World Politics - rubric Theory and methodology of international relations
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MAIN PAGE > Journal "World Politics" > Rubric "Theory and methodology of international relations"
Theory and methodology of international relations
Vladimirova A.V. - Asian and African Countries in the United Nations: Soft Power Analysis pp. 1-13


Abstract: The Soft power theory is popular among scholars and politicians, however, the nature of this phenomenon can complicate its evaluation, especially in the research, based on quantitative methods. At present, we are facing a trend of rising violence in the world, and soft power indexes, created by consulting agencies, are not enough. They are important indeed, partially because these reports remind us of the alternatives to coercion. But their authors often put emphasis on the states possessing significant political power resources. Probably, it leads to the misperception that countries, which din't have significant hard power resources, are unable to accumulate enough soft power to implement it as a foreign policy tool.The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that this assumption is not always correct. We use the linear regression model to show that Asian and African countries can use soft power in the United Nations even if their hard power is small. The research contains the information on the resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations and 124 countries-submitters and co-submitters of resolution drafts in 2001-2015. As we fully admit that soft power indexes are difficult to create and apply, this paper also covers soft power limits and critique.
Kuznetsov D.A. - Potential of forming a complex approach to studying regional integration and trans-regionalism
pp. 1-13


Abstract: Based on the review of elaborations within the theory of integration and new regionalism, the author considers the importance of formation of a complex system approach to studying the processes of regional integration and trans-regionalism. The author judges from the essential likelihood of processes of regional and trans-regional integration and the potential of forming a synthetic approach to studying their structure, internal and external environment under the conditions they operate in, and the effects and potential of their development in the context of further transformation of the modern political system. The article describes the attempt to critically analyze the key elaborations within the theory of integration and new regionalism aimed for the purpose of developing a complex approach. The key author’s contribution in the study of the topic is the comparison of the main theoretical elaborations and the formulation of the author’s definition of regional integration and trans-regionalism and the complex system approach to studying integrational processes - the author’s research programme of this topic which could be used for further studies of integration.  
WANG C. - The Technological Confrontation between China and the United States: the Front and Core of the Sino-US Strategic Game pp. 1-12



Abstract: In recent years, China's scientific and technological power has risen rapidly, threatening the United States' supremacy in this field. In order to contain the continuous development of China's scientific and technological strength, the US government has adopted a series of policies and measures since the Trump administration. At present, the technological confrontation between China and the United States is becoming increasingly fierce. In order to better understand this technological confrontation, this paper will use methods of analysis, information synthesis, comparison, induction, and deduction to analyze the causes of Sino-US science and technology confrontation, list the specific measures taken by the United States, study the comparative advantages of the United States and China in this confrontation, and finally analyze the global impacts of the Sino-US technological confrontation. With the rise and development of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, scientific and technological competition is gradually becoming the front and core of Sino-US strategic game, which is different from the traditional geostrategic competition in content and form. This is the first time that the strategic competition of major powers mainly focuses on the field of non-physical geography for mankind. Neither China nor the United States has sufficient experience, and there is also a lack of historical experience to learn from. This paper argues that the Sino-US technological confrontation will not only affect the relationship between China and the United States, but also have negative impacts on the world. Therefore, China and the United States should look for areas of science and technology that can cooperate actively, promote the common prosperity and development of global science and technology, and let science and technology play a new and more constructive role in global politics.
El'zeni N.K. - The military intervention in Iraq (The Fake Call for Democracy) pp. 1-14



Abstract: This article offers a comprehensive analysis of the 21st-century military intervention in Iraq, with a specific focus on the supposed call for democracy, a premise that has been a subject of intense debate and skepticism. By examining the Fake Call for Democracy hypothesis, the author investigates whether the pursuit of democratic governance was the genuine goal of the invasion or a facade for other strategic interests. The analysis encompasses the historical context preceding the invasion, the chronology of key events during the conflict, and the immediate and enduring consequences of the attack on Iraq's political, social, and economic structures. It provides a nuanced understanding of the motivations behind international interventions, particularly when couched in the rhetoric of democracy promotion or human rights. The military intervention in Iraq stands as one of the most significant and contentious episodes of the early 21st century. From a lens of historical reflection, the call for democracy that justified the invasion is shrouded in controversy, debate, and criticism. The aftermath of the invasion has resulted in a precarious, deeply flawed democracy, defined by sectarian violence, economic instability, and political corruption, rather than the envisioned stable and prosperous democratic nation.
Mukhamadeev D.V., Shevchenko Y.N. - Trade, economic and sanctions wars: an attempt to theoretically differentiate the ideas in the context the international relations science
pp. 12-22


Abstract: The research purpose of this article is to attempt to differentiate the concepts and theoretical backgrounds of economic sanctions and trade wars as popular instruments of economic coercion. In the authors’ opinion, such differentiation is critically important for the conceptualization of economic sanctions as a foreign policy instrument kindling the interest of both specialists in international relations and the global and regional international politics practitioners. From a practical perspective, the interest in analyzing this issue is determined by the fact that over the past century, economic sanctions have become one of the key instruments of achieving a state’s foreign policy goals. They are mostly used by developed countries with extensive economic and technological capabilities (e.g. U.S.), which are striving for abatements of their less powerful partners regarding foreign and domestic policy issues. Yet another argument in favour of studying economic sanctions, trade wars and other instruments of economic coercion in the context of the theory of international relations is the possibility to shed more light on the nature of power as the most significant concept of modern political science. A detailed analysis of theoretical discussions about the phenomenon of trade and economic wars compared with economic sanctions allows the authors to outline a set of fundamental differences between these phenomena in the context of modern economic diplomacy.   
Lukashuk A.A. - Integration processes within the federalist and neo-functionalist theories
pp. 14-22


Abstract: The research subject is integration processes. The aim of the research is to reveal the essence of integration processes within the federalist and neo-functionalist theories. According to the works by K.Wheare and W. Riker, the factors promoting successful integration are the feeling of military vulnerability, craving for economic benefits, similarity of political institutions, geographic neighborhood, and craving for independence from other countries. Neo-functionalists - E. Haas, P. Schmitter - defined three groups of conditions which, in their opinion, determine the success of integration processes. Integration associations and processes within these theories have the following features: federalists consider integration association as a “federal bargain” in which the stronger state offers protection and wealth to the weaker ones in exchange for their resources. The specificity of integration processes according to the neo-functionalist theory consists in the spill-over of integration from one economic sphere to another, which spills over into the third one, etc. The article also outlines the weak points of each of the theories: federalists don’t disclose the very process of integration concentrating more on its final result, while neo-functionalists, despite the fact that they’d build a model which presumably covers a sufficient number of variables to get an unbiased idea of the successfulness of an integration association, didn’t take into account external factors which are also crucial for the development of integration processes.
Borodin E.A. - Reasonable approach to global politics. pp. 20-46


Abstract: This article is devoted to the studies of the role of reason in the modern political processes, global politics and foreign policies of the nation-states. The article attempts to clarify the basic terms regarding the term "reason", showing how the factor of reason is comprehended by the parties to the political relations and political process. It is established that reason is a complicated structure, and it may manifest itself at individual, collective, and distributed levels in political and social activities of a person.  The appearance of the network structures in the modern society forms new network type of reason, which influences the reasonability criteria and evaluation of reasonability of certain political strategies and courses. As a result it becomes clear that speaking of reasonable policy, we often mean different bases and criteria for being reasonable. Moreover, different cultures have their own ideas of reason and being reasonable in political activities based upon their own traditions and values. At the same time the noosphere teaching of V.I. Vernadskiy allows to synthesize various approaches to reason and its role in politics within a single paradigm, which is brought together by the modern ideology of noovitism.
Fartyshev A.N. - Assessment of political relations of geopolitical subjects in the modern world using A.Wolfers friend-foe scale
pp. 21-33


Abstract: The research subject is the geopolitical space as a system of links between geopolitical subjects. The research object is their political interrelations and the character of intersubject links. The author solves the problem of quantitative assessment of complex humanitarian and geographical categories and the ways of their mathematical expression, such as geopolitical position and its particula parameters for extracting a scientifically grounded geopolitical knowledge. Special attention is given to the geopolitics of Siberia as one of the most troubled regions crucial for Russia’s national security. The author uses the “discord and collaboration”, formulated by Arnold Wolfers in the period of the cold war, actualizing it to assess the modern intersubject links. The author composes the model of geopolitical position of the region which is the relation of the geopolitical force of the surrounding subjects to the subject under consideration, where the each subject’s coefficient is geographical influence on the subject and the character of political relations according to “friend-foe” scale. The author composes the methodology of typological assessment of political relation and estimates the character of intersubject links for Siberia as a model region and its surrounding subjects. The developed theoretical constructions help to come closer to the quantitative assessment of geopolitical position as a type of geographical position.  
Chebotarev Y.A. - The Liberal Intergovernmental Approach in the Context of Modern Regional Studies by the example of Latin America pp. 26-34


Abstract: The present article explores the theoretical basis of modern regional studies and comparative integration. The article covers the formation of existing integration theories and their peculiar features; fixes the historical dominant of Western European experience in the process of integration theories creation. The author marks out the fundamental differences between the context of Western European integration and regional processes in most other regions of the world; gives a brief description of the liberal intergovernmental approach, its origins, history, and circumstances of its development, and the reasons for its wide applicability. As an example, the article appeals to the experience of regional initiatives of Latin America, their specificity and fundamental principles of functioning, their difference from Western European practice and compliance of Latin American experience with the hypotheses of the liberal intergovernmental approach, explicableness of modern phenomena of Latin American regionalism on its basis. The author draws a conclusion as for applicability of the Liberal Intergovernmental Approach in modern studies of regional organizations as a basic theoretical approach, makes assumptions about its perspective further adaptation, highlights relevance of this direction as well as the theoretical work necessary to understand and systematize the experience of practical research and regional specifics.
Ravochkin N.N., Bobrikov V.N. - Contextual dependence of the effectiveness of political and legal institutions functioning and the implementation of social transformations
pp. 26-40


Abstract: The authors consider the issues of modern political and legal institutions functioning. The research subject is the processes of renewal and formation of political and legal institutions in their connection with social context (sociosphere). Special attention is given to three political and legal institutions of modern globalizing society - political parties, mass media and social organizations, associations and movements. The authors describe the stages of societies’ evolution and note the basic set of criteria and parameters which allow classifying countries according to the stage of their development. The authors consider the transformations happening to the above mentioned institutions in Western Europe and the U.S., i.e. the global core countries. The scientific novelty of the research consists in the revelation of contextual linkage when defining the effectiveness of functioning and vectors of transformation of political and legal institutions and their practices. The authors prove that the considered institutions are being transformed in accordance with the transformations in the authorities which more often use humanist ideas and permission methods instead of direct coercion. The authors note a complex impact of globalization and digitalization on the institutions of parties, mass media and social associations. The need for their analysis is determined by the rapid growth of their role in public life.   
Chmyreva V. - The Role of Turkey in the Post-Soviet Space in US Foreign Policy Analysis pp. 26-36



Abstract: The subject of the study is a set of current ideas, concepts and strategies of representatives of American expert community on Turkish issues. The relevance of the work is determined by the need for a comprehensive analysis of the process of geopolitical transformations in the region taking into account the rising role of Turkey. The research is based on publicistic sources, which include analytical studies, articles, reports and expert assessments of specialists from the leading centers and institutions. The paper shows that the study of the potential of Turkish influence is intended to find a manageable balance of power in the region where Turkey will not oppose to American interests. It is noted that in the post-Soviet space Turkey has already become an indispensable player, proactive and ready to fill the vacuum of political will and power swiftly. The author points out that the expert community emphasizes differing degree of geopolitical influence of Turkey and Russia in the post-Soviet space, which determines the readiness of Turkish leadership to rely on NATO support as a counterbalance to the historical influence of Kremlin in the region. The author concludes that US still considers Turkey as a strategically valuable partner, and in certain scenarios the Republic has a chance to get carte blanche for a sovereign foreign policy and secure a place of a new key player; in this case, the USA can find a new manageable equilibrium in which Turkey's unfriendly actions will not undermine American strategic interests.
Vinogradova E.A. - Analysis of Military Metaverses: the Case of the USA, India and China pp. 31-45



Abstract: The era of digital revolution and introduction of artificial intelligence in political, economic, military and social spheres have created conditions for emergence of a new form of informational and communicative interaction in society, the so called metaverse. The theory of parallel virtual worlds, described by science fiction writers in the 20th century, has been put into practice by major technological giants in the 21st century. From 2019 to 2022, global technology corporations have begun to develop industry-specific metaverses aimed at further digitalising economic, political, military and social spheres of life. Military rivalries and the rapid arms race, which have spawned new global conflicts, have contributed to emergence of the military metaverses and new types of weapons rooting from the use of artificial intelligence and advanced VR-technologies. This article presents an analysis of military metaverses, new types of weapons made with the use of artificial intelligence technologies.
Han S. - Discussion of definition of defence and security cooperation between Chinese and Russian scientists pp. 32-40



Abstract: With the deepening and growing cooperation between Russia and China, studies pertaining to relevant international cooperations between the two states, including those on defense and security cooperation, have drawn the attention of many researchers. However, the differences in schools of research on safety and cooperation have made the boundaries on said matter more complex and diverse. Russian and Chinese researchers have further displayed different understanding and perception on the definition of national safety cooperation. Hence, the paper aims to carry out in depth analysis and discussion on the definition of defense and security cooperation based on Russian and Chinese literature.
Abdurazakov R.A. - On the issue of the synthesis of geopolitics and racialism in the early days of contemporary history pp. 41-51


Abstract: The purpose of the research is the consideration of the problem of synthesis of racialism and geopolitics in the late 19th - the early 20th century and the substantiation of such a new concept in geopolitics as geopolitical racialism which hasn’t been used before neither in Russian nor in foreign science. To solve this task, the author applies the fundamental geopolitical dualism methods to the analysis of supremacist and imperialist mindset typical for scientific and sociopolitical life in Britain and the U.S. of the considered period, which became a core for the formation of Anglo-Saxon exceptionality, and formed the basis for the foreign policy of these states. The author arrives at the conclusion that until recently, Anglo-Saxonism was considered as a result of the Western elites’ fascination with the ideas of social Darwinism rather than as a geopolitical form of racism, since its analysis was mostly based on the peculiarities of “blood and descendance” of Anglo-Saxon peoples rather than on their “thalassocratic nature” or the influence of natural and climatic factors on their development. The differentiating feature of continental geopolitics was, vice versa, not only distancing from social Darwinism, but also the repudiation of the possibility of ultimate victory in the struggle between the West and the East. Theoretical and practical importance of the research consists in the fact that based on the analysis of the works of the Western authors of the late 19th - the early 20th centuries, both already known and left out in the cold, the author substantiates the definition and characteristics of geopolitical racism in its Anglo-Saxon variant, upholding the supremacy of maritime powers (thalassocracies) over land powers (tellurocracies) predefined by geographical factors, which in many aspects predetermined the development of the Western geopolitical mindset in contemporary history.
Shitova E. - Democracies with adjectives in the discourse of political science: the place of Latin America and the post-Soviet space on the theoretical world map pp. 45-63


Abstract: Nowadays an essential gap between formal democratic institutions and cultural, historical, and value traditions historically peculiar to certain countries/societies can be observed. The phenomenon of democracies conforming to the formal, procedural attributes, but giving rise to doubt in their democratic essence, produced new concepts describing the existing changes which are generally called “democracies with adjectives”. At present this discourse covers more than 60 countries, and the most extensive discussion takes place around the countries of Latin America. The author uses the system, structural-functional and comparative-political approaches, the methods of induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis, observation, modeling, and expert assessments. The article explains the concept of “democracies with adjectives”, describes the problem field of this concept, and the main phases of its establishment, outlines the problem spheres influenced by the democracy discourse, shows the countries involved in this discourse and the strategies of the authors of the concept. 
Yin Q. - MCC as a Tool of American Influence on Developing Countries pp. 46-57



Abstract: In February 2022 there were massive demonstrations in Nepal against the $500 million "free" aid agreement between the country and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The protests subsided, and the Nepalese parliament overwhelmingly approved the agreement. In July 2022, civil unrest broke out in Sri Lanka. A member of parliament shot himself, the prime minister's ancestral home was burned down, the defense ministry was forced to issue a "shoot-to-kill" order against protesters, and the president promised not to sign the MCC. In this article, the author explores the MCC as an instrument of American influence in developing countries, using Sri Lanka and Nepal as examples. Particular attention is given to specific mechanisms of economic pressure on developing countries to achieve political results. This article introduces the MCC organization and, by describing events in Nepal and Sri Lanka, reveals the role that the MCC plays in the process of American intervention in the Third World. The study analyzes statistics that illustrate the economic impact of the U.S. on developing countries. The author draws conclusions about the impact of U.S. activities through the MCC on the regional environment. There are many ways in which the United States intervenes in regional affairs. The MCC is only one of them, but it is particularly significant. Through it, the U.S. establishes privileged conditions for itself in negotiations with developing countries to achieve results that could not be obtained without economic pressure.
Grachikov E.N. - "Chinese School" of International Relations: the Right to Methodological Identity pp. 47-65


Abstract: In the English-speaking segment of the global academic environment, the concept of the «Chinese School» is known also as the English School. Despite its young age and initially claimed position to follow the Western methodology and big theories, adherence to which has been daily confirmed by Chinese scholars in their articles, monographs and doctoral dissertations, the "Chinese School" from the very beginning of its existence proclaimed the main principle (not yet paradigm) - it will be based on Chinese culture and Chinese history, which should be included in the global international research on a par with Western culture and history.The article deals with the evolution of Chinese thought as a part of the international global context, which has passed its own "big" debates and entered into controversy with influential Western scholars for their right to methodological consciousness. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, the author gives a general picture of the current state of international research in China, analyzes the complex process of development of the various "approaches", which now make up the concept, but not a single "Chinese school". The article concludes that Chinese scholars are becoming an integral part of the global academic environment, while reproducing the dominance of Western theories of international relations, and even its "innovations" are considered in the context of Western research paradigms.
Pashkovsky P.I. - On particular directions of the cultural and psychological methodology of international political studies pp. 53-59


Abstract: The research object is the peculiarities of directions of the cultural and psychological methodology of international political studies. The author notes that the Russian political science hasn’t given appropriate attention to these directions until recently. The author describes the specialists’ approaches and considers the following directions of the cultural and psychological methodology of international political studies: the person-centered approach, the study of the influence of public opinion, the study of impact of personal and corporate interests, irrational manifestations and other psychological factors, an “operational code”; the “historical experience of generations” concept; the mental approach. The research methodology is based on the system approach. The author uses the historical-genetic, socio-psychological and comparative methods. The author proves that the cultural and psychological methodology of international political studies is aimed at the penetration into the “human dimension” of the world politics and international relations, into the mental sphere of a society, a group and a person in order to detect the determinants and prerequisites of particular decisions and actions in the mentioned sphere and to make more realistic forecasts. 
Wu Y. - The concept of the "Indo-Pacific region" and the "Indo-Pacific Strategy" of the USA: formation, development and Chinese views pp. 59-71


Abstract: The regional concept - "Indo-Pacific region" has become a popular topic for research in modern international politics with the active promotion of four countries (USA, Japan, India and Australia). The Indo-Pacific strategy championed by the US Trump administration is the most significant among them and has strengthened the use of the emerging regional term "Indo-Pacific region". After the trade war, relations between China and the United States deteriorated, and Sino-American relations have become one of the most important relations in the field of international relations in this century, and the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States, developed under Trump, remains one of the concrete manifestations of the Sino-American great power game. This article explains the evolution of the concept of the "Indo-Pacific region", and the formation and development of the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States, as well as explains the fundamental goals of the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States and the structural conflict in the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific region through generalizing the views and opinions of Chinese academia about the U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific region. The strategy and policy of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region pursues the main goal of maintaining US hegemony, and this is also closely related to the rise of the PRC. Massive military commitments and a large number of US armed forces in the Indo-Pacific region and the growth of the military power of the PRC will become the most central contradiction in the geopolitical structural conflict between the PRC and the USA in this region. The US military policy in this region will cause discontent of the PRC and even regional conflicts, but at the same time it should be noted that due to the firm strategic determination of the PRC, the PRC's own economic development and the limitations of internal factors of the USA, the US Indo-Pacific strategy will not hinder the peaceful growth of the PRC in this region.
Ursul A.D. - The global vector of international relations
pp. 60-71


Abstract: The author of the article notes that international processes have global potential, which hasn’t been completely revealed yet, and characteristics which determine their global orientation. Global features, potential and orientation of international processes manifest themselves through principles and general patterns involving all their participants and all the spheres of these social relations. Some international processes won’t gain global status at all, and the author defines the main criteria of their globallity. First of all, it is the qualitative-contensive criterion of globality as a spreading potential unity of particular social patterns, tendencies and principles. Besides, the author considers the spatial-geographical and the temporal criteria of globality, and the criterion connected with the problem of global safety. The author uses the global and the system approaches together with the integrative-interdisciplinary, historical and evolutionary approaches, the methods of scientific forecasting and futurology. Further inclusion of international relations into the process of solving global problems requires the improvement of supranational mechanisms of administration right up to the upcoming establishment of the global level of administration and the formation of global law and global values. The author makes a hypothesis that the phenomenon of statehood will keep the leading role not only in the transition to sustainable development, but also in other directions of the evolution of international processes. The author anticipates the development of international processes for the foreseeable future: the analysis of possible evolution of state as a key subject of international relations implies further development of these relations in terms of spreading sustainable development of humanity on the planet and beyond.   
Bogdanov A.N. - Factors of order in the international politics: rethinking Neo-Realist interpretations pp. 61-72


Abstract: The author delves into the three most important Neo-Realist theories forming the basics of the modern understanding of the key patterns of international politics: R. Gilpin’s concept of the global international system, K. Waltz’s concept of the international structure, and H. Bull’s concept of international order. The author focuses on the problems of sustainability of the international order, predictability of states’ behaviour, and compliance of their policy with generally accepted standards and values, which influences international security and determines the urgency of a comprehensive study of this problem. The author uses the method of comparative analysis to detect the key peculiarities of the Neo-Realist interpretation of the notions “system”, “structure” and “order” in the international politics, and critically assesses the adequacy of their explanatory potential in modern geopolitical conditions. The main conclusion of the article is that the Neo-Realist worldview is gradually losing its topicality which can be seen in the fact that system changes are becoming more independent of the dynamics of material wealth distribution structure. Consequently, “anarchy” and the principles of a sovereign state are losing their influence turning into merely descriptive notions stating the absence of a superior sovereign power in the international politics and the formal equality of rights of nation-states.   
Rep'eva A.M. - Nation-building. Formation and substantial characteristics (the USA and Russia). pp. 68-79


Abstract: The Russian state was historically formed as a poly-ethnical state throughout the centuries. That is why the problem of forming a united civil self-conscience has always been topical. The nation formation process is a complicated and contradictory matter, since in touches upon national identity of citizens due to which the state has to choose the principle for the nation formation. Among the basic principles one may single out the following: nation formation based on multi-cultural policy, based upon civil nation, or based upon a dominating ethnic group within the state, which is capable of uniting other ethnic groups around itself. Most of European and American states face the problem of nation formation, and this problem is also relevant for Russia,, since in two decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union it still is unable to form an efficient nation formation policy. Due to this fact the issue of formation of a general Russian identity becomes a topical goal for state and society.  The author chooses Russia and the USA for the study, and she makes a comparison.  The choice of these two states due to them being largest territorial states and having ethnical variety.  Also, both Russia and the USA face problems related to the inflow of migrants, and nation building crisis.   
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