Graeme P. Herd
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Crimea as a Eurasian pivot in ‘Arc of Conflict’
Managing the great power relations trilemma
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This chapter investigates the potential for the new disorder in the context of a specific geographical locus: Crimea. It is in this historical pivot-point that relations between great powers will be most significantly tested, and here that one finds political, economic and security quandaries that are best conceptualised in terms of a ‘trilemma’. This occurs in terms of competing themes of democracy, self-determination and economic globalisation. The argument here is that managing each of these three themes will be a difficult task in general, and virtually impossible where the major power centres of the post-unipolar world ultimately meet. Accordingly the chapter examines the preconditions for Russian involvement in Crimea, the instruments it employed, its normative justifications for doing so, and the domestic and foreign policy gains it sought to engender.

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