Emotions and Identity as Foreign Policy Determinants: Serbian Approach to Relations with Russia

Chinese Political Science Review 3 (4):495-528 (2018)
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The paper argues that while the Serbian society and political elite are known for treating their country’s accession to the EU in terms of pragmatic utility maximisation, they generally conceive of Serbian relations with Russia, contrariwise, as an identity-laden issue. To prove it, the author analyses Serbia’s behaviour toward Russia along the features of emotion-driven cooperation, found in the literature on identity and emotions in foreign policy. In particular, the paper focuses on Serbians’ especially strong friendliness vis-à-vis Russia, the parallel existence of the Other (the West) in their identity and the particularly strong intensity of their attraction to Russia during Serbia-West conflicts, the reinforcement of their affection to Russia by national traumas, the endurance of the affection’s strength despite conflicting rational interests and negative experiences in bilateral interaction, the frequent occurrence of references to Russia in Serbia’s domestic discourse and decisional justifications and a large use of historical analogies concerning Russia. Finally, the author ponders over the implications of the existent configuration of emotional and pragmatic forces in Serbian politics for the country’s current and future conduct toward Russia and the EU.
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First archival date: 2018-05-14
Latest version: 2 (2018-05-28)
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