Title

Explaining the Failure of US-Russian Relations

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Historical & Political Studies; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Angela Kachuyevski

Abstract

This thesis seeks to address the theoretical underpinnings of failed US-Russian relations in the post-Soviet era. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, each United States President has attempted to "reset" relations with Russia in hopes of a more positive, cooperative relationship. Significant international events during each of these presidential administrations have hindered progress in US-Russian relations, thus reset attempts have failed. I will be using the work of Russian political scientist Boris Mezhuyev on Civilizational Realism to see if this new approach to international relations theory and US-Russia relations is accurate in explaining state behavior and therefore the reasoning behind such failed reset attempts. I argue that civilizational realism provides a valid explanation of US-Russian relations by acknowledging the civilizational ideologies and values of both Russia and the US that consequently shape national identity, national interest, and therefore foreign policy.

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Explaining the Failure of US-Russian Relations

This thesis seeks to address the theoretical underpinnings of failed US-Russian relations in the post-Soviet era. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, each United States President has attempted to "reset" relations with Russia in hopes of a more positive, cooperative relationship. Significant international events during each of these presidential administrations have hindered progress in US-Russian relations, thus reset attempts have failed. I will be using the work of Russian political scientist Boris Mezhuyev on Civilizational Realism to see if this new approach to international relations theory and US-Russia relations is accurate in explaining state behavior and therefore the reasoning behind such failed reset attempts. I argue that civilizational realism provides a valid explanation of US-Russian relations by acknowledging the civilizational ideologies and values of both Russia and the US that consequently shape national identity, national interest, and therefore foreign policy.