Russia and the United States on the world stage. Part III. The role of messianism, exceptionalism, ambition, and survival in forging rivalry

Russia and the United States on the world stage. Part III. The role of messianism, exceptionalism, ambition, and survival in forging rivalry


Graham T.,

Council on Foreign Relations, New York, USA, tgraham@cfr.org



DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2022.03.05

For citation:

Graham T. Russia and the United States on the world stage. Part III. The role of messianism, exceptionalism, ambition, and survival in forging rivalry. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No. 3. P. 50-66. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2022.03.05



Abstract

Russian messianism and American exceptionalism played radically different roles in shaping the foreign policy of the two great powers. Messianism had little influence on Russian statesmen, who operated largely according to the principles of realpolitik. This is true even of the Soviet period, when ideological fervor quickly yielded to considerations of national interest. For the most part, Russian rulers rarely sought to dominate the world in the name of a Russian brand of universalism and exceptionalism; rather they were focused on preserving the fundamental character of the Russian state and their seat at the high table of global geopolitics among the other great powers. American exceptionalism, by contrast, infused elites and public alike, creating a unique approach to world affairs among great powers. The drive to propagate American values by example gave way to a vigorous crusade to extend their reach across the globe in the decades after the Second World War. American global leadership became a core tenet of American foreign policy, which was driven by a universalist ideology. American dynamism sharpened the rivalry with Russia. As the country pushed outwards into Eurasia in search of commercial opportunity and eventually to propagate its democratic values, it ran up against Russia’s long security perimeter. Since the United States could no more abandon its search for new markets or effort to propagate American values than Russia could renounce the unique character of its statehood, enduring ideological and geopolitical rivalry was inevitable. 

Keywords
Russian messianism, American exceptionalism, Realpolitik, Manifest Destiny, Muscovite State, balance of power.


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Content No. 3, 2022

See also:


Peregudov S.P.,
Organized Interests and the Russian State: the Change of Paradigm. – Polis. Political Studies. 1994. No5

Vorozheykina T.Ye.,
State and Society in Russia: the State-Centric Development Mould Exhausted. – Polis. Political Studies. 2002. No4

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American Policy and Russian's Future. – Polis. Political Studies. 1993. No3

Brownhart R., Brownhart M.,
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