chapter  1
16 Pages

Russia’s pursuit of great-power status and security

WithAnne L. Clunan

Russian leaders have spent the early twenty-first century securing Russia’s status as a sovereign state and great power. Russia since 1996 has sought to strip the meaning of great-power status and sovereignty of liberal normative content. Russian officials associate ‘security’ with ‘making Russia strong again—both domestically and internationally’. Russia’s economic advancement is viewed as necessary for great-power and sovereign status across the policy elite. Russian elites largely understand great-power status and sovereign statehood as mutually constitutive concepts, in that the lessons drawn from Russia’s long history suggest that both internal discord and external great powers were the most potent threats to the Russian/Soviet state and its status as a great power. Russian policy elites also express concern that Russia’s pursuit of security through status will weaken Russia in the twenty-first century.