Vol 16, No 3 (2016): International Conflicts: Quo Vadis?


Military Exercises and the Dangers of Misunderstandings: the East-West Crisis of the Early 1980s

Heuser B.


This article analyzes the risks of mutual misunderstanding caused by NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO) large-scale military command-and-staff exercises in 1983. The problem of mutual misunderstanding is analyzed in the context of the classic «Security Dilemma» elaborated in 1951 by J. Gertz and adapted to military exercise issues by D. Adamski. In spite of all the available knowledge, analysis, intelligence and other forms of communication between the West and the East, a problem of mutual misunderstanding appeared between two blocs. This was highlighted during the command and staff exercises of the NATO countries «Able Archer 83» when the world was put on the brink of nuclear war. Given that the Western countries have considered exercises as a deterrence of possible attack by the WTO, the Eastern Bloc countries considered such activities directly threatening their military security. According to the author, these were military exercise carried out by both sides, which represented the most important factor of the sharp deterioration in relations between the West and the East in the early 1980s following the period of détente in the 1970s. The article is based on a large empirical data, archives data, personal interviews by the author of the participants of these events.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):391-404
pages 391-404 views

New Ideological Struggle?

Karaganov S.A.


Instead of predicted end of ideology and ideological competition due to presumed 15-20 years ago final victory of Western liberalism and democracy the world is sliding into the new ideological struggle. There are many reasons for it: appeal of the West is declining, the democratization and renationalization of international polities push to the fore new leaders and most of them profess traditional and nationalist values. New post-European values did not get hold in Russian society seeking old values it has been cut off during the 70 years of the Communist experiment and also due to the fact that the West pursued a neo-Weimar policy of geopolitical expansion, which provoked defensive reaction to everything coming from the West. The intensity of the new ideological struggle is exacerbated by the moral and ideological vacuum created by modernization, which pushes aside many traditional religious and moral values. Author concludes that mutual resentment between Russia and Europe is quite strong right now, but it’s better to build good-neighborly relations while understanding that we are different. And it’s needed to try hard to avoid a new systemic military-political confrontation that is desired by many forces.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):405-411
pages 405-411 views

Security Theories of Third World

Khudaykulova A.V.


This article analyzes the security studies in the “Third World”. The evolution of the conceptual apparatus in the field of security studies and in the understanding of the “Third World” is given. The author provides us an analysis of the security issues in the so-called “post-colonial” countries in the years of “cold war” and in the post-bipolar period, defines the domain of security for the developing world and the current agenda. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of the security concepts of the late XX century - the “security of the person”, “securitization”, “humanitarian intervention” - which are of particular concern to countries of the “Third World”. An alternative format of the “Third World” in the categories of postmodern, modern and premodern worlds is given, the term of “non-Westphalian” state is used as well. Basic characteristics of the “Third World” in the socio-economic and political spheres are provided. The author emphasizes that the state of security of the “Third World” is fundamentally different from that of the developed Western countries, since most threats in non-Western countries, does not come from the outside, but from within. Accordingly, the non-Western security theory does not focus exclusively on military issues and explore a wide range of issues of civil nature - economic, political, social, environmental and development challenges, as well as poverty and underdevelopment.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):412-425
pages 412-425 views

The Use of Force in Modern Counter-Terrorism: International Legal and Political Aspects

Gromoglasova E.S.


The paper reviews the recent practice of the use of military force in extraterritorial counter-terrorist operations. It argues that nowadays we're witnessing a new stage in the 'war on terror' that's still going on. Although the most of the modern counter-terrorist operations like, for example, the US-led coalition against ISIL in Iraq are being conducted at the request of the affected government, the major risks of expanding and misuse of the right on individual or collective self-defense enshrined in the UN Charter are still present. This can be illustrated by reference to the US air strikes on ISIL in Syria that have been undertaken without consent of Syrian government. But the challenges emerging from 'failed states' and rise of new more radical and militant terrorist movements (ISIL, Ash-Shabaab, Boko Haram and others) change the perceptions of legality of extraterritorial counter-terrorist force. The approach which reaffirms responsibility of the state for suppressing terrorist groups operating from within its territory seems to become more and more acceptable. Accordingly, if the state can't suppress terrorist activity it should accept the counter-terrorist intervention on its territory. Nevertheless, jus in bello norms (first of all international humanitarian law) remain stringent legal framework for actual use of counter-terrorist military force. The paper concludes that overall political legitimacy of the modern military counter-terrorist operations should be accessed in terms of their humanitarian impact and consequences.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):426-436
pages 426-436 views

A Comprehensive Approach to Post-Conflict Reconstruction: German Experience in Afghanistan

Trunov P.O.


As a part of a larger research project on complex linkages between security and development implemented by the Center for Security and Development Studies at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, this paper examines the complex dilemmas of pursuing comprehensive approach to post-conflict reconstruction with an example of Federal Republic of Germany’s experience with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The first section depicts the background of deployment of the PRTs on Afghan territory. The second section compares the U.S., British and German models of PRTs and assesses the role of those teams as vehicles of close civil-military, interagency coordination. The third and the fourth sections identify respectively characteristic features of the German PRTs’ activities in Kunduz and Badakhshan provinces and the main obstacles that hindered the achievement of key objectives. The conclusion contains a concise assessment of effectiveness and efficiency of PRTs as a mechanism of addressing complex challenges of post-conflict reconstruction and transition to peaceful development. It also postulates that the PRT model, regardless of some objective difficulties faced by various German agencies, may be very relevant in the future in fulfilling a revised agenda of the German foreign and defense policies in the XXI century.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):437-450
pages 437-450 views

Conflicts in Africa and Major Powers: Proxy Wars, Zones of Influence or Provocative Instability

Tafotie J.R., Idahosa S.O.


The article analyses the different nature of conflicts that have occurred in Africa since the end of Cold War. A special attention is given to the role of external factors in the process of conflict evolution and the escalation of violence on the African continent. In effect, this paper demonstrates through a critical examination of the meaning of proxy war as, zone of influence or provocation of instability as a strategy and an analysis of its employment by the United States and China, France etc. in Africa. The new potential confrontation between the United States and China as in Sudan, France in its former coloniesis not only based on a clash of world views about the structure and nature of international relations and security but largely over the control of strategically vital energy resources based in Africa. The authors conclude that this ultimately creates permanent tensions or bitter conflicts between the actors and African populations as a factor that have negative impact on the peace and stability of continent. According to the context of superpower conflict strategies, this paper critically examines, zone of influence, provoking of instability or proxy war as a viable national strategy of nuclear armed great powers in advancing and/or defending their global national interests in a bipolar/multipolar international system.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):451-460
pages 451-460 views

Geopolitical Dimensions of the Syrian Conflict

Wakim J., Kuznetsov A.A.


This article touches upon geopolitical dimension of the Syrian conflict. The authors consider in details regional subdivision of Syria and relations of Syrian regions with border countries. The authors of the article conclude that Arab nationalism as the Syrian state ideology and positioning of Syria as the center of Arab world were indispensable taking into account multiconfessional nature of Syria. Authors study the geostrategical doctrine of Hafez Asad (1970-2000) aimed to restore the territorial integrity of Syria (return of the Golan heights) and creation of Great Syria, bring to light reasons of the alliances of Syria with Soviet Union and Iran. The authors discover reasons of hostility toward Syria from such actors as United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey. The hostile attitude of the US political elites toward the Syrian state can be explained by American intention to undermine strategic partnership between Syria and Iran. Enmity of Saudi hostility toward the Syrian regime began with the assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri (2005). This action destroyed the political balance in Lebanon and was considered by the Saudis as a threat to their interests. Article contains analysis of the Syrian role in the Saudi-Iranian rivalry. To opinion of the authors, Turkish involvement in the Syrian conflict began with the attempts of the regime’s change in this country and evolved to the defense of Turkish national interests from the Kurdish factor. The authors make some conclusions about the role of US, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey in the Syrian conflicts. In the article it’s made some forecasts about the development of Syrian conflict. The authors especially predict possibility of disintegration of the Syrian state according to spheres of influence of the external actors involved to this conflict with Mediterranean coast, Homs and Damascus under the control of government, northern regions of the country under Kurdish control, Raqqa and Deir el Zor probably under Turkish control and the Southern Syria (Hawran) probably under Jordanian control.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):461-472
pages 461-472 views

The USA and “The Arab Spring”: Evaluations of the Russian Expert Community

Kosov A.P.


Russian expert community’s interpretations of US Middle Eastern policy in the context of “the Arab Spring” are considered in the article. This research direction is sufficiently developed in contemporary Russian literature. In particular, there are a number of publications in which current events in the Middle East and US Middle Eastern policy are considered from different positions. The aim of the article is to show Russian evaluations of a role and a place of the USA in events of “the Arab Spring”. The research is based on studies of current publications by Russian authors on the international relations in the Middle East, US foreign policy in 2011-2016 with the application of general scientific and special historical methods. Special attention is drawn to Russian interpretations of an extent of participation of the USA in events of “the Arab Spring”. On the basis of analysis of current publications which are available in the Russian historiography an existence in expert community of three approaches to this problem is noted. The first is characteristic of the politicians and researchers who believe that the USA has acted as the organizer of “the Arab Spring” - a new wave of “the Color revolutions”. The second approach is characteristic of those who deny participation of Americans in the events in the region, indicating the internal reasons. The third approach considers among the reasons of the taken place events in the Arab countries, both the internal political, and foreign policy reasons. Conclusion is made about the influence on the views of many Russian politicians and experts about the US role in the organization of “the Arab Spring” ideology persistent anti-Americanism, which significantly increased in recent years. However, there are not only ideological evaluations considering US actions in the context of implementation of the theory of “controlled chaos” and actions of “world behind the scenes”, but also enough objective, sober estimates of “the Arab Spring” in Russian expert community.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):473-481
pages 473-481 views

Unsettled Conflicts in the Post-Soviet Space in the Analysis of the Western Research Centers

Kurylev K.P., Ngoyan A.L., Palacios E.C., Skudina O.V.


The article considers the ideas of some leading western expert analytical centers about the problems of the conflicts development on the CIS space. The subject of research is the positions of the “think tanks” of the USA, Great Britain, Germany and France. Among a large number of the regional conflicts in the CIS the authors focused attention on the conflicts in the East of Ukraine, in Transnistria and in the Nagorno-Karabakh. Such selection is explained by the acute character and impact of these conflicts on the interests of Russia and the other leading states and the international organizations. The theoretical and methodological background of the article consists of the approaches and methods, which are used by the modern political science for the comprehensive analysis of the architecture and structure of the international relations, the mechanism of formation and functioning of the certain states’ foreign policy. The research has the cross-disciplinary character and is made at the intersection of such disciplines as history, political science, conflictology and the international relations. The authors reveal positions of the western “think tanks” on the genesis, evolution and the potential settlement of the armed conflicts in the CIS region. The article highlights the estimates of the western “think tanks” of the reasons of the “frozen” conflicts on the post-USSR space, of the Russian Federation’s role and the participation of external actors (the EU and the USA) in their settlement. Giving the research of the approaches of the western expert analytical centers, the authors reach a conclusion about a set course of the western political scientists’ estimates. It reflects in assignment of a unilateral responsibility for a conflict inhaling or its unleashing on Russia, or on the party of a conflict, closed to the official Moscow. It is particularly obvious in the Ukrainian crisis: the Western countries consider our state as its main initiator. According to the authors, such a narrow-mindedness is coused not by the incompetence of the experts of the “think tanks”, but by the political course and tasks of the power structures of those countries. The western “think tanks”, especially in the USA, are capable to participate directly or indirectly in the political decision-making process. This points to the fact of the political prejudice of the activity of these “think tanks”.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):482-493
pages 482-493 views

Western Balkans in the Light of Regional Security Complex Theory

Pejic J.


This article analyzes an acute international security issues of Western Balkans sub-complex using Regional Security Complex Theory (hereinafter RSCT) as an advanced theoretical approach. The study allows not only to identify the key elements and main features of RSCT, but also to form an idea of the Western Balkans as an extremely heterogeneous and conflict region. With the aim to confirm RSCT on the example of Western Balkans sub-complex, the author raised number of tasks, among which are: application of four levels of RSCT in order to analize such Western Balkans security dynamics as relations between the countries in the region, relations of the region with neighboring regions and the role of global powers in the region; another task of the paper is analysis of Western Balkans as a sub-complex within the European Regional security complex. This issue is one of the reasons why Balkan itself deserves special attention of RSCT, as during the 90s there was a possibility for it to form a special RSC, due to all specifics that were taking place at that time. As a result of research, the author gives three possible scenarios for Western Balkans sub-complex to become part of European Regional Complex in the future. The main conclusions of the article stress that Western Balkans retain their specificity, which requires a separate study and a special approach, and also confirm that RSCT is an effective methodological tool, which allows researchers to analyze regional international political processes in the field of Western Balkans security.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):494-504
pages 494-504 views

Evolution of Relations Between Russia and Uzbekistan

Bazileva S.P., Chernenko E.F.


In the article the relations of Uzbekistan and Russia are examined in the context of making integration process more active in Eurasia based on the example of EAEU and SCO, proceeding in the period of increased turbulence of world system in 2014-2016, the aggravations of Russian relations with the West in connection with the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions and reorientation of Russian foreign economic policy to the East. The authors examine the development of Uzbek - Russian relations on the wide historical background in the light of interests of both countries, possibilities of increasing their competitive ability under the conditions of strengthening the crisis phenomena in the contemporary world as a whole, and on the Eurasian economic space, in particular. The association of the efforts of the two countries in the fight against international terrorism - one of the most serious calls of the present, participation in the solution of the vital problems of international safety on the continent within the framework of integrated associations could give additional political weight to both countries. The ability of Uzbekistan and Russia to search for and to find compromises in the process of regulating debatable questions of political and economic interactions is shown. In the article the attention is paid to the unrealized possibilities of the Uzbek - Russian relations, which are considered as the possible factor of the development of integration process in Eurasia. The authors consider the absence of any other alternative to further positive development of relations between Russia and Uzbekistan and to strengthening the many-sided contacts between them, which sources were placed in the distant past. The idea is defended about the fact that joining EAEU could bring essential political and economic dividends to Uzbekistan. Through the economic collaboration with Uzbekistan Russia can have the specific effect on its integrative policy.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):505-520
pages 505-520 views

Changing Priorities in Strategic Documents of Donor Countries in 2014-2016: Security, Sustainable Development Agenda and Other Factors

Maximova A.V.


The article discusses driving forces behind the changing strategies of the bilateral donors of international development assistance. It considers the donors that have adopted their strategies in 2014-2016. The group comprises mainly traditional development actors, however a new European donor Poland and a reemerging donor Russia have also made it into the sample. To identify the changing narratives and potential driving forces behind them the strategies were analyzed in pairs: a strategy adopted in 2014-2016 and its predecessor. Based on the analysis four clusters of the potential driving forces were identified: new global development agenda, security concerns, economic interests and foreign policy considerations. The article demonstrates how donors are becoming more open about their security and political interests in provision of development aid. This trend is especially visible in countries such as the U.K., Japan, Russia, and Switzerland. Australia seems to prioritize the economic dimension of the mutual interest in development assistance. Finland, Germany and Poland are adhering to the global sustainable development agenda.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):521-537
pages 521-537 views

French-Armenian Privileged Relationships: an Attempt to Use Applied Analysis

Khachaturyan D.A.


France takes a priority position in the foreign policy of Armenia. Bilateral relations are at high level and both countries characterize them as privileged relationships. To clarify the structure of relations between the countries, the author realizes a content analysis of the activity reports of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, quantitative analysis of the bilateral visits and meetings, friendship groups at the parliament of France, decentralized cooperation, as well as vote in the UN General Assembly and cooperation at the PACE are analyzed. Armenian-French privileged relationships correspond to the coincidence of more than half of the voting of the countries in the UN General Assembly. Regular visits of the President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Diaspora of Armenia to France show the important French vector in foreign policy of Armenia. Due to the activities of the Armenian community of France, Armenia can rely on the group of supporters not only in the French Parliament, but, respectively, in the PACE, the European Parliament, etc., and decentralized co-operation with France develops dynamically and is not inferior to the interaction of Armenia with other countries in this area.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):538-548
pages 538-548 views

Peace Studies in Russia: Origins, Current Status and Trends. Interview with Professor Victor A. Kremenyuk, Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Science

Chikrizova O.S.


The interview is devoted to analysis of peculiarities of Peace Studies in Russia and methodology of the present-day conflicts resolution. The scientist is concerning prerequisites of the origin of the Soviet school of peace studies during the Cold War when the problem of resources exhaustion arouse. Victor A. Kremenyuk uncovers differences between Russian and Western schools of peace studies. The researcher reviews specificities of resolution process for the most difficult present0day conflicts, especially knot of contradictions in the Middle East and crisis in Russia - U.S. relations. The scientist emphasizes importance of control over the conflict status and negotiations as a tool of conflict resolution. He focuses on a complexity of a conflict resolution process and necessity to take into account a lot of different factors during negotiations, and also how important for the Great Powers to realize their global responsibility. By the example of IIASA the researcher demonstrates a role of such international scientific centers as a link between scientific community and authorities.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):549-562
pages 549-562 views

Conflicts in the XXI Centure. Interview with Professor Johan Galtung (Norway)

Savicheva E.M.


Johan Galtung, professor of Peace Studies, was born in 1930 in Oslo, Norway. He is a mathematician, sociologist, political scientist and the founder of the discipline of Peace Studies. He founded the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO, 1959), the world's first academic research center focused on Peace Studies, as well as the influential Journal of Peace Research (1964). He has helped to found dozens of other peace centers around the world. He is currently the president of the Galtung-Institute for Peace Theory & Peace Practice. He has mediated in over 150 conflicts between states, nations, religions, civilizations, communities, and persons since 1957. His contributions to peace theory and practice include conceptualization of peace-building, conflict mediation, reconciliation, nonviolence, theory of structural violence, theorizing about negative vs. positive peace, peace education and peace journalism. In his interview, he speaks about today’s conflicts, the sources of cultural violence and the golden rule of mediation. He also touches the problem of regional security in Europe and Asia, development of Peace Studies and the greatest challenges facing the world today.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):563-566
pages 563-566 views

Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s Role in the Settlement of the Internal Algerian Conflict

Sapronova M.A.


This article presents political activity of the Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who has been holding this office since 1999. During this period Algeria has undergone serious political transformations, ended civil war, restored its positions in the international arena, made a step forward in the economic sphere. The personality of the president - consummate politician and diplomat contributed to this success. He has managed to draw the Algerian society together in tough times and suggested the ways towards the exit from the crisis. Under the direction of Abdelaziz Bouteflika Algeria have had great success particularly in fighting against terrorism. During the 2000s the authorities have made to reduce drastically the level of violence, practically suppress the radical Islamic movement and initiate process of social harmony recovery in the society. Bouteflika’s holdover for 4th period have proved that significant part of the Algerians keeps supporting the president’s policy and considers him as a national leader. Carrying out the political reforms in 2011 initiated by the president let Algeria avoid some new revolutionary disturbances that conflagrated other Arab countries.

Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):567-577
pages 567-577 views

Review of the Book by K.P. Kurilev. Ukraine’s Foreign Policy in the Context of a Regional Security System in Europe

Jhangiryan V.G., Stanis D.V., Smolik N.G.



Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):578-583
pages 578-583 views

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Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):584-587
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Vestnik RUDN. International Relations. 2016;16(3):588-590
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