Explaining variations in international alignments

Ecaterina V. Locoman
2018
Why did the post-Soviet states follow different foreign policy paths when compared to the rest of the former Communist states, after the dissolution of the USSR? Why states pursue inconsistent foreign policies and how do they choose alignment patterns? Why did some post-Communist governments in Europe take office promising one foreign policy orientation (either pro-West or pro-Russia) but later changed direction and adopted the opposite orientation? The research undertaken in this dissertation
more » ... s based on extensive fieldwork activities in Eastern Europe: interviews with more than forty policymakers, including former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ambassadors, diplomats and policy makers in both Ukraine and Moldova. In addition, the diplomatic archives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Ukraine and Moldova, and the archives of the Moldovan Parliament were studied: more than 80,000 pages of diplomatic records, spanning from 1991 to 2006, were consulted. With insights from diplomatic archives and accounts from personal interviews with officials in charge of foreign policy making, the dissertation argues that political leaders in all post-Communist states chose alignment options based on a cost-benefit analysis, weighing whether the combination of incentives and constraints posed by orienting to the West or Russia did the most to further their overriding goal of acquiring or retaining power at home. In post-Communist countries where the EU and NATO offered a credible prospect for membership, political leaders from across the spectrum converged on a pro-Western foreign policy. In these cases, the promise of financial support and security guarantees from the West proved overwhelmingly attractive to domestic politicians, easily outweighing anything Russia might offer in hopes of reorienting the country's foreign policy towards Moscow. By contrast, in the countries where the EU and NATO refused to grant a membership prospect, most notably to Ukraine and Moldova, the benefits of sticking t [...]
doi:10.7282/t36q21pb fatcat:ng4ar2y6qvcgfci3ngwmc4lte4