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Russia and the New World Disorder by Bobo Lo

Russia and the New World Disorder


Russia and the New World Disorder by Bobo Lo

The Russian annexation of Crimea was one of the great strategic shocks of the past 25 years. For many in the West, Moscow's actions in early 2014 marked the end of illusions about cooperation, and the return to geopolitical and ideological confrontation. Russia, for so long a peripheral presence, had become the central actor in a new global drama.In this groundbreaking book, renowned analyst Bobo Lo analyzes the broader context of the crisis by examining the interplay between Russian foreign policy and an increasingly anarchic international environment. He argues that Moscow's approach to regional and global affairs reflects the tension between two very different worlds. The Kremlin highlights the decline of the West, a resurgent Russia, and the emergence of a new multipolar order. But this idealized view is contradicted by a world disorder that challenges core assumptions about the dominance of great powers and the utility of military might. Its lesson is that only those states that embrace change will prosper in the twenty-first century.A Russia able to redefine itself as a modern power would exert a critical influence in many areas of international politics. But a Russia that rests on an outdated sense of entitlement may end up instead as one of the principal casualties of global transformation.


Once again, Bobo Lo has written an illuminating book on Russia's foreign policy. With elegance and precision, Lo has explained why Russia, as a declining power, is still so important for international stability, crisis management, and global issues. A must-read for now, and certainly a classic book for the next decade. -Dr. Thomas Gomart, Director of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), Paris Bobo Lo offers a trenchant analysis of the challenges and choices that confront Russia in today's rapidly changing global environment. He asks whether Russia is capable of jettisoning its imperial mindset and becoming a modern nation-state capable of interacting more effectively both with its neighbors and with the wider world. His answer is sobering-and sometimes surprising. -Angela Stent, Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES), Georgetown University, and author of The Limits of Partnership: US-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century. Bobo Lo's new book is elegantly written and has a masterful grasp of the pressures and temptations that have acted on Putin in foreign and security policy. He puts us all in his debt. -Robert Service, Fellow of the British Academy, and Emeritus Fellow, St Antony's College, University of Oxford [Lo] adopts a commendably calm approach to a topic which attracts plenty of polemic. At every stage he outlines Russian views of the world fairly, and highlights Western mistakes and misapprehensions, before proceeding to paint the full picture in precise and sometimes scathing terms...Mr Lo's book is the best attempt yet to explain Russia's unhappy relationship with the rest of the world. It does not make comforting reading. Nor should it. - The Economist It is an insightful take from one of the West's leading Russia scholars on the different tracks Russia's foreign policy can take, and the results of each. As Russia continues to position itself at the center of world affairs - from annexing Crimea to joining the Syrian civil war - policymakers should look at the world from the Kremlin's point of view and assess Russian strategic thinking from the inside out. This book does exactly that. - New Framework

About the Author

Bobo Lo is an associate fellow with the Russia and Eurasia programme at Chatham House (UK) and is former deputy head of mission in Australia's Moscow Embassy. He is the author of Axis of Convenience: Moscow, Beijing, and the New Geopolitics (Brookings/Chatham House, 2008).

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Book Info

Publication date

17th August 2015


Bobo Lo

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Brookings Institution


336 pages


International relations



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