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The new politics of Russia

Interpreting change

By Andrew Monaghan

The new politics of Russia

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Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9405-1
  • Pages: 184
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £15.99
  • Published Date: July 2016
  • BIC Category: International Relations, History, International relations, Comparative politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Russian & Former Soviet Union, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Society & social sciences / International relations, Russia, Society & social sciences / Comparative politics

Description

From the conflict in Syria to the crisis in Ukraine, Russia continues to dominate the headlines. Yet the political realities of contemporary Russia are poorly understood by Western observers and policy-makers. In this highly engaging book, Andrew Monaghan explains why we tend to misunderstand Russia - and the importance of 'getting Russia right'. Exploring in detail the relationship between the West and Russia, he charts the development of relations and investigates the causes of the increasingly obvious sense of strategic dissonance. He also considers the evolution in Russian domestic politics, introducing influential current figures and those who are forming the leadership and opposition of the future. By delving into the depths of difficult questions such as the causes of the Ukraine crisis or the political protests surrounding the 2011-12 elections, the book offers a dynamic model for understanding this most fascinating and elusive of countries.

Reviews

'In this lucid and important book, Andrew Monaghan argues that the West's capacity to understand Russia has been gravely run down. When Russia started reasserting itself in uncomfortable ways, we seized on Putin's personal role as an over-simple explanation. Our response has inevitably been overexcited and muddled.'
Sir Rodric Braithwaite, British Ambassador to the USSR/Russia 1988-92

'After years of less than benign neglect, this study places the "Russian question" front and center as substantively and objectively as possible. A must read for those interested in foreign policy, experts and laymen alike, but especially for junior and senior policy-makers.'
David Glantz, Chief Editor, Journal of Slavic Military Studies

'A timely and sober corrective to the often ill-informed and contradictory analyses of Russia that are dominant today. This book cuts through hysteria and conventional wisdom, and is essential reading for those seeking to understand the challenges of dealing with Russia. '
Richard Connolly, Co-Director, Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies,
University of Birmingham

'Finally, the debate has been taken beyond a polarised discussion of the reasons behind the deterioration in Russia-Western relations. Monaghan gets to the heart of the most complex questions as to why many Western policymakers have struggled to understand Russia's actions and do more than simply react. A must-read for Western decision-makers'.
Sarah Lain, Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute, London

'Those with an existing interest in Russia should read this book. Those without an existing interest-even more so: you have found the place to start. Dr. Monaghan's excellent book is lucid, accessible and could not have come at a better time.'
Megan Edwards, Defence Specialist, Defence Select Committee, House of Commons

Russia often dominates the headlines. Yet its political realities are often poorly understood by Western policymakers and observers because their analyses are based on Western terms of reference, particularly Russia's progress - or lack of it - towards liberal democracy and partnership with the West. This highly engaging book offers a robust critique of such an approach, and points to a different way to interpret Russia.

Andrew Monaghan places the current crisis between the Euro-Atlantic community and Russia caused by the war in Ukraine into the broader and longer-term context of an increasingly obvious strategic dissonance in relations. He also explores the evolving domestic political landscape, unpicking the nature of power in Russia and introducing readers to both the current leadership and those who may emerge to lead Russia in the future.

Andrew Monaghan is an Academic Visitor at St Antony's College, Oxford. Previously, he has directed Russia related research at the NATO Defence College in Rome.

'For the most part, I concur with Monaghan's approach. The New Politics of Russia expertly dismantles the way the West views Russia. The book is a refreshing addition to the literature on Russian-Western relations.'
Paul Robinson, University of Ottawa, Irrussianality

'This is a masterful book and a refreshing read. It's valuable both to those newer to studying Russia and to anyone who finds it hard to navigate between claim and counter-claim (most of us, including myself!). It has gone straight on my student reading list.'
Luke March, FORUM, No. 36, Winter 2017

'A particularly important aspect of the book lies in Monaghan's suggestions for addressing the current problems in the way that Russia is analysed. The book makes the case for greater sensitivity towards linguistic and conceptual differences. His exploration of the development of 'strategic dissonance' between Russia and the West since the collapse of the Soviet Union clearly underlines that point. As Monaghan so forcefully argues, 'getting Russia right' matters so that misunderstandings do not escalate into conflict, and might eventually lead to fruitful cooperation. His book is an important start to a renewed debate on Russia and essential reading for anyone who needs to understand the country.'
Alicky Denton is an independent business intelligence consultant whose work focuses on Russia and the former Soviet Union, The RUSI Journal, Vol 162, 2017 - Issue 1

'Andrew Monaghan's new book may very well be the best-timed volume on Russian politics for decades.
The book should be a must read for new Trump administration policy makers who now face the daunting challenge of interpreting an emboldened Kremlin. It is written in such a way as to be accessible to those well versed on the subject and to the novice. And with Putin almost certain to run for another six-year term in 2018, this new politics of Russia will likely be around for some time.'
Lincoln E. Flake, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, April 2017

Author

Andrew Monaghan is Academic Visitor at St Antony's College, Oxford and Senior Research Fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Programme at The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House

He is Founder and Director of the Russia Research Network. Previously, he directed the Russia research programme in the Research Division of the NATO Defence College, Rome, Italy

Contents

Introduction: 'We've moved on'
1 Russia: the state of surprise
2 Towards strategic dissonance: Russia as 'a Europe apart'
3 'Reflexive transitionology' and the 'end of Putin'
4 Beyond Putin? De-cyphering power in Russia
Conclusion: Reinterpreting Russia in the twenty first century
Index

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