Russia, the West, and Military Intervention

ISBN : 9780199590636

Roy Allison
320 Pages
162 x 241 mm
Pub date
May 2013
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Russia has been embroiled in bitter disputes with major Western powers over high-profile military interventions - over Kosovo (1999), Iraq (2003), Georgia (2008), and even Libya (2011) which had a UN Security Council mandate. Moscow and the West reached much more agreement over the Gulf War (1990) and intervention in Afghanistan (2001), but these cases are exceptional. This interdisciplinary study explores the persistent differences between Russian and Western leaders about most Western-led military campaigns and about Russia's own use of force in the CIS region. What does this tell us about emerging norms on the use of force in humanitarian crises? How and why has there been such controversy over the legal justifications for these military operations? Has greater consensus been possible over force in global counterterrorism? What do all these controversies tell us about international rule-making? More specifically, how can we understand Russian political and diplomatic responses during international crises around major interventions? This book argues that Russia has been influential in these debates on norms and law as a permanent United Nations Security Council member and as a major military power. Moscow's approach to these questions has reflected distinctive and quite entrenched attitudes to international order and sovereignty, as well as a preoccupation with its own status. The book draws deeply on Russian sources to show how these attitudes are expressed among the Russian leadership and the political elite. This raises challenging questions about the ability of Russia and Western states to cooperate in emerging crises, in Syria, Iran, or elsewhere and about Russia's role in international society.


1. Military Intervention, Norms and the Case of Russia
2. The Soviet Union and Cold War Interventions
3. Humanitarian Intervention, Kosovo and Beyond: Divergent Norms
4. Afghanistan and the 'Global War on Terror': A New Basis for Consensus?
5. Pre-emption, the Iraq War and the Spectre of Unconstrained Force
6. Contested Norms in the CIS Regional Order
7. Russian Intervention in Georgia 2008
8. Russian Global Perspectives and Contemporary Military Intervention
9. Conclusion

About the author: 

Dr Allison is University Lecturer in the International Relations of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow at St. Antony's College. His previous positions include Reader in International Relations, London School of Economics and Head, Russia and Eurasia Programme, The Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). He is on the editorial or advisory board of 'International Affairs', 'European Security' and 'Central Asian Survey', among other journals, and has directed numerous major research projects. He is the co-author of 'Putin's Russia and the Enlarged Europe' (Blackwell/RIIA, 2006) and 'Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy' (OUP, 1996); author of 'The Soviet Union and the Strategy of Non-Alignment in the Third World' (CUP, 1990) and 'Finland's Relations with the Soviet Union, 1944-1994' (Macmillan, 1985), and has edited or co-edited a further five books.

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