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Entry into international society reconceptualised: the case of Russia

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This article addresses how entry into international society has been conceptualised, suggests a reconceptualisation that will make the concept more relational, and illustrates with a case study. Part one attempts a summary of relevant debates without the English School, and directs attention to the importance of how entrants draw on memories of its subject position in the suzerain system that it left as it entered international society. Part two discuses the experiences of Russia's predecessor polities, with the focus being on the place of Russian principalities within the suzerain system of the Golden Horde (ca. 1240–1500). I argue that Russia's basic stance towards European polities in the 16th and early 17th centuries is readily understandable in terms of a key memory, namely the one of being dominated by this polity, which was itself an outgrowth of the Mongol empire. Part three demonstrates how the resulting understanding of politics was confirmed by Russian experiences in the 16th and 17th centuries. I suggest that Russia never really let go of its memories of being part of a suzerain system, and that it is therefore still suspended somewhere in the outer tier of international societ

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43071/

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