IRSS continues with Talk on Russia’s geopolitical spaces

The first International Relations Research Seminar Series (IRSS) talk in Spring 2015 was recently held at our Department. Guest speaker was a Visiting Fellow of our Department, David Savarin. David is a PhD candidate at King’s College London.

In his talk, entitled “The construction of ‘geopolitical spaces’ in Russian foreign policy discourse before and after the Ukraine crisis”, David examined the geopolitical discourse of Russia’s ruling elite and the construction of the three “geopolitical spaces” of Eurasia, Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific in Russian foreign policy. His main argument was that the geopolitical spaces of Eurasia, the Euro-Atlantic and the Asia-Pacific are core elements of Russia’s geopolitical imagination and that Russia’s “membership” in these geopolitical spaces is considered to be a crucial element in Russian foreign policy. This was particularly true until the Ukraine crisis. Thereafter, Russia’s emphasis shifted to an increasingly strong emphasis on Eurasia and the newly-established Eurasian Economic Union and with it the intention to form a new common and integrated space from Lisbon to Vladivostok. David concluded that Russia’s place in the international order changed in recent months and this is due not only to its actions in Ukraine, but also to the Russian leaders’ discursive practices of carving out a new place for their country. Asst. Prof. Onur İsçi was David’s discussant and added to the debate through his expertise on the issue. In light of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, this event provided for an interesting and highly topical discussion for both IR faculty and graduate students.