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Russo American Dispute Over the Invasion of Iraq

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Information about Russo American Dispute Over the Invasion of Iraq
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Published on October 26, 2007

Author: Esteban

Source: authorstream.com

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Russo-American Dispute Over the Invasion of Iraq:  Russo-American Dispute Over the Invasion of Iraq International Status and the Role of Positional Goods Slide2:  The war in Iraq will have a significant effect on the psychological and political climate in Russia…The American-Iraqi conflict seems to have brought to light a public demand that we regain our great-power status. -- Aleksandr Tsipko Importance of Case:  Importance of Case Shift from bandwagoning to balancing over the U.S. invasion of Iraq was distinct and discrete. Enough time has passed to allow us to analyze the course of events and its impact on Russian grand strategy. Help our understanding of why the post-9/11 rapprochement ended. Research Questions:  Research Questions Why did Russia oppose the U.S. invasion of Iraq? How can international relations theory account for this policy? What role did U.S. policies play in precipitating a return to Russia’s policy of balancing? Central Dilemma:  Central Dilemma Makes little since if taken on a purely material cost-benefit analysis. Appeared inevitable; Little to no influence over American policy; Lost influence in Iraq; Oil and trade agreements not honored; Iraqi debt not paid. Central Argument:  Central Argument Positional goods – particularly those dealing with status and prestige – can best explain Russian opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Positional Goods:  Positional Goods First explored by economist Fred Hirsch, who used the term to describe “those products and services which are inherently impossible to mass produce because their value is mostly, if not exclusively, a function of their relative desirability.” Positional Goods in the Post-Cold War Context:  Positional Goods in the Post-Cold War Context More recently, Randall Schweller identified positional goods as “either (i) scarce in some absolute or socially imposed sense or (ii) subject to congestion or crowding through more extensive use.” International Status and Prestige:  International Status and Prestige The relative position and standing that a state has in the international system. Great Power Status:  Great Power Status A major power which leads, but is not led; which dominates, but is not dominated; and which aggressively advances its own interests, but does not subordinate them to other powers. International Status and Prestige as Positional Good:  International Status and Prestige as Positional Good Inherently Scarce – If every country has the same level of international status and prestige, such factor are irrelevant. Relational – Exists in comparison with other countries. Zero-sum – Usually, if one state gains, another loses. Positional Conflict and Foreign Policy:  Positional Conflict and Foreign Policy Jones Effect – states act to overcome a sense of envy over the success of others. Relative Deprivation – discordance between expectations and reality. Status Inconsistency – discordance between status and self-image. Hypotheses:  Hypotheses The state in question will react negatively to any dramatic increase in the relative gap in status between itself and a more powerful state or any dramatic decrease in the relative gap in status between itself and a less powerful state (the Jones effect). Hypotheses:  Hypotheses The state in question will reactive negatively to an unfavorable discordance between its expected international status and its actual international status (relative deprivation). Hypotheses:  Hypotheses The state in question will react negatively if its actual international status is not commensurate to its self-image (status inconsistency). ‘React Negatively’?:  ‘React Negatively’? Become increasingly hostile to the state whose relative position has been strengthened; Seek to block its power and influence; Engage in ‘positional conflict’. Russia’s Post-Cold War Foreign Policy:  Russia’s Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Bandwagoning with the West and the U.S. (1991-1993); Balancing against American unipolarity and quest for multipolarity (mid-1990s-2001); Post-9/11 rapprochement (2001-2002). Post-9/11 Rapprochement :  Post-9/11 Rapprochement Largely dropped rhetoric of multipolarity and balancing the U.S.; Support for America’s ‘war on terrorism’ – including war in Afghanistan and introduction of troops into Georgia; Support for U.S. foreign policy on non-terrorism-related issues. Why post-9/11 Shift?:  Why post-9/11 Shift? Multipolarity was not imminent; Russia had more to lose materially by opposing the U.S.; Russia could receive concessions on a host of issues by working with the U.S.; Russo-American partnership gave Russia a degree of international status. Russian Opposition to U.S. Invasion of Iraq:  Russian Opposition to U.S. Invasion of Iraq Stand up to American unilateralism; Return of the language of multipolarity; Russia as great power; Continental alliance with Germany and France; Revival of alliance with China. Conclusions:  Conclusions Jones Effect Relative Deprivation Status Inconsistency Jones Effect:  Jones Effect Dramatic change in the relative status of U.S. and Russia; Opposition to U.S. policy based on American unilateralism, not merits of policy itself; Need to restore status. Relative Deprivation:  Relative Deprivation Assumption that Russia’s status was best secured in alliance with the U.S. was seemingly invalidated; Post-9/11 concessions appeared unilateral; Russia as junior partner. Self-Image:  Self-Image Historically seen itself as a great power, reinforced by Soviet Union; ‘Multipolarity’ language places Russia at heart of global movement; Continental opposition placed Russia on equal footing with Germany and France. Role of U.S. and Lessons:  Role of U.S. and Lessons Need a greater understanding of how U.S. policies affect the status and self-image of other states; Understand that conflicts between states are unavoidable and, sometimes, status-based positional conflicts are likewise unavoidable. Thank You!:  Thank You! Thomas Ambrosio North Dakota State University thomas.ambrosio@ndsu.edu

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