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Self-presentation in Eurasian integration: national role conceptions and public rhetoric in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, 2010 - 2017

Nygymetova, G. (2020) Self-presentation in Eurasian integration: national role conceptions and public rhetoric in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, 2010 - 2017. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

For the fifteen former Soviet states that had been cast out into the international arena following the collapse of the USSR, newly-gained independence brought with it significant economic, political and even cultural challenges. Not only were these states forced to contend with economic decline, domestic instability, inter-ethnic conflicts and political power struggles, but there was also the problem of rediscovering a sense of national identity, something which had been actively suppressed by the Soviets during the seventy years of the USSR. For the leaders of many of these states, the solution to these challenges was to create a regional integration project to mitigate any potential extraneous or intrinsic shocks. Over the years since independence there have been multiple attempts at integration, each with varying levels of success. It is widely assumed that the main problem has been the persistently divergent views of the leaders of Eurasian states over what form integration should take and what its objectives should be. These disagreements have led to assumptions that the Eurasian integration project is simply ‘doomed to failure’. This thesis expands and modernizes Kalevi Holsti’s 1970 work on role theory to analyze the public rhetoric of policy-makers in four Eurasian states (Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan) to examine how they present the country on the international stage in the context of Eurasian integration since 2010. It aims to document whether the existence of divergent views is the reality by constructing a typology of ‘role conceptions’ for each case and comparing and contrasting their respective views and approaches. It then asks how this has affected integration efforts and concludes that divergent and incompatible role conceptions have constrained the approaches of these states to Eurasian integration. Crucially, until now, there has been a serious lack of empirical applications of role theory as well as a lack of research and widespread misconceptions and misunderstandings of the Eurasian region in the English-speaking literature. However, the importance of the region cannot be overstated given the natural resources of each state and their strategic location. Thus, an empirical study of four key states in the region will go some way to filling a large gap in the literature and improving our understanding of the political and cultural idiosyncrasies of the area.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Cromartie, A.
Thesis/Report Department:Department of Politics and International Relations
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:96559

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