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The shape of the security order in the former USSR


Sussex, M, The shape of the security order in the former USSR, Conflict in the Former USSR, Cambridge University Press, Matthew Sussex (ed), UK, pp. 35-63. ISBN 978-0-521-76310-3 (2012) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press

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It is symptomatic of the uncertainty surrounding contemporary international politics that two decades after a 'New World Order' was proclaimed, key questions about sources of insecurity remain unanswered. With that uncertainty in mind, this chapter examines the security order emerging in the territory of the former USSR, with a specific focus on the roles played by different institutions and organisations. It finds that the former Soviet space is best characterised as a zone reflecting what I call Russian 'constrained primacy'. There are several reasons for this. To begin with, the prospects for the development of an overarching form of security architecture that satisfies the strategic objectives of regional and extra-regional powers remain bleak. The primary political and military-strategic organisations shaping the former USSR still have fundamentally divergent purposes, with those championed by Moscow acting as vehicles for bloc consolidation, while those reflecting Western interests undermine Russia's attempts to cement its hegemony. Moreover, it is unlikely that institutions promoting economic interdependence can quickly be leveraged to build greater trust and reciprocity, due to the simple fact that actors both within the region and outside it continue to use trade strategically. Finally, recent attempts to propose new types of architecture to manage the post-Soviet space (and European security in general) have fallen prey to fundamental disagreements. As a consequence, the region faces a continued complex balance between a Russian state with rising power but declining centrifugal pull, and the use of primarily economic incentives by external actors to encourage smaller states into multi-vector foreign policies.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:International relations
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:Defence and security policy
UTAS Author:Sussex, M (Dr Matthew Sussex)
ID Code:80193
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2012-10-24
Last Modified:2017-01-11

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