Russian‐central asian relations in the works of modern french researchers

The article examines the views of modern French researchers on the relations between Russia and the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia. This allows us to identify various interpre-tations of Russian foreign policy, and to understand the main approaches of French scholars analyzing the goals and tasks of Russian geostrategy in the region. As the article demonstrates, French historiog-raphy, along with the objectivist view on the Central Asian vector in Russian foreign policy, also in-cludes works of ideological nature. Special emphasis is put on French works that focus on Russian political authors who speak of Russia’s neo-imperialism. These studies explain the Russian policy in Central Asia through the ruling elite’s ambition to resurrect an empire in the post-Soviet space and to return superpower status to Russia. Of special interest is the position of authors who try to explain the Russian attitude to the Central Asian region as, on the one hand, an expression of nostalgic feelings harbored by a great part of the population about the nation’s former greatness, assuming that these feelings have an impact on the leadership’s policies, and on the other hand, as the Russian leadership’s attempt to use Russia’s active return to the international arena for the consolidation and self-identification of society. It is observed that some French authors speak of a New Great Game. This very popular concept consi-ders the actions of Russia and other powers operating in the region (USA and China) as a continuation of the historical rivalry between the Russian and British empires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Russian authors have always been interested in French historiography; this is due to the latter’s scientific prestige and objectivity, and in particular its application of methodologies that further develop the tradition of the Annales School. At the same time, the growing French scholarship on the issue of Russia and post-Soviet Central Asian republics has not yet been subject to close and complex conside-ration, which defines the novelty of the article. © Arslanov R.A., Trifonova E.D., 2020.

Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования Российский университет дружбы народов (РУДН)
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  • 1 RUDN University, Department of Russian History, 6 Miklukho-Maklaya St, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 2 RUDN University, Department of Foreign Languages, 6 Miklukho-Maklaya St, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Central Asia; Energy resources; French historiography; Geopolitics; Great Game; Impe-rial model; Interests; Relations; Security; Soft power
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