Russia has never been able to escape its relationship with Europe, or Europe with Russia. Geography and history have conspired to make them both neighbors and unavoidable factors in each other's daily lives. From the early 1700s until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Europe and Moscow both relied on material power to balance against any threats emerging from East and West. More recently, Europe and the EU have adopted a different strategy: make Russia non-threatening by making it European, like "us." Meanwhile, Russia's resistance to Europe's assimilationist mission is increasingly robust, fuelled by energy exports to Europe and the world. Contributors to this volume wrestle with the question of whether the European project is feasible, desirable, or even ethical.
"The title is controversial, and the chapters live up to its promise. Starting with Neumann on Russia before 1815 and ending with Medvedev on Russia's Europeanization, this is a stimulating, often fascinating, and very useful volume." - Dr. Dov Lynch, Senior Advisor to the OSCE Secretary General
"Russia's European Choice is a rarity. This collection of chapters by reputable scholars boasts both a strong disciplinary grounding and an extensive knowledge of Russian and European politics and society - the product of a well-conceived research program which achieves thematic coherence while investigating a variety of issues. This timely volume of intelligent writing on Russia should stimulate both thinkers and practitioners to reassess their preconceptions about the complex relationship between Russia and the rest of Europe." - Derek Averre, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
"This timely book explores the core paradox of Russia's European choice - the growing tension between the process of Europeanization and Moscow's insistence on defining the rules for its part of the European continent. A group of leading Western and Russian scholars offer a major contribution to the debate about how we should define the troubled Russia-EU relationship and re-think earlier hopes for substantial integration or normative convergence between the two sides. The synthesis of theoretical insight, serious empirical research on issues of the 'shared neighborhood' and measured judgment distinguishes this incisive analysis and makes it core reading for all those seeking to understand Russia's place in Europe and to devise effective policies to overcome a more serious impasse between Moscow and Brussels." - Roy Allison, Reader in International Relations, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science