7th Edition

The Foreign Policy of Russia Changing Systems, Enduring Interests

By Robert H. Donaldson, Vidya Nadkarni Copyright 2024
    566 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    566 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This text traces the lineage and development of Russian foreign policy with the insight that comes from a historical perspective. Now fully updated, the seventh edition incorporates new coverage of issues including relations with the major powers and with other post-communist states, with an emphasis on tensions with the United States and engagement with Ukraine, Crimea, and Syria. International security issues including arms control, sanctions, and intervention continue to grow in importance. Domestic and regional issues related to natural resource politics, human rights, Islamism, and terrorism also persist. Chronologically organized chapters highlight the continuities of Russia’s behavior in the world since tsarist times as well as the major sources of change and variability over the revolutionary period, wartime alliances and Cold War, détente, the Soviet collapse, and the first post-communist decades. The basic framework used in the book is a modified realism that stresses the balance of power and the importance of national interest, and it identifies several factors (both internal and external) that condition Russian policy. The interpretations are original and based on a mix of primary and secondary sources.

    New to the Seventh Edition

    • A new concluding chapter: Russia Openly Confronts the "Collective West".
    • Thoroughly updated coverage of Russia’s bilateral relations with the United States and countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
    • Expanded discussion of Moscow’s efforts to control the flow of information at home and abroad as it employs Russia’s "soft power" assets.
    • Russian-American relations, especially with respect to continuing interference in the U.S. elections and to U.S. foreign policy concerns in the Far East, Iran, and Syria.
    • The full unfolding of the Ukraine crisis, culminating in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
    • Vladimir Putin’s escalated claims of the superiority of Russian cultural values and more openly imperialistic ambitions.
    • Expanded coverage of Russia’s relations with China and India, now in a separate chapter on this "strategic triangle."
    • Greater attention to the impact of climate change on Russian foreign policy, including its heightened activity in the Arctic.
    • Significant new developments in the Middle East including the collapse of the nuclear deal with Iran, the expanded Russian role in the Syrian civil war, and the growing complexity in Russian-Turkish relations.

    1. Power, Polarity, and Personality

    2. The Tsarist Roots of Russia’s Foreign Policy

    3. Soviet Foreign Policy: From Revolution to Cold War

    4. Soviet Foreign Policy: The Cold War

    5. Domestic Factors in the Making of Russia’s Foreign Policy

    6. Russia and the States of the Former Soviet Union

    7. Yeltsin Faces West: Aspirations and Obstacles

    8. Russia, China, and India: A Strategic Triangle?

    9. Russia and the "Non-West"

    10. Putin’s Quest for Great Power Restoration

    11. Russia and the United States: A New Cold War?

    12. Russia Openly Confronts the "Collective West"


    Robert H. Donaldson is Trustees Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Tulsa. He was educated at Harvard University, and he is past president of both the University of Tulsa and Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also has taught and held administrative positions at Lehman College of the City University of New York and Vanderbilt University and served as an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations at the U.S. Department of State and as visiting research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. Professor Donaldson has written extensively on Soviet and Russian politics and foreign policy and has authored or co-authored five other books.

    Vidya Nadkarni is Professor of Political Science at the University of San Diego, where she has taught since 1990. She was educated at St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru University-New Delhi, and the University of British Columbia. Professor Nadkarni teaches courses in the area of international relations and foreign policy, and her research interests center on the foreign policies of resurgent (Russia) and aspiring (China, India) global powers. She is the author of Strategic Partnerships in Asia: Balancing without Alliances (2010) and co-editor of Emerging Powers in a Comparative Perspective: The Political and Economic Rise of the BRIC Countries (2012) and Challenge and Change: Global Threats and the State in the 21st Century (2016).

    Praise for The Foreign Policy of Russia

    "This textbook will provide undergraduate students with an excellent foundation in understanding general tendencies in Russia’s external relationships over time as well as a coherent framework of analysis for exploring specific issues in greater depth through more specialized articles, book chapters, and monographs. In short, it is an ideal text for a survey course on Russian foreign policy or even for a more general course on international relations or comparative foreign policy that includes intensive attention to one or more of the great powers."
    Allen C. Lynch, University of Virginia

    "The Foreign Policy of Russia is a sober and accessible analysis for both students and researchers. This a rare opportunity to get a full review of the origins, incentives, and challenges of Putin’s controversial foreign policy."
    Andrei Kolesnikov, Carnegie Moscow Center

    "This indispensable text offers students of politics and international relations, policy-makers, and the public a systematic, accessible, and even-handed discussion of Russian policy-making concerning relations with other states. Rooted by necessity in historical context, the book provides incisive, nuanced, and compelling analysis of changes and continuities in how Russian leaders perceive what is in their national interest and how they interpret and react to the actions of leaders elsewhere. Donaldson and Nadkarni offer a wise, timely contribution to debates about statecraft, soft power, pragmatism, East-West relations, and the role of cyber-crime."
    Mary Buckley, Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge