Foreign interference as a form of interstate competition: types and motives

Foreign interference as a form of interstate competition:
types and motives

Article received: 2023.11.11. Accepted: 2024.03.10

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2024.03.02

For citation:

Suchkov M.A. Foreign interference as a form of interstate competition: types and motives . – Polis. Political Studies. 2024. No. 3. P. 8-23. (In Russ.). EDN: ZLHUCK

The research was funded by the Russian Science Foundation grant № 22-18-00723,


The revival of the “great power competition” as a modern-day paradigm of international relations boosts certain forms of interstate rivalry that can be simultaneously effective and correspond to certain levels of acceptable cost-benefit balance. This includes the phenomenon of foreign interference into the domestic affairs of sovereign states. Research on this topic by foreign and Russian authors can be divided into two closely intertwined, but problematically different blocks: the former make attempts to theoretically understand the very concept of “interference”, while the latter focuses primarily on the phenomenon of “interference” as an element of strategic competition. While the former is primarily focused on clarifying the “contents” of the interference, the latter, in essence, is devoted to understanding its “form” with an emphasis on the actions of states. This paper seeks to determine the place of “interference” within the overall framework of interstate rivalry, to clarify the content and the definition of the very concept. It seeks to identify the motives for interference, construct their hierarchy, pair them with types of actions, and on this basis present a “ladder of escalation of interference” similar to the “ladders of escalation” of other types of military-political conflicts. The construction of such a model intends to help organize analysis and improve predictive capabilities on the issue of interference into domestic affairs and facilitate the adoption of more effective decisions in this area by policy-making circles.

interference, strategic competition, war, hybrid warfare, color revolutions, escalation, de¬escalation, ladder of escalation.


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Content No. 3, 2024

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