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The different faces of power in EU-Russia relations

Casier, Tom (2017) The different faces of power in EU-Russia relations. Cooperation and Conflict, 53 (1). pp. 101-117. ISSN 0010-8367. E-ISSN 1460-3691. (doi:10.1177/0010836717729179) (KAR id:62886)


This article applies Barnett and Duvall’s taxonomy of power to EU-Russia relations aiming to understand power in its complexity and without a priori theoretical assumptions. Four different types of power – compulsory, institutional, structural and productive - feature simultaneously. It is argued that non-compulsory forms of power are key to understand the logic of competition in EU-Russia relations in the decade preceding the 2014 Ukraine crisis, despite receiving limited scholarly attention. First, a struggle over institutional power, the capacity to control the conditions of the other actor indirectly, appeared from rivalling integration projects and competing norm diffusion. Secondly, power relations were strongly characterised by constitutive forms of power - structural and productive -, in particular the capacity to produce and recognise identities, such as Europeanness. In both fields the EU held a hegemonic position, which Russia increasingly challenged. The geopolitical reading of the regime change in Ukraine in 2014 prompted Moscow to a radical change of strategy, shifting the emphasis in the confrontation to compulsory power. Attempts at direct control, from annexation to sanctions, now dominate relations. Whereas Russia seeks to prevent the Euro-Atlantic community from gaining effective control over Ukraine through destabilisation, this can be labelled ‘negative’ compulsory power.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0010836717729179
Uncontrolled keywords: Russia, European Union, power, Ukraine crisis
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Tom Casier
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2017 08:31 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 23:25 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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