Since its independence in 1991, Russia has struggled with the growing pains of defining its role in international politics. After Vladimir Putin ascended to power in 2000, the country undertook grandiose foreign policy projects in an attempt to delineate its place among the world’s superpowers. With this in mind, Robert Nalbandov examines the milestones of Russia’s international relations since the turn of the twenty-first century. He focuses on the specific goals, engagement practices, and tools used by Putin’s administration to promote Russia’s vital national and strategic interests in specific geographic locations. His findings illuminate Putin’s foreign policy objective of reinstituting Russian global strategic dominance. Nalbandov argues that identity-based politics have dominated Putin’s tenure and that Russia’s east/west split is reflected in Asian-European politics.
Nalbandov’s analysis shows that unchecked domestic power, an almost exclusive application of hard power, and determined ambition for unabridged global influence and a defined place as a world superpower are the keys to Putin’s Russia.
Robert Nalbandov is an assistant professor of political science at Utah State University and the author of Democratization and Instability in Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus and Foreign Interventions in Ethnic Conflicts.
“Robert Nalbandov’s book brings fresh insight to both the longer-standing issues and the newer questions and conundrums the world faces in light of current Russian foreign policy.”—Rick Fawn, professor in the School of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland
“Robert Nalbandov’s new book makes an important contribution to the field of international security. Those who read this book will gain important insights into Russian foreign policy under a leader who has often been both confusing and frustrating for the West. Robert Nalbandov’s analysis clarifies key issues important to foreign policy and international geopolitics.”—Bruce E. Bechtol Jr., professor of political science at Angelo State University and author of North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un Era: A New International Security Dilemma
“Not by Bread Alone presents a comprehensive and provocative account of Russian foreign policy that strives to explain its evolution under Vladimir Putin by looking inside the black box of ‘Russian political culture.’ It is a challenging job, and Nalbandov does it well.”—Viatcheslav Morozov, professor of EU–Russia Studies at the University of Tartu and author of Russia’s Postcolonial Identity: A Subaltern Empire in a Eurocentric World