19 Feb 2008

Rebranding Russia: Norms, Politics and Power

Andrey S. Makarychev

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This working paper argues that Russia is in the process of re-branding itself internationally, with a variety of normative arguments increasingly creeping into its wider international discourse. By appealing to norms, Russia tries to reformulate the key messages it sends to the world and implant the concept of its power worldwide. Yet given that Russia’s normative messages are often met with scarce enthusiasm in Europe, it is of utmost importance to uncover how the normative segment in Russian foreign policy is perceived, evaluated and debated both inside Russia and elsewhere. Within this framework, this paper focuses on a set of case studies highlighting the normative and non-normative dimensions of Russian foreign policy. These include Russia-EU trans-border cooperation, Moscow’s policies towards Estonia, Poland, Ukraine/Georgia and the UK, Russian strategies in the ‘war on terror’ and energy issues.