Regional Outcomes: why Europe remains the zone of confrontation

Antoni Z. Kaminski and Bartlomiej Kaminski
WSIiZ Working Papers
No 16.
The paper attempts to examine regional orders after the collapse of communism applying an analytical framework constructed for this purpose. The framework draws heavily on two approaches to the study of social dynamics: one developed by Daron Acemonglu and James Robinson to identify drivers of wealth and poverty and another one developed by Etel Solingen to study the relationship between conflict/cooperation and international/nationalist strategy pursued by a domestic ruling coalition. Our eclectic framework combines these two approaches; expands them to account for regional alliances; and provides taxonomy of possible outcomes in terms of regional stability depending on the distribution of power in the region and constraints imposed on national strategies. The application of this framework to post-Cold War Europe points to a diversified group of countries revolving around two distinct poles or hubs—the EU and Russia—and in-between. Two poles have contrasting institutional regimes and follow mutually excluding grand strategies. Russia with its spokes orchestrated transition within extractive or illiberal institutional regimes and authoritarianism. Russia’s adherence to Imperialist Grand Strategy clashes with Internationalist Grand Strategy of EU members turning European space into the zone of contained military conflict.
Keywords: Collapse of Communism; Regional Outcomes; Zones of Confrontation/Stable Peace; Grand Strategy; Inclusive Institutions; Extractive Institutions; Transitions from Extractive Institutional Regimes; Cold War; Regional Security/Integration; Security
JEL classification: F50, P48
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