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Geopolitics and the Roots of Putin’s Foreign Policy

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The four books reviewed here explore the intellectual roots of Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Ukraine. Agnia Grigas sees it as the result of a logic of imperial expansion inherent to the Russian state, while Charles Clover argues it was shaped by the revival of ideas of Russia as a Eurasian civilization. Mark Bassin provides a deep analysis of the evolution of the thought of Lev Gumilev, the most influential Eurasianist thinker. Gerard Toal brings the perspective of a critical geographer, and views Russian behavior through the prism of its rhetorical stand-off with the United States.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Government, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT Visiting Leverhulme Professor, University of Manchester, 2016


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