The Russian Dilemma

Security, Vigilance and Relations with the West from Ivan III to Putin


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About the Book

From the end of the Mongol Empire to today, Russian history is a tale of cultural, political, economic and military interaction with Western powers. The depth of this relationship has created a geopolitical dilemma: Russia has persistently been both attracted to and at odds with Western ideas and technological development, which have tended to threaten Russia’s sense of identity and create destabilizing divisions within society. Simultaneously, deepening involvement in Western international affairs brought meddling in Russian domestic politics and military invasion. This book examines how the centuries-old Western threat has shaped Russia’s political and strategic structures, creating a culture of security rooted in vigilance against Western influence and interference.

About the Author(s)

Gordon M. Hahn is an expert for Corr Analytics and a senior researcher for the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribus Group. He lives in Mountain View, California.

Bibliographic Details

Gordon M. Hahn
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 470
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8187-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4434-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction. Aspiring to Foes: Russia’s “Constitutive Other” and ­Security-Vigilance Norm 3
Cycle I: 1505–1620s
Chapter 1. From Religious to Political Others: Muscovite Russia’s First Western Encounters 27
Chapter 2. The Smuta and the Birth of Russia’s Security Norm 57
Cycle II: 1630–1825
Chapter 3. From Smuta to Early Enlightenment and Schism 89
Chapter 4. Peter the Great and the Great Dislocation 114
Chapter 5. Europeanization and Dislocation in the 18th Century 132
Chapter 6. Russia’s Security Dilemma Manifest 168
Cycle III: 1826–1922
Chapter 7. Cursed Solutions: Reactionary Reconstitution and Reformist Displacement 207
Chapter 8. Devils: West and East 243
Chapter 9. The Whirlwind: Russian February–German October 277
Cycle IV: 1922–2008
Chapter 10. The Devils in Power: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Vigilantism 299
Chapter 11. From “Common European Home” to the Eurasian Alternative 336
Conclusion. The Russian Dilemma and Security Norm 370
Chapter Notes 379
Bibliography 441
Index 459