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China-Russia relations after the Cold War: the process of institution-building and its impact on the evolution of bilateral cooperation

Dueben, Bjoern (2013) China-Russia relations after the Cold War: the process of institution-building and its impact on the evolution of bilateral cooperation. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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After three decades of seemingly insurmountable suspicion and bilateral crises, the post-Cold War period has witnessed a remarkable renewal and strengthening of Sino-Russian relations. Many of the underlying factors and circumstances contributing to the bilateral rapprochement of the past two decades remain yet to be analysed. This thesis illuminates the role of one of the factors involved in this process: the development of institutional links between the two states. Bilateral institutions, which were almost entirely absent until the mid-1990s, have now rapidly proliferated into a dense network of commissions and sub-commissions, working groups, and institutionalised exchanges, encompassing virtually all sectors of interaction between China and Russia. In addition, both countries are increasingly interacting in the framework of multilateral institutions and international organisations. This thesis examines what role the institutionalisation of Sino-Russian relations has played in enabling both states to forge a closer working relationship with each other. It begins by providing a brief comparative overview of the most common accounts of the factors that led to increasing Sino-Russian rapprochement in recent decades, assessing these factors through the lenses of relevant approaches in International Relations theory. It points out deficits in these common accounts, concluding that bilateral cooperation remained fraught with substantial problems and obstacles in all of these dimensions. Hence, these factors alone did not provide a policymaking context in which a persistent mutual rapprochement was particularly likely, let alone predetermined. The thesis then examines to what extent the process of institution-building has contributed to fostering and perpetuating bilateral rapprochement. It employs analytical concepts borrowed from Neoliberal Institutionalist theory and applies them in the context of several case studies of institution-building between China and Russia. It explores the extent to which the newly-created bilateral institutional channels have facilitated the implementation of cooperative policies between both countries by bringing together relevant stakeholders and rendering each country’s policy towards the other more stable, more predictable, and more well-informed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Bjoern Alexander Dueben
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Hughes, Christopher R. and Allison, Roy

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