Putin's Power Revisited: How identity positions and great power interaction condition strategic cooperation in Syria

Published: 13 May 2019

This article investigates how Russian foreign policies are shaped in a two-level interactive social game. Russian foreign policies take their cue from ingrained identity positions articulated by the state leadership and negotiated in domestic debates, but they are also informed by interaction with other states. The article explains the shift in Russian policies away from pragmatic cooperation with the West in Syria from autumn 2015 onwards. While the Russian leadership initially sought such cooperation, the prominence of anti-Western discourse in Russia following the crisis in Ukraine as well as the West's rejection of Russia in this period spurred Russia to act independently in Syria.