The Religious Factor in Russia's Foreign Policy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Religious Factor in Russia's Foreign Policy

1st Edition

By Alicja Curanović


368 pages

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This book examines how religion interacts with Russian foreign policy, arguing that religion is an important and neglected factor in shaping Russia’s outlook towards international relations. It surveys the importance of religion in Russian social life - past and present - and considers the range of attitudes which are affected by religion – such as Russian nationalism, notions of Slavic solidarity, the divine mission of Russian Orthodox civilisation, Russian imperialism, and Russia’s special approach towards Islam. The book discusses how religious organizations, especially the Russian Orthodox Church, operate in international relations, pursuing, through ‘religious diplomacy’ their own interests and those of the Russian state; explores how religious ideas and culture linked to religion impinge on Russian attitudes and identity, and thereby affect policy; and demonstrates how policy influenced by religion impacts on Russian foreign policy in practice in a wide range of examples, including Russia’s relations with other orthodox countries, non-orthodox Western countries, Muslim countries, Israel and the Vatican.


"Curanovic's excellent study is a most welcome addition to the field, and i am sure I will be referring to it regularly in my own research. It should be on the shelf of anyone interested in Russian foreign policy in general and the role of religion in particular." - Christopher Marsh, The Russian Review, 2013.

"In conclusion, this book was an enjoyable read, and would be a warranted addition to both Russian and Religious Studies academics’ collections". - Andrew Huemmer, the University of Glasgow, Europe Asia Studies, 2014

Table of Contents

Introduction Part I. Religious Factor in Russian Policy: Past and Present 1. Evolution of the Role of Religion in the History of The Russian State 2. Religion in Social and Political Life of The Russian Federation 3. Religion in Russian Views on Foreign Policy Part II: "Religious Diplomacy" of The Russian Federation 4. Characteristics of Russian "Religious Diplomacy" 5. Russia’s "Orthodox Brotherhood" With Belarus and Serbia 6. The "Syndrome of Betrayal" In Russia’s Relations with the Ukraine, Estonia and Georgia 7. "Occasional Community": Russian Policy towards Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Montenegro 8. The "Long Shadow of Byzantium": Russian – Greek Relations in the Face of Rivalry between the Two Churches 9. "Between Fear and Necessity of Cooperation": Russian Policy Towards Muslim Countries 10. "Among Us, the Chosen Nations": Tendencies in Russian-Israeli Relations 11. "Neighbourhood Of Giants": The Place of The Russian Federation in the Asian Cultural Space between India and the People’s Republic Of China 12. "There Can Only Be One Rome": Russia’s Traumatic Relations with the Vatican 13. "The Antichrist Lives in the West": The Ideological Burden of Russia’s Policy Towards the United States

About the Author

Alicja Curanovic is a Research Fellow at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw, Poland.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian and East European Studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
RELIGION / Christianity / Orthodox
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General