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Konstantin Kurilev , Denis Degterev1, Daria Stanis , Nadezda Smolik
  • 1 Department of Theory and History of International Relations, RUDN , 6 Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198, Russia

A Quantitative Analysis of Geopolitical Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Space

2018. Vol. 13. No. 1. P. 134–156 [issue contents]

Twenty-five years have passed since the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which led to the disruption of the regional check-and-balance system aimed at resolving national issues and political and socioeconomic contradictions.  It also resulted in a number of armed conflicts, including those in the Chechen Republic, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Tajikistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and later in the South-East of Ukraine.

Immediately following the collapse of the USSR, key international actors paid special attention to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region while trying to secure own interests. This led to the further stratification of the CIS region. A “geopolitical pluralism” started to form there, marked by the fragmentation of nation-state sovereignty over the territory.

The concept and policy of “geopolitical pluralism” as developed by Zbigniew Brzezinski meets the interests of the United States by making the CIS region more manageable, while at the same time making it more difficult for Russia to implement its own strategic tasks there. The key goal of Russia is the creation of an integrated economic and political union able to take a rightful place in the world. Only the development of deep and comprehensive integration with the CIS states can ensure the competitiveness of Russia’s position in the world as well as the positions of its partners in the former Soviet space.

The purpose of this article is to assess the level of geopolitical pluralism in the CIS space taking account of the membership of the CIS countries in international organizations and their voting on UN General Assembly resolutions. The study is based on the interconnection of quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis of international relations and world politics.

During the past quarter century following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a regional system of international relations has formed in its place. Despite the fact that the CIS is a kind of linking element which unites most of the former Soviet republics, a certain competition between the new states has become the characteristic feature of the political relations in the region.

The policy of the west (primarily the United States) became a kind of a branched, diversified strategy aimed at the phased development, transformation and fragmentation of the region. The diversity of foreign policy priorities among the CIS states and the presence of many actors in the region makes mutual understanding and good-neighbourliness between these countries difficult to achieve. To the contrary, this diversity seriously complicates and slows down the development of deep and comprehensive integration, making it more unstable and ineffective.

The research was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in the framework of the scientific project RFBR-CASS No. 17-27-21002.


Kurylev K., Degterev D., Smolik N., Stanis D. (2018) A Quantitative Analysis of Geopolitical Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Space. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 13, no 1 (in Russian and English). DOI: 10.17323/1996-7845-2018-01-08. 

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