One Europe or None:
Involution and Multipolarity
Professor of Russian and European Politics, University of Kent, Great Britain, R.Sakwa@kent.ac.ukelibrary_id: 683723 |
The crisis in relations between Russia and the European Union (EU) is part of the broader breakdown of the post-Cold War peace and security order. The cold peace between 1989 and 2014 increasingly demonstrated the tensions in that order, and the Ukraine crisis was a symptom of that breakdown. Four fundamental interlinked processes shape the crisis: the logic of non-negotiated enlargement; the radicalisation of a monist vision of Europe; the failure to develop the ideational or institutional framework for some sort of greater European integration project; and the ensuing attempts to create the foundations of an anti-hegemonic alignment as part of a nascent multipolar world order. The involution of pan-European idealism created a divided continent and accelerated strivings for multipolarity. Russia’s neo-revisionism seeks to temper the practical application of moral universalism in what are perceived to be arbitrary and punitive ways, while ensuring that the instruments of global governance really do reflect global concerns. The clash in Europe is only part of the broader challenge of representing pluralism at the global level. Eurasian and greater Asia developments represent a way for Russia to escape entrapment in the monism of the Atlantic system and the attendant involution of Europe. The failure to create a unified Europe means that Europe can no longer be considered an autonomous subject of global politics. The lack of one Europe means no substantive Europe in global affairs.
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