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Turning Away From Your Slavic Brother: The Effects Of Identity On Relations Between Russia And Belarus

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Date Issued:
2012
Abstract/Description:
On September 24, 2011, it was announced that Putin would run for president once again in 2012. The reaction in the West was that (")the more things change, the more they stay the same.(") The Western conception of the post-Cold War Russia is often one of remarkable consistency since the turn of the century. This Western narrative focuses on an autocratic Putin reigning over his resurgent and confrontational Russia. Does this narrative tell the story of Russia today, or does it instead obscure it? To answer this I have elected to analyze Russian identity and how it relates to Russia's foreign policy with Belarus, traditionally a close ally of Russia. Analyzing news articles from state-owned Russia Today, I look at changes in reporting and Russian identity over time. I argue that a shift in Russian identity towards a more liberal outlook between 2006 and 2010 motivated a degradation of relations with Belarus. I argue that once the simplified narrative of a resurgent Russia is peeled back, a closer look reveals competing identities and competing interest groups in Russia's domestic arena. Finally I conclude that not only does identity play a pivotal role in Russia's relations, but also that researching identity is important in that it gives us a window into a fairly closed regime that lies at the center of the global stage. Discovering how Russian identity reacts to and influences foreign policy can offer insight into the domestic framework of contemporary Russia, as well as offer us an understanding of how central ideas are to crafting the world around us.
Title: Turning Away From Your Slavic Brother: The Effects Of Identity On Relations Between Russia And Belarus.
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Name(s): Matejka, Matt, Author
Morales, Waltraud, Committee Chair
Dolan, Thomas, Committee CoChair
Houghton, David, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: On September 24, 2011, it was announced that Putin would run for president once again in 2012. The reaction in the West was that (")the more things change, the more they stay the same.(") The Western conception of the post-Cold War Russia is often one of remarkable consistency since the turn of the century. This Western narrative focuses on an autocratic Putin reigning over his resurgent and confrontational Russia. Does this narrative tell the story of Russia today, or does it instead obscure it? To answer this I have elected to analyze Russian identity and how it relates to Russia's foreign policy with Belarus, traditionally a close ally of Russia. Analyzing news articles from state-owned Russia Today, I look at changes in reporting and Russian identity over time. I argue that a shift in Russian identity towards a more liberal outlook between 2006 and 2010 motivated a degradation of relations with Belarus. I argue that once the simplified narrative of a resurgent Russia is peeled back, a closer look reveals competing identities and competing interest groups in Russia's domestic arena. Finally I conclude that not only does identity play a pivotal role in Russia's relations, but also that researching identity is important in that it gives us a window into a fairly closed regime that lies at the center of the global stage. Discovering how Russian identity reacts to and influences foreign policy can offer insight into the domestic framework of contemporary Russia, as well as offer us an understanding of how central ideas are to crafting the world around us.
Identifier: CFE0004249 (IID), ucf:49542 (fedora)
Note(s): 2012-05-01
M.A.
Sciences, Political Science
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): identity -- Russia -- Belarus -- international relations -- foreign policy -- constructivism -- Matejka -- Tsygankov -- Hopf -- Putin -- Medvedev -- Lukashenko -- Eurasianism -- liberalism -- statism
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004249
Restrictions on Access: public 2012-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

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