A Multilevel World and a Flat Worldview: A Realist and Progressive Synthesis for Russia

In: Russian Politics
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  • 1 Doctor of History & Research Professor, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University, Moscow, Russia
  • | 2 Former Deputy Chairman of the State Duma and Russian Ambassador to the US
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This article is about the challenges that face Russia when reflecting on her obligations to the UN system, and on the limits of what is possible in trying to ‘master’ globalization. These challenges are not simply practical questions about the choice of foreign policy. They are deeper questions about worldview and how best to understand and navigate contemporary world politics. Several schemes have been presented to help identify and explain the foundations of our contemporary world order: geopolitical frameworks, civilizational ones, and some that are explicitly ideological. In engaging with and critiquing some of the best-known of these frameworks, the article makes the case for a worldview for Russia that is realist and progressive. This worldview recognizes the hierarchy of states and the logic of power politics in a UN-centered world, but it also moves beyond this pragmatic focus to consider the possibilities for a global dialogue of ‘pluralistic convergence’ and peaceful change that is facilitated by Russia.

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