Russian Realism analyzes Russian contemporary geopolitical thinking, or realism, and explores the notion of Derzhava as the foundation of Russian realism.

The author defines Russian realists as all those favoring actions by the Russian state in defense of its interests, including protection of national sovereignty, security, power, and prestige on the international scene. What makes Russian realism distinct is its "vision of Russianness" formed by the country’s historical, cultural/religious experience, and its semi-peripheral position in the international system. The vision stresses the importance of survival, preservation of strong state, and protection of national interests from external infringement.

Mainstream literature, especially in the West, tends to ignore Russian theoretical debates and narratives; this book remedies this by providing significant insights into Russian realist thinking. It explores the historical unfolding of the longstanding national debates about Russia’s role in Europe/the West and how realists have reframed these debates in response to multiple international and domestic developments. The book also identifies distinct groups and debates within the broad school of Russian realism.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Russian foreign policy, IR theory, diplomatic studies, political science, and European history. It will also appeal to a broader general audience of those interested in Russia and international politics.

chapter 1|15 pages


chapter 2|23 pages

State Power in International Relations

chapter 3|22 pages


Foundations of Russian Power

chapter 4|23 pages

Global Balancers

chapter 5|20 pages

Realist Westernizers

chapter 6|21 pages

Eurasian Regionalists

chapter 8|17 pages

Domestic Critics

chapter 9|8 pages