1st Edition

To Balance or Not to Balance Alignment Theory and the Commonwealth of Independent States

By Eric A. Miller Copyright 2006

    With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, fifteen newly independent states emerged from the imperial wreckage, some more ready than others to grasp their new found independence. This book tackles the seminal question related to these broader developments: why did some states choose to align with Russia, despite Moscow's overwhelming power advantage and recurrent neo-imperial ambitions? Eric A. Miller develops and tests a theoretical framework that extends traditional realist alignment theories to include domestic level political and economic variables critical to the study of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Specifically, Miller argues that internal political threats to CIS leaders and the extent of a country's economic dependence on Russia were the most influential factors in determining alignments. The volume is designed to meet the need for a thorough theoretical and scholarly assessment of the international and domestic politics of CIS countries.

    Contents: Introduction; Threats, dependence, and alignment patterns; Uzbek-Russian security relations and alignment patterns; Islam Karimov and internal threats; Uzbekistan and economic dependence on Russia; Ukrainian-Russian security relations and alignment patterns; Ukrainian leaders and internal threats; Ukraine and economic dependence on Russia; Conclusions; Bibliography; Index.


    Eric A. Miller is an International Affairs Analyst with the National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP), Fairfax, Virginia, USA and currently provides on-site support for the Missile Defense Agency's International Affairs Directorate, where he concentrates on missile defense issues pertaining to Russia, Ukraine and the rest of Eurasia. He is also a Research Associate at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Affairs at George Washington University, Washington, DC. His articles on Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, US foreign and defense policy, and international relations theory have appeared in leading publications such as Astropolitics, Comparative Strategy, Defense News, European Security, Financial Times, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Problems of Post-Communism, Security Studies, and US Naval Institute's Proceedings.

    'This book represents a significant contribution to the balance of power literature, and offers a novel interpretation of the political and security dimensions of relations between Russia and the former Soviet Republics. Rarely does one see such an excellent use of theory to illuminate political relations and vice versa. This is must reading for balance of power theorists as well as for thinkers interested in the former Soviet Republics.' Steve A. Yetiv, Old Dominion University, UK 'Students, scholars and members of the policy community can all benefit from reading this book.' Slavic Review