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]
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.