Russian-European political relations have always been problematic and one of the main reasons for this is the different perspectives on even the very basic notions and concepts of political life. With a worldwide recession, the problems as well as the opportunities in Russian-European relations are magnified. While most works on Russian-European, Russian-American and Russian-West relations focus on current policies and explain them from a standard set of explanatory variables, this book penetrates deeper into the structural and ideational differences that tend to bring about misperceptions, miscalculations, misinterpretations and misdeeds in this two-directional relationship. It applies a very broad conceptual framework to analyse differences that are as relevant for Europe and the EU as it is to Russia's immediate neighbours and, while doing so, identifies the key factors that will dominate Russia-EU ties in the next decade.
Bertil Nygren and Kjell Engelbrekt are Associate Professors of Political Science at the Swedish National Defence College and at the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, Sweden.