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Russian IR Theory: The Сrisis of a Globally-Pluralist Discipline

Andrei Tsygankov, Pavel Tsygankov



The article contributes to the recent discussion of roles played by the global core and periphery in forming knowledge about the world. As a ‘semi-peripheral’ nation, Russia may speak on behalf of both the centre and peripheral parts of the world, thereby becoming an important voice in the global conversation. This paper reviews discussions among Russian scholars by identifying the dominant schools as Universalist and Pluralist. Both are in favour of Russia’s continued integration with the global IR community, but stress different sides of such integration. While Universalists argue for the ontological and epistemological unity of the world, Pluralists emphasise social, cultural and intellectual diversity. Based on a survey among those teaching IR theory in Russian educational institutions, the paper also reviews development of the discipline as viewed by the Russian academic community. Russian academics assess the state of IR theory as in crisis relative to intellectual developments in the country’s recent past and abroad. The progress of Russian IR depends on its continued global integration and the development of indigenous Russian political thought.


Bibliography: Tsygankov, Andrei/Tsygankov, Pavel: Russian IR Theory: The Сrisis of a Globally-Pluralist Discipline, ERIS, 2-2014, pp. 92-106.


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