This book explores power in international relations, in a world characterized by the growing competition of major powers for smaller nations. Focusing on the major powers and smaller countries of Eurasia, it argues that power in international relations is different from coercion and is rather a social contract between a leader state and follower states where reciprocity is key and where leadership relationships cannot be adequately explained by focusing solely on the leader. It challenges the perception that genuine regional leadership is quite common, contending instead that it is rare; that much more often major powers make claims for leadership; and that regional leadership does not indicate the status of a particular state, but rather the social role of the leader, which is recognized by its followers, a role which is always relative and based on communication and constant interaction with followers. The book highlights the important role followers play in recognizing regional power, the importance for a state's regional leadership strategy in creating and holding a valuable position attractive for followers and delivering greater value to followers compared to other potential leaders.

chapter |4 pages


ByIrina Busygina, Svetlana Krivokhizh

chapter 1|17 pages

Conceptualizing regional leadership

ByIrina Busygina, Svetlana Krivokhizh

chapter 2|15 pages

Complex interaction of leadership projects in post-Soviet Eurasia

ByIvan S. Grigoriev

chapter 3|24 pages

The road to war

How Russia has lost the chances for leadership in post-Soviet Eurasia
ByIrina Busygina, Mikhail Filippov

chapter 4|24 pages

‘Crossing the river by touching the stones’

China's leadership strategy in Eurasia
BySvetlana Krivokhizh, Elena Soboleva

chapter 5|17 pages

What does the European Union's leadership programme for Eurasia consist of?

ByAnna A. Dekalchuk, Ivan S. Grigoriev

chapter 7|20 pages

The South Caucasus: a challenge and an opportunity

Russia, EU and China's prospects for regional leadership
ByAnna Ayvazyan

chapter 8|19 pages

From a hesitant to an assumed leader?

EU role conception and Eastern partners' perceptions
ByLaure Delcour

chapter |5 pages


ByIrina Busygina, Svetlana Krivokhizh