The discourses of Russia’s great-power responsibility.
The problem of special responsibilities of great powers has been widely discussed in IR literature, mostly with reference to the United States (Bukovansky et al. 2012) and, increasingly, China (Kopra 2018; Goh 2019). Russian policymakers have recurrently explicitly declared that Russia has a special role to play in global politics. According to foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia is a balancer in a multi-polar world. Official foreign policy concepts of the Russian Federation emphasise Russia’s responsibility for the stability of regional and global order. Many actions, ranging from Russia’s military intervention in Syria to the participation in the talks on the Iranian nuclear dossier, have been justified with references to this special role.
However, our understanding of how the Russian political and intellectual elites interpret great-power responsibility remains understudied. To what extent does this understanding of special responsibility converge with those prevalent in the West? Is Russian notion of special responsibilities limited to the realm of international security or does it include other areas of global governance, such as climate change? How much does domestic politics, in particular issues related to regime survival, weigh in into the Russian debates on responsibility? What role do international legal arguments play and what is the role of normative factors? Are status considerations relevant to Russia’s self-image as a responsible great power? Finally, is the theoretical repertoire of the English School – which forms the basis for scholarly deliberations in the majority of cases – suitable for explaining Russia’s notions of special responsibilities?
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria
• Good first degree (at least 2:1), preferably with a social science component
• Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of, Russian foreign policy
• Advanced knowledge of Russian
• Have a good grounding in International Relations/Foreign Policy
The scholarship is available as a +3 PhD programme. It includes
•An annual stipend indexed to the RCUK rate (2020-21 rate estimated at £15,285 full-time)
•100% tuition fee waiver at the standard Home/EU or International rate
•Students can also draw on a Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year