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Ethics, Integration, and Disintegration: A Russian Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 September 2012

Abstract

This article is concerned mainly with the array of moral, ethnic, and nationalistic questions that emerged as a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Its claim is that the cause for the collapse of the empire was not so much its poor economic performance, rather the moral bankruptcy of which the people could no longer endure. Now Russia (and the West) must tackle, for example, the rise of nationalism in the new states; the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia; the highly unstable new states and their drive to dominate Soviet troops stationed within their territorial boundaries. Russia's role as a great power is imperative in maintaining global peace and acting as a stabilizing force in the area, as it was throughout the Cold War era. Reemergence of morality in Russian politics is the main success of Yeltsin's government, yet what alarms the authors most of all is the immoral treatment of ethnic minorities within the breakaway republics. The West is urged to make relations with these countries contingent upon this issue. As for the future, though prospects for a comprehensive collective security structure encompassing all new states is not realistic, regional alliances based on mutual interests are likely to surface.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1993

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References

1 Geoffrey Denton, Ethics and Foreign Policy in the Common European Home, Wilton Park Papers 28, conference report based on Wilton Park (Sussex, United Kingdom) Conference 354, July 2–6, 1990, “Ethics and Foreign Policy: An Agenda for the Common European Home,” cosponsored by the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.Google Scholar

2 Shevardnadze, Eduard, Moi vybor. V zachitu democratii i svobody (My Choice: In Defense of Democracy and Freedom) (Moscow: Novosti Publishing, 1991), 1011Google Scholar.

3 For more on this see the works of Nikolai Berdyaev, an émigré Russian philosopher who has written on the enchantment of Russia by communist ideas.Google Scholar

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