Douglas Blum
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Contested national identities and weak state structures in Eurasia

This chapter investigates both the state in post-Soviet Eurasia as the primary site of institutionalisation and the state's concerted international action in the sphere of security. This investigation requires a major caveat: state-centric approaches to security impose analytical costs by obscuring substate and transnational actors and processes. The construction of Others in Eurasia has taken place through intertwined processes which Graham Smith has called essentialisation, historicisation, and 'totalisation' or the use of absolute categories. In Russia, the discourse of national identity reproduction overwhelmingly includes the explicit identification of hostile Others abroad, such as Islamic fundamentalists and organised criminal gangs. In addition to analysing the way in which national identity determines the direction of foreign policy, it is necessary to consider state strength (or weakness). State capacity directly bears on the viability of state-brokered international institutions.

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Limiting institutions?

The challenge of Eurasian security governance


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