عنوان مقاله [English]
Today geopolitics has returned to political analysis and international relations of the studies with more depth and accuracy in understanding of phenomena and also predicting them. The best example for geopolitical consideration in 20th century is the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The event changed the political boundaries of one of the two superpowers in the global bipolar system. Although Russia has lost the considerable size of its territories, especially as its periphery margins, but it has remained as a great power in the region. Soviet fall as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century- as in 2005 Russian president, Putin called - has changed the geographic borders and brought a broad nationalistic and geopolitical thoughts and visions, including the necessity of reviving the Eurasian civilization. Here we consider some geopolitical schools and approaches in regards of preserving Russian influence as its history and related Russian identity. In fact the eurasianism approach has constructed and grown based on Russian identity in the unique manner and way. It seems Russian foreign policy is inspired of geopolitical thinking.
This study has been executed with analytical and descriptive method. Data gathering are mainly based on primary resources, library information and documentation and also online books and articles in three languages: Farsi, English and Russian. This study is focus on Russian political community and thoughtful contemporary schools and intellectual thoughts. Here the research areas are in the fields of political geography, geopolitics and also international relations.
Results and discussion
As mentioned in the text, the Eurasian orientation has been present in Russia for centuries. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has undergone a significant change in its foreign policy. Starting from the second half of the 1990s, Russian foreign policy began to reflect more and more on the concept of geopolitics. In spite of the fact that Russia as a successor of the USSR; it was facing many economic and political problems. Russian foreign policy was and is based on geopolitical thinking.
One school of foreign policy thinking in Russia warns against an excessively Eurasian concentration of Russian resources and argues for the country’s pro-Western, rather than merely regional, orientation. This school can be referred to as Westernizers because for many years politicians and intellectuals of this group have been challenging the wisdom of Russia’s regional orientation and developing a special Eurasian strategy. To them, Russia is essentially a European country that must associate itself primarily with the Western world and its institutions. This essay assumes that despite the expectations of some scholars and policy-makers, Russia did not retreat from the Eurasian geographical space and in fact is keenly interested in securing its cultural, political, and economic presence there. Some approaches can be mentioned in the Russian geopolitics thinking in the Russian discourse since the Soviet disintegration among Russian political thinkers and foreign policy including geoeconomism, stabilizing Eurasia, expansionists and civilizationists that represent the politically conservative factions of Eurasianist thinking. To supporters of stabilizing Eurasia, the key word in understanding Russia’s security mission in Eurasia is stabilization. Geoeconomism emphasizes the role of geoeconomic over geopolitical factors in the post-cold war world and Eurasia. The emergence of the new geopolitical thinking in Russia is often associated with Eurasianism or the spatial imagination of post-Soviet Eurasia. Eurasianism emphasizes Russia’s geopolitical and cultural uniqueness and distinctiveness from both Western and Asian worlds. To eurasianism, one of the propositions is the notion of the Eurasian continent as heartland of the world and Russia as the heart of the heartland. Following this logic of exclusive geopolitical competition, Russia must take advantage of its strategic location and mobilize its resources, experience, and will for establishing full and single-handed control over Eurasia. For Alexander Dugin as the leader of neo- eurasianism movement, Eurasia spreads far beyond the former USSR. Russia is at the center of this geopolitical struggle and Russia’s main identity is that of Eurasian. Here there are so many questions: If Russia is unable to perform its traditional stabilizing role in the region, which is going to play this vital role? How are analysts to respond to the sudden emergence of new threats when Russia itself is weak and has very limited resources at its disposal? Finally, what exactly is Russia with its new geographical boundaries and how should it reconstruct its traditional geopolitical identity?
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lost its geopolitical hegemony, but it retained the tendency towards regaining its influence in the world. This tendency is supported by the geopolitical thinking which underlies Russian foreign policy, and which contains elements of some geopolitical schools of thought. Eurasianism and Neo-Eurasianism are basically created as a reaction to external factors, which were, in significant aspects, very similar. That means that the political collapse of the structure of the Soviet state was accompanied by the geopolitical dissolution of the territory into several sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities. Today, we can analyze the concept of Neo-Eurasianism which is seen in the development of the contemporary Russian geopolitical thought. Such circumstances have occurred after 2000, with the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s rule started, who, again, tries to position Russia as the dominant geopolitical factor between Europe and Asia. Analyses of Russian schools of geopolitical thought disclose that there is no full use of the concepts, visions and theories of one separate school. Instead, Russian foreign policy is based on some aspects of all schools of geopolitical thoughts, which reflects the realistic evaluation of Russian resources, abilities, and capacities. Geopolitical thinking remains a key stone in Russian foreign policy. Analysis of Russian schools of geopolitical thought disclose that there is no dominant visions in Russian foreign approach, but somehow geopolitical views including eurasianism and neo eurasianism are reflected on it.