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Kind words, cruise missiles and everything in between: A neoclassical realist study of the use of power resources in U.S. policies towards Poland, Ukraine and Belarus 1989–2008
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study intends to explain why the United States led entirely different policies towards Poland, Ukraine and Belarus under circumstances where realist theory would predict otherwise. Realism being an “environment based theory”, it would indeed predict a state to lead highly similar foreign policies under identical conditions. Yet, within the overall context of managing unipolarity, the US has clearly led different policies toward these three countries from the demise of the Soviet Union to the end of the second Bush Administration (i.e., in the years 1989 to 2008). In seeking to explain that puzzle, this study follows a path hitherto neglected by neoclassical realist scholarship: a strong emphasis on the bilateral dimension in all foreign policies. Poland, Ukraine and Belarus are friendly, undecided and non-friendly states, respectively, as seen from a Washington perspective. What type of power resources seems appropriate in addressing them is likely to depend on this status. The study subsequently shows that different types of power resources or “base values” underlie the various foreign policy tools employed with respect to the studied countries. For that reason, it argues that perceptions of states’ friend, non-friend or undecided statuses should be considered an element of the missing link neoclassical realists identified between states’ power resources and their foreign policy output.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Political Science, Stockholm University , 2010. , 239 p.
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 136
, Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 50
Keyword [en]
neoclassical realism, foreign policy, power, U.S. foreign policy, Central and Eastern Europe, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-45850ISBN: 978-91-7447-148-9ISBN: 978-91-86069-20-9OAI: diva2:370018
Public defence
2011-01-14, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 14:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-12-22 Created: 2010-11-14 Last updated: 2010-11-15Bibliographically approved

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Kunz, Barbara
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