National images in international relations: Putin’s Russia and the West

Feklyunina, Valentina (2010) National images in international relations: Putin’s Russia and the West. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study seeks to analyse the impact of the perceived, projected and self-images of a state on its foreign and domestic policies. It approaches this problem by exploring the evolution of international images of the Russian Federation in the ‘West’ in the years of Vladimir Putin’s presidency (2000-2008) and by examining attempts by the Russian authorities to improve them with the help of foreign propaganda. Russian political elites have always been very sensitive to perceptions of Russia in Western Europe and later in the United States of America. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s images in Western countries underwent significant transformation. Although relatively positive in the early 1990s, they became more negative towards the end of Boris Yel’tsin’s presidency before reaching their negative ‘peak’ during Putin’s second presidential term. The energetic efforts of the Russian authorities in the years of Putin’s presidency to promote a more favourable image of the country provide extremely rich material for analysis, which has largely not yet been utilised in the academic literature.

To facilitate the analysis of Russia’s perceived images and the effectiveness of foreign propaganda, the thesis includes two case studies that examine the issues at question in greater detail in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Federal Republic of Germany. Based on extensive primary research (elite interviewing and discourse analysis), the study seeks to make a three-fold contribution to the academic literature. Firstly, it is the first systematic examination of Russian foreign propaganda in the post-Soviet period. By analysing Russia’s attempts to improve its image in the international arena, the thesis contributes to the literature in the field of International Political Communication that has already examined public diplomacy campaigns conducted by other, mainly Western, countries. Secondly, it aims to provide a deeper insight into the role of subjective, non-material factors in Russian foreign policy. Finally, it seeks to make a contribution to the social constructivist IR literature by presenting a theoretical analysis of the role of national images in international relations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: National image, Russian foreign policy, Vladimir Putin
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Supervisor's Name: White, Professor Stephen L.
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Ms Valentina Feklyunina
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1391
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2009
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2012 09:57

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