received a lot of attention both in recent
years and at present is Russia.

The way Russia sees itself in the world order is a way in which the
state is recognised. It plays on the world stage as a power which has
its world to say in the world politics. An identity of Russia produced
during the history has been re-valued and judged by politicians. The
Russian state has its peculiar role in the world. It is a huge power
which has a specific national identity and which occupies a special
position in the world order. To see Russia's development in history, it
has undergone many changes, and during history the state identity of
Russia was formed. Dramatic changes, which characterized all the history
of Russian Empire were significant and reflected a strong nature of the
Russian state. Its position in the world order defines the Russian state
as a global power.

In this respect, I would propose that throughout the history of Russia,
identity has formed its behaviour, interests, and actions in the world.
It has gone through many changes. At every phase of change, it has
formed its position, and therefore Russian identity in the world system.
For example, an identity of Soviet Union was understood by a Western
world as Russia during the existence of the USSR, despite the fact that
the Soviet Union was trying hard not to have that identity. Likewise,
European identities were incomplete until they encountered peoples in
the Americas and India respectively. The necessity of difference with
another to produce one’s own identity is important (Hopf, ibid.).

In the case of geopolitics, Russia is in strategic position in the
centre of Eurasia. It is divided by Ural mountains into European and
Asian parts. It is a country with huge natural resources, including oil,
gas and gold.

On the other hand, national identity of Russia is very strong. It is
based on hundreds years of history, culture and traditions. The national
identity together with language, traditions, culture, is the main
characteristic of the Russian nation and forms the basis of its
self-definition. The Russian national identity therefore has certain
spiritual and materialistic soil which also includes culture and the
politics of state. The national identity of Russia is its main
identifying character.

From the beginning of the 19th century, thinkers and officials such as
Karamzin, Speransky and others look to Europe for ideas to improve the
Russian political order.

Nicholas V.Riasanovsky in his book “Russian Identities. A Historical
Survey” says that in Kievan Russia the political system was certainly
pluralistic and to an extent even populist and democratic (Riasanovsky
2005 :19).

Russian identity is very unique in Western civilization. Peculiarities
lie within historical development and its specific features in
comparison to Western civilization in general. Russian identity has its

ussian identity has its
own value and is motivated by internal factors, as well as by external
factors, for example in the context of the EU, by other neighboring
states and world politics. Russia becomes more developed and
interconnected in the world and West. In the context of constructivism,
it will sound as a state construction, and a theoretically approved

John O'Loughlin and Paul F. Talbot talk about Soviet Union. The end as a
unified territory and the effect that this disintegration had on the
geopolitical imaginations of Russian people.

Another important issue is Russian Orthodoxy, which influences a Russian
state and culture, as well as forms the Russian identity from its side.
Phrases such as ”81% of Russians identify themselves as Orthodox”, ”To
be Russian is to be Orthodox”, ”The special contribution of Orthodoxy to
the history of Russia is the development of Russiaґs spiritually” are
significant. Special status of Orthodoxy over all other religious
traditions in Russia is significant. On the other hand, the alternatives
to the future of Orthodox church are, for example, removing the church
from the direct participation in politics, as well as keeping the state
separated from the church. Thus the place of the church and other
religious organizations is challenged in Russia.

An international vision on the view of Russian identity is quite
different from the one being developed inside of Russia. National
policies which create internal state identity are quite different from
the ones being developed in other countries. Therefore, I see Russia as
a unique state with certain important values and own national identity.

There are two ends of Russian foreign policy. It balances between East
and West, preferably choosing the West as a path to follow and to
negotiate with (see Karamzin 1803). It grants the West a significant
task of strengthening Russia in the spheres such as economy, politics,
including International Politics. It gives an example to Russia how to
build up the country. It provides significant ties in politics, as well
as economic ties, which strengthen and unify Russia.

Russia is constructing its nation. Russia is building up the nation both
on micro and macro levels. Russia has its behavior in World Politics and
provides strong ties within the economy and politics in the World and
the International system. Russia develops a special nation in the World,
and goes by a continuity in its political life and behavior (see
Borshevsky 2000, Ponarin 2000).

The search for Russian national identity is an important trend. Russians
have easily identified with standard, dominant Russian cultures - be
they Russian Orthodox, Russian Imperial or Russian Soviet. It was other
peoples of the empire, in particular Moslem and Western Christian (Roman
Catholic and Protestant), who had problems. This is why during hundreds
of years Russians did not have a very strong ethnic identity, whereas
their many non-Russian neighbors did. However, this has been changing

er, this has been changing
lately (Ponarin 1999).

Russian national identity has been an important issue especially during
the rule of Putin. There is a certain trend towards strengthening a
prestige and national self-identity of state. The problem of identity
of Russia has been quite actual during the last 15 years and it is
connected with the problem of balance of power. New identity of Russia
is formed, but there is some uncertainty. Russia is undergoing important
changes in politics and it is considered to be a powerful, but quite
unpredictable nation.

Russia is an ethnic community, which brings in itself specificities. It
is a historically built nation which has its significant traits and
which prolongs its existence. It is a strong nation which has survived
through the years of history and change, and it is a nation, which
strongly holds its position in the World and in Eurasia (see Putin

An official point of view by Igor Ivanov (2001) is that Russia's foreign
policy is based on national interests rather than political ideology. He
says that Russia believes in the settlement of international problems on
a collective basis in strict accordance with the rules of international
law will become a fundamental principle of the Russian system. The scope
of Russia's activities is expanding to include international cooperation
aimed at responding to new global threats and challenges (Ivanov 2001:

By reflecting its interests in world politics, the Russian state is in
the world order of states. It has its specific identity and behavior,
therefore it signifies its important role in the world and makes a
commitment to world political composition and behavior. Ideas and
behavior are important in shaping International Relations, and Russia
behaves accordingly to international rules.

In my research, I will study the identity of Russia, its national
identity and their meaning for international politics. I also aim to
show that identity is important in state construction. I will mostly
concentrate on how Russia formed its identity in the past and in the
present, and I will question why it is so important to identify Russia
as a nation. I will look more closer at Russia's history. In addition, I
will make a brief description between the view of Russian identity
introduced by Russian, as well as Western scholars, who reflect ideas
about Russian identity, and I will examine these issues.

I see the subject of my study asking topical, because of the search of
Russian identity nowadays. Due to some changes in the internal and
external politics of Russia, it has brought some changes in the order of
states, as well as it influenced the identity of Russia, the way how the
other states see a Russian nation, and how the identity in Russia is

The question of identity is quite important because it touches
historical, geopolitical and other aspects. Therefore, I will consider
these aspects and place them as the most important in the formation of

tion of
Russian identity. I will use the theory of constructivism to show how
the identity is formed in the aspect of states formation and in the
wider context, including the identity of Russia as a peculiar phenomenon
in history. My reearch will also include the brief observation of the
history of Russia, of Russian identity nowadays and the analysis of the
official position of Russia in politics. I will therefore examine
national specifics, as well as traditions of Russia. Besides, I will
also base my research on other sources of formation of national
identity, including the views of most well-known Russian politicians.

The formation of Russian identity is an interesting topic because of the
constructivist theoretical implications. It is important to see Russia
in the context of state formation, in the context of other states, and
to see which role does Russia plays in the world politics. It is also
important to understand the process, which determines the manner in
which Russia interacts. It is interesting because throughout history,
geopolitics determined Russia's stand in the world, determined its
behavior, as well as provided good economic grounds for development.

A construction of the state is a very important process which involves
formations on the state level. It is important from the view of
constructivism, which sees identity as the main discourse in the
theories of IR. An identity of state shows how state is recognized by
other states, on the international level, and it constructs an idea of
state on the national level. In combination, one may see it serving as a
fundamental value of the state. What kind of Russian state identity is,
and what values are making this identity are discussed in my research.

A state is undergoing a process of construction constantly, under
certain conditions. It changes its identities and values. However, an
identity of state can be defined as a constant value which evolves in
time as a result of some processes inside of the state, and the identity
formation can be recognized as a value, which recognizes state in its
external affairs. However, in my work, I see it also as a process, in
which the state is able to change its identity in time, and because of
internal influences, it changes its identity. In addition, I aim to show
that identity has its core in ethnos of the state, which is in people
who compose this state. I tried to recognize it as a value in identity
formation. All the other defined issues, such as Orthodoxy, or
ideologies can be seen as theoretically approved values which create an
identity of Russian state.

Throughout the history of Russia, there was a struggle for Russian
identity. Russian politicians have a vivid view on the subject. Chubais
says:” ... Russia is experiencing a polysystemic crisis. If the most
acute (samyi ostryi) crisis is economic, then the deepest crisis is over
ideas and identity”. Chubais correctly names the three identity
principles that, when taken together, made Russia possible before the

her, made Russia possible before the
Revolution: Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality. Which is the most
important? For his part, Kara-Murza states:” We’ve talked about
internal identity, self-identity (samoidentichnost’) and ways in which
Russia has not completely worked this out. Now we are talking about
external identity (vneshniaia identichnost’), Russia on the outside
(Rossiia vovne), how the country positions itself in the international

Chugrov states that: “ We have to find a balance. In the Russian
mentality there is a sense of inner conflict and contradiction. I fully
agree with those who call Russia a torn country (razorvannaia strana).”

From my view, Russian state as a constant value brings in itself these
mentioned values, and as process, it can be seen as a state formation
process, in which the Russian state is seen in the system of states, and
it is being ruled by international laws. Therefore, state identity is
being shaped by international structures, and Russian state identity
receives an already different value in international order. In my work,
I aim to mention the importance of the theory of constructivism which
can be applied to the external part of Russian state. The questions are
how the Russian values are seen as given, and a new Russian identity of
state is its policies and behavior in the international system. The view
on the identity of Russia is different from the one which is developed
inside of the state. National politics is seen as a rule inside of a
country, but external policies of state are being recognized as a result
of state rule in time, and the identity which is being developed, is
recognized as Russian state identity. In my work, I try to highlight two
of the existing identities, however, they are not separated but showed
them altogether making an accent on the significance of both. Therefore,
I see these values as additional to each other, and their common aim, to
open up the state identity of the state, as an entity, and as state as
such, as an important value in identity formation.

I try to see more deeply on the constituting values in each of the
visions. I will first see state identity from the perspective of
nationals, who give their own vision on the problem, and I try to make
it clear that internationally, a Russian state can be foreseen as a
state which undergoes certain change in time, and with respect to
policies of the state, Russia generates its state identity and is
accepted in the world system. Then, I gather material which I
considered important to open up the question more deeply. I touch all
the issues that I consider important for reflecting my ideas about
Russian state identity, and I apply to my research question all the
necessary theoretical material to highlight the problem.

In my work, I will examine in detail the constructivist point of view
of Russian identity, as well as consider the main ideologies inside the
Russian state. Those of which I found the most profound and interesting

ound and interesting
will appear in my work, as well as contradictions which those arised.



© 2013 Alive-inter.net Про сайт Alive-inter.net Зворотній зв`язок Відмова від відповідальності