The Ideological Foundations of Eurasian Economic Integration

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Abstract

The article analyzes the significance of Eurasian ideology for modern economic integration, the reasons for its limited use in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and the possibilities and prospects of adapting Eurasianism for the purposes of economic development and integration. Many international economic integration associations (e.g., the EU, USMCA, ASEAN) have a common or similar ideological and value-based foundation, which ensures stronger integration. The EAEU was initially established without a common, integrating ideological basis, although the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, suggested using Eurasianism as the ideology of integration. Sergey Glazyev also wrote about the importance of integrative ideology for the development of the EAEU. However, these attempts to introduce Eurasian ideology for a stronger integration were not supported by the rest of the EAEU countries. This was largely because most EAEU members, including Russia, were driven by short-term economic interests, forgetting about more important long-term, strategic goals. Moreover, there are important ideological divisions in society and in the political elites of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan - primarily the division between adherents of the ideology and practices of Western liberalism, oriented toward EU integration, and supporters of an ideology close to Eurasianism and defense of traditional values, oriented toward the development of integration in the Eurasian space. The reproduction of such divisions in the EAEU countries, as well as the absence or weak development of an integrative ideology, largely determines the inconsistent and not always effective integration in the EAEU. Eurasianism can become an integrative ideology, which, if developed and adapted to modern realities, can ensure a stronger economic integration. This requires overcoming illusions about the possibility of integration of Russia and other post-Soviet countries into the EU, pursuing an active information policy in the Eurasian countries, showing the commonality of geopolitical and economic interests of EAEU countries and the opposition of these interests to those of the USA. Eurasianism can effectively counter the threat of ethnic nationalism in the EAEU countries by emphasizing Eurasian integration as a necessary condition for preserving the sovereignty of Eurasian countries, their traditional values, and the combination of tradition and innovation.

About the authors

Vladimir I. Pantin

Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: v.pantin@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4218-4579

PhD, Dr. of Sc. (Philosophy), Chief, Department of Comparative Political Studies

Moscow, Russian Federation

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