Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Austin Jersild

Committee Member

Simon Serfaty

Committee Member

Regina Karp


This study analyzes Russian perceptions and narratives of the post-Cold War international order, with attention to both Russia’s role in this order and to Russia’s perceived special mission in post-Soviet space, or what is often referred to as the ‘near abroad.’ Although Russia’s visions of the world and post-Soviet space were constructed, to some extent, during the Soviet era, this study shows that the experience of the US-led world order has had a great impact on contemporary Russian discourse. America often misunderstands the factors that motivate and inspire contemporary Russia, in part because the end of the Cold War resulted in a decline in the effort to study and understand the region. This research, by closely examining concepts and issues such as the ‘Russian world,’ Eurasian integration, NATO enlargement, Ukraine, and others, will explain the direction in which Russia’s policy in post-Soviet space will develop in the near future.


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