Russia and the Idea of Europe
A Study in Identity and International Relations
Routledge – 1995 – 272 pages
Series: New International Relations
The end of the Soviet system and the transition to the market in Russia, coupled with the inexorable rise of nationalism, has brought to the fore the centuries-old debate about Russia's relationship with Europe. In Russia and the Idea of Europe Iver Neumann discusses whether the tensions between self-referencing romantic nationalist views and Europe-orientated liberal views can ever be resolved.
Drawing on a wide range of Russian sources, Neumann outlines the argument as it has unfolded over the last two hundred years, showing how Russia is caught between the attraction of an economically, politically and socially more developed Europe, and the attraction of being able to play a European -style inperial role in less-developed Asia.
Neumann argues that the process of delineating a European "other" from the Russian self is an active form of Russian identity formation. The Russian debate about Europe is also a debate about what Rusia is and should be.
'Neumann's book therefore provides a useful background to understanding current Russian security policies which agree to co-operate with the West on equal terms while at the same time adopting Eurasianist policies in Belarus and vis-a-vis.' - The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol 21, No.4 Dec 98