In this book, a mix of leading historians and political scientists examines the foreign policy of contemporary Russia over four centuries of history. The authors explain the impact of empire and its loss, the interweaving of domestic and foreign impulses, long-standing approaches to national security, and the effect of globalization over time.
Contributors focus on the underlying patterns that have marked Russian foreign policy and that persist today. These patterns are driven by the country's political makeup, geographical circumstances, economic strivings, unsettled position in the larger international setting, and, above all, its tortured effort to resolve issues of national identity. The argument here is not that the Russia of Putin and his successors must remain trapped by these historical patterns but that history allows for an assessment of how much or how little has changed in Russia's approach to the outside world and creates a foundation for identifying what must change if Russia is to evolve.
A truly unique collection, this volume utilizes history to shed crucial light on Russia's complex, occasionally inscrutable relationship with the world. In so doing, it raises the broader issue of the relationship of history to the study of contemporary foreign policy and how these two enterprises might be better joined.
“Admirable, rigorous. De Waal [is] a wise and patient reporter.”—The New York Review of Books
“Never have all the twists and turns, sad carnage, and bullheadedness on all side been better described—or indeed, better explained...Offers a deeper and more compelling account of the conflict than anyone before.”—Foreign Affairs
Since its publication in 2003, the first edition of Black Garden has become the definitive study of how Armenia and Azerbaijan, two southern Soviet republics, were pulled into a conflict that helped bring them to independence, spell the end the Soviet Union, and plunge a region of great strategic importance into a decade of turmoil. This important volume is both a careful reconstruction of the history of the Nagorny Karabakh
conflict since 1988 and on-the-spot reporting of the convoluted aftermath. Part contemporary history, part travel book, part political analysis, the book is based on six months traveling through the south Caucasus, more than 120 original interviews in the region, Moscow, and Washington, and unique historical primary sources, such as Politburo archives. The historical chapters trace how the conflict lay unresolved in the Soviet era; how Armenian and Azerbaijani societies unfroze it; how the Politiburo failed to cope with the crisis; how the war was fought and ended; how the international community failed to sort out the conflict. What emerges is a complex and subtle portrait of a beautiful and fascinating region, blighted by historical prejudice and
The revised and updated 10th-year anniversary edition includes a new forward, a new chapter covering developments up to-2011, such as the election of new presidents in both countries, Azerbaijan’s oil boom and the new arms race in the region, and a new conclusion, analysing the reasons for the intractability of the conflict and whether there are any prospects for its resolution. Telling the story of the first conflict to shake Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Union, Black Garden remains a central account of the reality of the post-Soviet world.
In Let Our Fame Be Great, journalist and Russian expert Oliver Bullough explores the fascinating cultural crossroads of the Caucasus, where Europe, Asia, and the Middle East intersect. Traveling through its history, Bullough tracks down the nations dispersed by the region's last two hundred years of brutal warfare. Filled with a compelling mix of archival research and oral history, Let Our Fame Be Great recounts the tenacious survival of peoples who have been relentlessly invaded and persecuted and yet woefully overlooked.