Ontological security concerns in Russian foreign policy

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Jonas Gejl Kaas - Foredragsholder

IRES invites you to the first seminar of this term where an invited scholar Dr. Jonas Gejl Kaas from Aarhus University will offer his perspective on Russia's foreign policy. IRES seminars are free of charge and open to the general public, no pre-registration required.

In the seminar “Ontological security concerns in Russian foreign policy,” Jonas Gejl Kaas addresses why and how Russia renders foreign policy decisions meaningful, despite significant risks of undermining material security and international reputation. Kaas employs the concept of the inner self-self dialogue to provide inside insights on foreign policy decisions seemingly puzzling from the outside. Kaas argues that the self-self perspective offers a new dimension of foreign policy analysis focusing on the inner dialogue among relevant foreign policy agents that renders otherwise puzzling decisions meaningful. Unlike conventional self-other perspectives explaining foreign policy from key assumptions about maintaining material security and status of national self from a foreign other, Kaas’ analytical point of departure for his self-self explanation is ontological (in)security concerns about authenticity. Authenticity is understood as discrepancy between performed and envisioned foreign policy.

Listening carefully to the inner Russian dialogue rendering its intervention military intervention in Kosovo (1999) meaningful, Kaas demonstrates that an interplay of ontological security and status concerns played important roles. The main contribution of listening carefully to the inner self-self dialogue preceding a foreign policy decision is an inside out explanation of what from an outside vantage point seems unintelligible, irrational or deceptively straightforward. Looking into the inner Russian dialogue preceding its intervention in Ukraine (2014), Kaas highlights the material, status and ontological concerns used to render intervention in Ukraine meaningful and –less.
21 jan. 2020

Ekstern organisation

NavnInstitute for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University

ID: 176593696