University of Cambridge > > POLIS Department Research Seminars > Revolutions, counterrevolutions, and (un)making of order in Europe: the case of Ukraine

Revolutions, counterrevolutions, and (un)making of order in Europe: the case of Ukraine

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Ayse Zarakol.

The struggle for international order is usually studied within international relations’ dominant systemic theories as driven by conflict amongst the great powers, with substate actors playing little to no role. This paper argues that international order is not just predicated on concentrations of state power and competition between great powers, but also on revolutions that need to be understood not simply as isolated, domestic events but rather as transnational phenomena that have impact far beyond the borders of the state where they occur. The historical record is rich with examples of the interplay between revolutions, states and order making. Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine is an illustrative example. The Kremlin’s ongoing illegal war against Kyiv is best understood not as a push-back against NATO expansion, but as a counter-revolutionary intervention to stem the demonstration effect of liberal democracy on Russia’s internal polity, as well as a repudiation of Europe’s emergent post-modern political order.

This talk is part of the POLIS Department Research Seminars series.

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