Russian Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy: Meeting 21st Century Challenges

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Foreign policy is about setting the policy aims and goals of a given country in the competitive environment of international affairs. When analyzing it, one should pay attention to many factors, namely, economic and energy potential, military-technical means, the presence of trade and economic partners, political weight and state image in the international arena, state membership in various international organizations. You can also highlight a number of tools that also play a large role in the foreign policy of states. As a specific instrument of foreign policy, public diplomacy concerns the regulation and management of international relations with various global publics in order to realise those foreign policy aims and goals. Specifically, public diplomacy intends to create a positive reputation and brand of the country, simultaneously increasing the country’s soft power potential, which is based on external and internal sources. This article intends to track and analyse the challenges and the role played by Russian public diplomacy in terms of meeting the challenges of the country’s foreign policy agenda in the 21st century. These challenges have been in a state of transformation as the nature of the environment of international relations changed. As a result, Russian public diplomacy has needed to evolve along with the changes at the global level and consequently the shifting demands enshrined in the foreign policy concepts. There are several identified distinct political policy periods noted: attempts to integrate into the Western-led global order; cooling relations with the United States dominated global order; and preparing for multi-polar and a post-Western global order.

About the authors

Greg Simons

Uppsala University; Turiba University; Ural Federal University

Author for correspondence.

Associate Professor, Researcher, the Humanitarian Institute at Ural Federal University in Russia; Researcher, the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES), Uppsala University; Lecturer, the Department of Communication Science, Leading Researcher, the Business Technology Institute, Turiba University

Uppsala, Sweden; Riga, Latvia; Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation


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