The Concept of Grand Strategy and the Specific Case of the Russian State

  • Sebastian Blidaru National University of Political Studies and Public Administration
Keywords: grand strategy; the Russian Federation; literature review

Abstract

When talking about International Relations, for the last decades, the popularity of the concept of grand strategy has continuously increased. This led to the present situation when we have a disputed term with multiple distinct definitions. In this context, the central objective of this paper is to select and evaluate the existing analyses of the grand strategy of the Kremlin between 2000 and 2019. Another important goal is to clarify the main elements of this concept. To identify the relevant literature, we used a series of academic journals such as Cambridge Journals, ProQuest Central, Sage Journals and others. The present analysis shows that one category of authors argue that the grand strategy of the Russian Federation has become more assertive. According to their opinion, the Moscow administration is willing to use all means available in order to achieve the main objectives: the status of great power; the return to the spheres of influence; and the return to a multipolar international system. A second category explores sub-elements of grand strategy such as the importance of Ukraine, or the impact of the war in Georgia. Finally, one researcher argues that Russia does not have a grand strategy at all. In conclusion, this paper shows that many elements remain to be explored in relation to a topic of such complexity as the grand strategy of the Russian Federation.

Author Biography

Sebastian Blidaru, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration

PhD Candidate

References

American Psychological Association. (2013). The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Berryman, J. (2015) Russian Grand Strategy and the Ukraine Crisis: An Historical Cut. In E. R. Kanet & M. Sussex (Eds.). Power, Politics and Confrontation in Eurasia. Foreign Policy in a Contested Region. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp.186–209.

Betts, R. K. (2012). American Force: Dangers, Delusions, and Dilemmas in National Security. United States of America: Columbia University Press.

Clark, J. R. (2019). Russia's Indirect Grand Strategy. Orbis, 63(2), 225–239. doi: 10.1016/j.orbis.2019.02.002

Ellison, B. J. (2011). Russian Grand Strategy in the South Ossetia War. Demokratizatsiya, 19(4), 343–366.

Jervis, R. (1998). U.S. Grand Strategy: Mission Impossible. Naval War College Review, 51(3), 22–36.

Kanet, E. R., & Sussex, M. (2015). Introduction: Russia, Eurasia and the New Geopolitics of Energy. In M. Sussex & E. R. Kanet (Eds.). Russia, Eurasia and the New Geopolitics of Energy. Confrontation and Consolidation. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1–15.

Krasner, D. S. (2010). “An Orienting Principle for Foreign Policy”. Hoover Institution, October 1 [online]. Available at: https://www.hoover.org/research/orienting-principle-foreign-policy (Accessed: May 9, 2020).

Martel, C. W. (2015). Grand Strategy in Theory and Practice. The Need for an Effective American Foreign Policy. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

McDougall, A. W. (2010). Can the United States do Grand Strategy? Orbis, 54(2), 165–184. doi: 10.1016/j.orbis.2017.08.013

Milevski, L. (2016). The Evolution of Modern Grand Strategic Thought. USA: Oxford University Press.

Monaghan, A. (2013). Putin’s Russia: shaping a grand strategy. International Affairs, 89(5), 1221–1236. doi: 10.1111/1468-2346.12068

Ortmann, S. (2011). The Russian Network State as a Great Power. In Kononenko, V., & Moshes, A. (Eds.). Russia as a network state. What works in Russia when state institutions do not? Great Britain: Palgrave Macmillan. pp.139-163.

Saltzman, I. Z. (2012). Russian Grand Strategy and the United States in the 21st Century. Orbis, 56(4), 547–564. doi: 10.1016/j.orbis.2012.08.003

Silove, N. (2018). Beyond the Buzzword: The Three Meanings of ‟Grand Strategy”. Security Studies, 27(1), 27–57. doi: 10.1080/09636412.2017.1360073

Soare, S. (2011). Studiu introductiv. Pax Americana: Pacea paradoxurilor şi paradouxurile păcii. In C. Layne. Pacea Iluziilor. Marea strategie americană din 1940 până în prezent. București: Polirom. pp. 9-51.

Sussex, M. (2015). From Retrenchment to Revanchism…and Back Again? Russian Grand Strategy in the Eurasian ‘Heartland’. In M. Sussex & E. R. Kanet (Eds.). Russia, Eurasia and the New Geopolitics of Energy. Confrontation and Consolidation. UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 19–41.
Trenin, D. (2017). “Russia’s Evolving Grand Eurasia Strategy: Will it Work?” Carnegie Moscow Center, July 20 [online]. Available at: http://carnegie.ru/2017/07/20/russia-s-evolving-grand-eurasia-strategy-will-it-work-pub-71588 (Accessed: May 9, 2020).

Tsygankov, P. A. (2011). Preserving Influence in a Changing World. Russia’s Grand Strategy. Problems of Post-Communism, 58(2), 28–44. doi: 10.2753/PPC1075-8216580203

Wallander, C. A. (2007). Russia: The Domestic Sources of a Less-than-Grand Strategy. In Tellis, A., & Wills, M. (Eds.). Strategic Asia 2007-2008: domestic politics, change and grand strategy. USA: The National Bureau of Asian Research. pp.139-176.
Published
2020-06-15
Section
Articles