Research event

Russia in the Contested Neighbourhood: A Neoclassical Realist Approach to Regional Primacy

A presentation by Adriana Cuppuleri. The event is part of the International Security Research Colloquium hosted by the Centre for International Security.

Under what conditions has Russia adopted assertive foreign policies towards neighbouring states in order to pursue regional primacy? Scholars usually map Russia’s foreign policy according to theoretical approaches that are generated either from the individual, the state or the structural levels of analysis. However, each of them, taken individually, cannot account for Russia’s foreign policy across space and time.

In her study, Adriana Cuppuleri analyses the complex interplay between causal factors by developing a neoclassical realist model of Russia’s pursuit of regional primacy in the contested neighbourhood with the EU. For this, the study employs fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) at a cross-case level and Process Tracing at within-case level. fsQCA aims to test the explanatory value of systemic conditions such as external pressure in the regional neighbourhood by other regional powers and membership of target states in a military alliance (i.e. NATO); and of domestic conditions such as Russia’s status recognition by the West, and Russia’s state capacity. This analysis is based on 27 cases of Russia’s interaction with post-Soviet states between 1992 and 2015. Process Tracing is employed as a confirmatory method for within-case analysis.