This book examines how the political design for restoring Russia’s ‘greatness’ has been shaped by the increase of its profile as a key energy supplier and the continuing decline of its military might in the period that can be characterized as ‘Putin’s era’.
These three drivers of Russia’s political trajectory – the search for greater international status, the politics of energy, and transformation of the Armed Forces – are evaluated separately. The three main themes of the book, however, are related to their complex interplay:  how the traditional political emphasis on building military muscle blends with the new priority of exploiting energy levers for political purposes;  how the desire to achieve ‘greatness’ utilizes the strength of the energy complex in the concept of ‘energy super-power’;  how the perceived military superiority conflates with the urge to claim a dominant role in the policy of conflict management to the south of Russia’s borders.
This combination of three different kind of analysis – military-security, politico-economic, and geopolitical – facilitates the development of new perspectives on Russia’s future beyond the scheduled transfer of power from President Putin to a new leader in 2008. The conclusion anticipates how the contradictions currently building up within each of the three interplays could be resolved and suggests three short scenarios for Russia’s continuing transition in the next decade.
This book will be of interest to students of Russian politics, European Security and International Relations in general.