In This Review

Putin's Russia and the Enlarged Europe
Putin's Russia and the Enlarged Europe
By Roy Allison, Margot Light, and Stephen White
Blackwell, 2006, 240 pp.

Perhaps the most complex and, in many ways, most revealing dimension of Russian foreign policy is Russia's relations with Europe, once the country's leaders try to think beyond former Soviet borders. Here, ever since Peter the Great, Russia's tormented quest for identity reaches its climax. Here Russia deals most directly with the flight of former dominions. And, here, in particular, it faces exclusion from two of the external world's most formidable institutions -- NATO and the European Union. The conundrum of how Russia might be included in Europe when it cannot be integrated into its institutions -- "Russia in Europe versus Russia and Europe" -- forms the core of this book. The authors center their very informed and levelheaded analysis on Russia's evolving attitude toward these two institutions, among both the public and the political elite. They embed this analysis in a lean, effective discussion of the domestic politics behind Russian foreign policy.