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Cold War ideational legacies and contemporary US foreign policy towards Russia

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

This thesis explores how Cold War ideational legacies shape contemporary US foreign policy towards Russia and identifies mechanisms that serve to sustain them. It argues that post-Cold War US foreign policy towards Russia has been, and remains, heavily influenced by policy-maker and analytical elite understandings of, and experiences during, the Cold War. The thesis outlines, across three case studies, the influence of different, often conflicting, ideational legacies in different contexts and highlights the institutionalisation of some legacies which contributes to their sustained influence across different administrations. Influenced by these ideational legacies, the ways in which US actors interpret the world and the assumptions they make affect reality as well as reflect it, contributing to policies often detrimental to US-Russian relations.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 May 2016


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