Pathways After Empire.
National Identity and Foreign Economic Policy
in the Post-Soviet World

Lanham, New York:
Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2001. 236 pp.






The end of the Cold War reinforced the necessity to rethink the historical and cultural bases of world politics. Over the subsequent decade, everyone became increasingly aware of cultural and normative influences in the international arena.  Among scholars, the so-called constructivist turn[1] began to document the effects of international norms and identities at least in security and political affairs.  This research seriously undermined the view that cultural properties are too elusive to be considered by those committed to standards of rigor and progressive knowledge cumulation.[2]  Studies of the world political economy, however, have been much slower in responding to the cultural challenge. A number of subjects, such as economic security, remain almost untouched by this newer angle of vision.  Instead the neorealist and neoliberal perspectives remain dominant in international political economy.[3] 

In an attempt to move beyond these accounts, this book advances a constructivist analysis of the foreign economic policies of the new states that succeeded the Soviet Union, other than Russia.  After 1991 some of them directed their economic activities primarily toward Russia and other former members of the USSR, while others shifted their foreign economic policies sharply away from what used to be the Soviet empire and toward new partners.  A central reason for the striking difference in policy outcomes is substantial variation in the strength of the new nations’ national identities. The stronger the identity, the more likely the new state was to shift away from the empire.  This study introduces the national identity perspective into International Political Economy studies, and establishes it for this region with the use of both qualitative and quantitative techniques. If this central idea is valid here, it may be valid in other world regions as well.  The book points the way toward further investigations beyond the former Soviet region.[4]

A sophisticated, culture-sensitive understanding of their policies improves upon the still common, simplified perception that all the newly independent states (NIS) will soon become a part of the global "free-market" world, especially those that are strategically located and endowed with plentiful natural resources.  Because national identity is involved, the question of "joining" the community of Western developed nations is much more complicated than one might think.  Equally, though, we should question expectations that all the former Soviet republics will return to their traditional trading area sooner or later, assuming that only the political ambitions of their leaders are currently driving some away from establishing a customs union on Soviet territory. Some of the NIS, despite being relatively weak as economic entities, are still likely to pursue an aggressive policy of restructuring their trade pattern and thereby "joining" the West.

This national identity perspective is rich with implications for scholarship and government policy, outside as well as inside the former Soviet region.  For economic affairs, it points to an overlooked source of national competitiveness and success in adjustment to globalization, as well as a foundation for regional integration.  For security affairs, this point of view illuminates post-imperial nationalism, the sovereignty dilemmas of weak states, and alliance formation.  For comparative politics, the cultural standpoint can add to our understanding of the economic reform process and democratization.  For policy, the book points to the importance of recognizing that there is more than one path toward development.  It sensitizes us to ways in which culture can be an advantage as well as a constraint.

The Question

            Why did the former Soviet republics’ responses to the post-1991 environment differ so dramatically?  Immediately after the break-up of the USSR, some observers were convinced that the newly independent nations would become, sooner or later, a part of the "free-market" world.[5]  Others suggested that the ex-Soviet republics might eventually remain in their traditional area and that it is primarily the political ambitions of their leaders that are currently driving them away from establishing some sort of a union on the territory of the former USSR.[6]  It soon became evident, however, that the emerging picture did not fit any of these expectations.  “Joining” the world community of independent nations has proved to be more difficult than one might think it would be.  The prospects for some sort of imperial restoration, too, remain remote, at best.  Fortunately or unfortunately, after five year of independence, they pursued fundamentally different patterns of international behavior.  At least three distinct patterns of the NIS’ foreign economic responses can be identified.[7]

            "Loyalists" announced their intention to remain loyal to their old partners and to establish a regional economic union on the territory of the Soviet Union.  They showed little desire to search for new economic partners; instead, they committed themselves to transforming the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) into a customs union.  Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgizstan were among the major "loyalist" NIS.

            "Independents" chose to become full-fledged members of the world trading system and to find new, primarily Western economic partners.  Despite being closely connected with Russia and other ex-Soviet republics, and even economically dependent on them (oil and gas dependence on Russia is the most obvious aspect), these nations have been much less cooperative with the CIS than the first group.  The Baltic republics became the strongest proponents of this type of policy.  By 1993-1994, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had signed a number of trade agreements with northern European nations and established the necessary domestic institutions for launching successful market-oriented foreign economic activities.

            The third group of nations falls between those poles.  Nations that belong to this group pursued a policy, which cannot be identified as staying with the old trading partners, because they made serious efforts to sign new commercial agreements with new partners.  However, unlike the Baltic republics, these nations were less committed to following this type of strategy.  They also maintained relationships with Russia and the CIS, and while not committing themselves to the CIS as a customs union, they stressed the importance of good relations with Russia and other CIS members.  Also unlike the Baltic republics, they were slow and indecisive in establishing domestic economic institutions necessary for shifting their trade pattern towards Western countries.  Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and some other nations fall in this category.

            The question of variation in the economic strategies of the fourteen NIS has not received much attention in the scholarly literature.  Economists have been either preoccupied with other foreign trade issues,[8] or dissolved this question in a more general question of economic viability of the NIS.[9]  Foreign policy experts, while generally more sensitive to this problem, have failed to analyze it in a systematic way.  To date, the best that has been done are small-n comparative studies of some of the NIS' foreign policies mentioning the relevance of the issue of economic restructuring but with no specific focus on it.[10]  The first step toward understanding the causes of differences in the NIS’ policies is to consider possible general ways of explaining countries' foreign economic policies in a market-oriented international environment.

Insufficient Explanations

            Following established International Political Economy (IPE) perspectives one can imagine at least three different ways of answering this question.[11]  This section addresses possible explanations of the observed variation and suggests that none of them is sufficient to account for the newly independent nations’ foreign economic policies.

International market conditions

            The first perspective—from international market conditions—operates on the assumption that market conditions are the strongest stimulus in shaping foreign economic policies.  International trade theory assumes, for example, that the point of departure for formulation of foreign trade policy is a country's comparative advantages in resource endowment (natural resources, labor, technology, etc.).   If this theory applies,[12] then in a newly independent nation we should see shifts in trade policy and in the direction of trade to the extent that former trade departed from comparative advantage.

This perspective, while being generally applicable to the NIS, misses the fact that they were just emerging out of a command political economy in 1991 and, therefore, lacked the of institutions necessary for launching market-oriented trade activities.  Conventional trade theory and—more generally—the international market perspective abstracts from national institutions and traditions, and it is not designed primarily to explain government policies in the first place.  It is therefore not particularly helpful in clarifying how the new actors of the world economy make their choices and why they chose to direct economic ties toward one country/set of countries, and not to another.  Apart from the idea that each country should have some sort of marketable resource to trade, this perspective does not tell us enough about variation in their policies of becoming independent actors of the world economy.

International power structure

            It was in response to the insufficiency of the international market perspective that another perspective—from the international power structure—has emerged.  Being driven by different political biases and empirical preferences, it theorizes the influences of international power from the standpoint of the developed and the developing worlds.  Neorealists are especially concerned with implications of economic power for nation military security and security arrangements; dependency theorists, on the other hand, focus on more equal distribution of economic power and ways of maintaining national autonomy in economic decision-making.  Both versions emphasize that the distribution of economic power is of key significance and no individual nation, whether developed or developing, can afford to ignore this factor in its foreign economic policy.[13] 

            The neorealist version makes particularly strong claims arguing that economic and commercial decisions can be best understood if analyzed as driven by nation’s power needs.[14]  Each nation is expected to use physical resources available, economic and military, for maintaining its security arrangements, particularly when the efficiency of national security arrangements is questioned.  Pursuit of economic reorientation then can serve as a way to reduce dependence and create a better security arrangement, rather than as a way to become wealthier.  The power perspective while is useful for clarifying the NIS' economic policy motivations, is insufficient for identifying differences across countries' policies.  During 1991-1996, at least some of the NIS, such as Ukraine and Belarus, did not experience any direct threats to their security from elsewhere, and yet their foreign economic policies turned out to be quite different.  As far as indirect threats go, with Russia proclaiming the strategy of “reintegrating the Near Abroad” in 1993, the NIS did face the danger of being pulled back in Russian ‘sphere of influence’ by means of economic or political coercion,[15] but their reactions to Russian efforts were far from being homogeneous.  Some of the ex-Soviet republics, such as Ukraine and the Baltics, perceived Russia’s newly proclaimed strategy as threatening their security, while some others remained indifferent of Russia’s intentions and was not nearly as worried about their sovereignty and independence. 

            Nor can the dependency perspective account adequately for the NIS’ varying foreign economic policies.  Obviously, during the many decades of empire, the ex-Soviet republics developed various degrees of economic interdependence and dependence on the metropole.  They became asymmetrically dependent on Russia’s market, fuel and supplies, as Russia had a more diversified economy and was richly endowed in natural resources.[16]  Yet, such dependence did not prove to be the only significant factor for understanding the NIS’ policies.  For example, the important division among the republics in their endowment in tradable resources, most notably oil and gas, can be helpful in understanding differences in economic policy of countries that are drastically different in this respect, but not of those that are similarly rich or poor with respect to their resources.  This division can provide some insights why energy-rich Azerbaijan and energy-poor Kyrgyzstan explicate different patterns of behavior, but is of no assistance in understanding policy variation within the group of energy-poor countries, such as Ukraine and Belarus.

National political institutions

            The problem with both neorealist and dependency perspectives is their relatively low sensitivity toward domestic perceptions of power resources relevant for restructuring foreign economic activities.  What often matters in foreign policy decisions is not the international pressure, but the way it is perceived on the national level.  As a result, nations that face similar challenges abroad may behave differently.  A calculation of power—military or economic—are done by policy-makers operating in varying national contexts and, therefore, is incomplete without considering domestic arrangements.  One influential way to consider domestic conditions has been to bring national political institutions perspective in the International Political Economy.  What matters in policy formulation, the supporters of this approach claim, is a different composition of social and political institutions as well as an ability of states to overcome the pressures of economic interest groups.[17]

            This perspective is an important addition to the previous two perspectives, but it, too, has limitations for explaining the observed variations.  Theoretically, the perspective should predict variation in the NIS' foreign economic policies on the basis of variation in their political institutional arrangements.  The problem is, however, that having emerged out of the same empire in the 1991, all the newly independent nations inherited domestic institutions that were product of the same centralized rule and do not vary enough to be able to predict the wide variation in the NIS’ foreign economic policies.  It is only at later stages that the NIS’ political institutions and state structures became relatively more diverse, with more democratic, society-led regimes shaping up in the western Eurasia and more authoritarian towards the south of Moscow.[18]  Such increasing diversification of the ex-Soviet republics’ political regimes is hardly helpful, however, in clarifying their foreign policy choices: for instance, the fact that by the 1997, the Baltic nations, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan established democratic institutions cannot tell us why these three represented three distinct patterns of economic orientation.[19]  Something else must determine the NIS' economic policy formulation, something that has not yet been captured by any of the above-listed perspectives.

The Argument in Brief           

            In attempting to compensate for the weaknesses of economic and political explanations, I propose to develop a national identity explanation for the former Soviet republics’ international economic policies.[20]  National identity is a cultural norm that reflects emotional or affective orientations of individuals toward their nation and national political system.  It involves symbolic, socially constructed meanings, which is well captured in the Benedict Anderson definition of nation as an "imagined political community."[21] 

            Rather than looking at national political arrangements, the national identity perspective emphasizes domestic cultural institutions thereby highlighting the sources of state structures and identity.  It does not treat institutions as endogenous of the state; instead, it sees them as capable of influencing state actions independently.[22]  This becomes a major advantage in theorizing about the post-imperial nations, or the newly emerged nations, as the NIS are.  The NIS are emerging out of an empire and going through the process of nation building.  Whereas the NIS do not vary significantly in their political institutions, they are different in their cultural characteristics, such as national memory and cultural perceptions of the empire and the outside world.  While sharing the same imperial legacy, the republics differ across various dimensions relevant for understanding their national identities and specifics of their identification vis--vis the ex-empire and the ex-metropole.  At least three groups of newly independent nations can be identified depending on how strong their national that is non-imperial, feelings are.

            The nations of one group may have had some experience of independent nationhood and, therefore, some sense of national identity before they had been incorporated into the empire.  If this independence experience was lengthy enough and the domestic institutions of sovereignty grew relatively strong, these nations also developed a strong connection, both physical and symbolic, with the world of sovereign nations.  All this became imprinted in these nations memories and led to perceiving the metropole as more threatening their security and the outside world as less threatening or even potentially friendly.  Assuming the absence of other powerful actors with strong imperial ambitions, the states of this group after the imperial disintegration will be unlikely to make a positive identification with the ex-metropole.  Rather, they are likely to relate to various parts of the world of sovereign nations, assuming the growing strength and the only alternative this world represents to the old imperial order in terms of the authority principles.[23]  On the other extreme, one can imagine the group of nations that did not have any historical record of independence and had been incorporated into the empire without a well-developed sense of their political identity.  This lack of ability to identify themselves with a country or region outside the empire (weak external identification) led them to perceiving the metropole as neutral or potentially friendly and other parts of external environment as threatening to their security.[24]  Finally, some nations may fall somewhere in between these two groups having difficulties of establishing their identification with the empire or the world of sovereign nations.[25]

            For comparative purposes, it may be useful to conceptualize the effects of national identity on policy makers in terms of degree of national identity strength.  Depending on how firmly the national (non-imperial) identity is established and, therefore, how strongly people in the newly independent nations disassociate themselves from the empire and identify with the nation as a non-imperial entity, the policy makers of the newly independent states may view the goals of these nations’ survival in a fundamentally different way.  A relatively well developed national identity constitutes a non-imperial reality, thereby exerting relatively strong regulative effect and providing policy makers with a resource for challenging the institutional legacies of the former empire and broadening a nation’s options in choosing an optimal strategy of international economic adjustment.  The ex-imperial nations, therefore, may vary in their economic policies depending on their ability to challenge the inherited imperial institutions for the purpose of assuming control over their policies, or in other words, depending on how strongly they are affected by the national identity norm.  

The effect of national identity on policy making is mediated by domestic struggle of culture-based political coalitions.  With the decline of an empire, this sense of national difference and national “selfness” gives additional stimulus to a rapid development of nationalist-oriented social movements pursuing goals of nation-building.  Depending on circumstances, nationalist movements may appeal to the population’s linguistic and religious instincts or historical feelings.  Nationalists get involved in a political process of competing with empire-savers for mobilizing social support.  If national identity is strong and the large share of the population has gone though the process of mental disassociation from the empire and identification with the nation, such support turns out to be sufficient.  As a result, nationalists replace the old pro-imperial elite as a result of a coup or elections, and set the agenda of economic decision-making.  If not, decision-making is likely to remain under the control of empire-savers.                         

National identity effects on policy making can be operationalized in a number of ways.  This study proposes that for the post-imperial nations, the factor that is crucial for capturing the level of their national identities development is these nations’ historical experience with national independence. Since the Peace of Westphalia, national independence has been a key condition in establishing modern system of power and authority relationships.[26] Those nations that had enjoyed an experience with independence for a relatively long time (before they were incorporated into the empire) have a relatively better chance of developing and maintaining their non-imperial identity through the time of their colonial existence.  For constructing a more inclusive picture, other indicators will be employed as well.                

It must be emphasized that by putting forward the national identity perspective, this study does not mean to suggest that other factors are unimportant in the post-Soviet nations’ economic behavior.  Rather, these factors, of market and power nature, are insufficient and should be supplemented with national identity considerations.  The perspective this study develops merely seeks to point limitations of conventional approaches and illustrate possible explanatory opportunities of bringing cultural variables in international political economy. 

Research Design

            This study uses two types of empirical research aimed at generating a new hypothesis for political economy studies and evaluating it at least on a preliminary basis.  First will come comparative exploration of a small number of cases or observations.  In this phase I prefer to use comparison across cases as well as detailed case research.  The main goal here will be to try to improve the hypothesis by learning more about the process through which national identity conceptions function (or do not function) in politics and policy making on foreign economic issues, and to check for spurious relationships.[27]  At the same time, if cases are selected carefully for theoretical reasons, such that they are similar with respect to plausible alternative causes of the main dependent variable, at least those alternatives can be ruled out as threats to the identity interpretation for these cases.  Thus the project will select three republics that vary as to strength of national identity but are relatively similar with respect to other possible influences, in order to isolate the former for particular attention.

            Two of the most important rival interpretations are relative security threats and international market conditions.  As far as the NIS’ economic competitiveness is concerned, the fourteen republics varied in the degree to which they would probably have benefited from abandoning the Soviet trading system and conducting their trade at world prices.  According to calculations by Watson, all except Russia and Turkmenistan had enjoyed subsidies under the Soviet system, so that all others were expected to suffer terms-of-trade losses from shifting the same trade to world prices -- but in widely varying degrees (See the Table 1).  Belarus, Latvia and Ukraine are adjacent in the center of this spectrum, as roughly equivalent in economic respect and, therefore, represent a reasonable set of cases for comparative examination.[28]

            As for the relative security threats, those that had larger military capabilities might have been expected to be less worried about trading with the ex-hegemon than those with weaker military capabilities.  All the NIS other than Russia naturally faced a huge disparity in capabilities, but at least in terms of conventional weapons, the weaker republics did not differ dramatically in this respect,[29] and none of the fourteen would stand any chance were it to resist Russia’s possible attack. This makes them roughly the same in terms of selecting for a qualitative comparison.  Ukraine, Belarus, and Latvia then can be selected for our study with the intent to control for power influence on their foreign economic policies.  

These three republics amply illustrate the likely range of potential variation in strength of national identity and perception of threat from the ex-metropole.  In terms of their experience with national independence, they can be seen as representatives of at least three distinct groups among the fourteen ex-Soviet republics.[30]  Baltic republics would exemplify nations with relatively well developed political identities.  Before they have been incorporated into the Soviet empire in 1940, they all enjoyed a quarter-century period of independent nationhood. This period allowed them to develop the sense of awareness of the threat to their identity posed by the Soviet occupation and resist efforts of the Soviet regime to incorporate them culturally.  At the other extreme are Belarus, Moldova, and the five Central Asian republics.  While different in many dimensions, these nations are similar in having no experience with independent statehood before their incorporation into the Soviet empire. As a result, their sense of being threatened by the ex-metropole continues to be relatively low.  Finally, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Ukraine fall somewhere in between those two poles.  Compared to Baltic nations, the experience of these nations with national independence was rather short-lived and fragmented, but it proved to be sufficient to develop and retain—even through the period of Soviet empire—a set of historical myths glorifying the idea of national independence.[31]

            For the purpose of this study, it would therefore suffice to select Belarus, Latvia and Ukraine, the cases from the three identified groups.  Latvia, Ukraine, and Belarus amply illustrate the likely range of potential variation in the strength of the effect of national identity.  One reasonable proxy for this variable is the number of years of experience as an independent entity the nation has had.  Belarus, at one extreme, had had no such experience at all prior to 1991, and Latvia had possessed all the attributes of nationhood during 1921-1940.  While Latvia and Belarus may be considered the most "obvious", or the "most-likely" cases of the national identity effect, the case of Ukraine is far less obvious and can serve as an additional test of the national identity hypothesis. The Ukraine falls somewhere in between Latvia and Belarus in terms of its national identity strength and, therefore, for the national identity hypothesis to be valid, Ukraine should pursue the economic policy falling in between those of Latvia and Belarus.[32]

            The second phase of the project then attempts a statistical test of the national identity hypothesis, as refined during the first phase.  Compensating for the relative shortcomings of small-n analysis, this phase aims at adding rigor to the analysis by employing additional empirical evidence and thereby improving causal inferences of the research.  Fourteen of the former Soviet republics during five years of their independence are selected[33] for quantitative test of the major hypothesis of this project and for assessing relative merits of competing explanations, such as market conditions, relative power, political institutions, and national identities.  The evaluation of their relative merits is based on bivariate regressions of various independent variables to the foreign economic policy score.  Taken separately, such evaluation, of course, is only tentative and would require further research.  However, when complimented with in depth qualitative investigation, such statistical analysis provides us with extra confidence in evaluating the explanatory potential of the national identity hypothesis.

Organization of the Study

            The next chapter develops a national identity explanation for the former Soviet republics' foreign economic policies.  It introduces the three main concepts around which this study is organized and establishes theoretical framework for answering in a preliminary fashion the following set of questions.  What is national identity and what are its basic dimensions?  How does the identity get constructed?  What are the conditions of its change and stability?  How can national identity be compared across cases and what type of effects it may possibly have on countries’ economic policy making?  What is the agency through which national identity exerts its effects on policy makers?  Finally, how the answers to these questions should be modified for the conditions of post-imperial nations, the direct subject of this study? 

            Chapters 3-5 turn to case studies and trace the influences of national identity on Latvia’s, Ukraine’s and Belarus’ foreign economic policies during 1991-1996.  The analysis is focused on how the three behaved vis--vis three goals of economic reorientation: minimizing economic ties with old commercial partners; finding potential new partners and establishing necessary domestic institutions for switching trade towards new partners; and signing trade agreements, both bilateral and multilateral, with new partners. 

            After observing Latvia’s, Ukraine’s and Belarus’ policies on each of the three stages, chapter 6 extends the analysis beyond the three cases’ comparison and explores how the argument made holds against other ex-Soviet republics.  The chapter proposes a way of analyzing the fourteen republics’ foreign economic orientations and to assess relative merits of competing explanations.  It also suggests a number of cases with deviant behavior, an avenue for further research of the issue, and offers a brief qualitative investigation of two of them. 

            The final chapter summarizes the overall findings and their implications.  It concludes that not only does national identity matter for explaining varieties of the ex-Soviet republics’ economic policies, but it seems to be the strongest predictor of their behavior, relative to explanations of economic and political nature.  The analysis shows that the ex-Soviet nations’ economic considerations turned out to be embedded in varying cultural contexts and it is only in these cultural contexts that economic interests could be formed and meaningfully function.  In addition to summarizing the study’s major findings, the chapter addresses alternative explanations and draws the implications of the analysis for theory and policy making.




       [1] Most important statements include Wendt 1992; Lapid and Kratochwil 1996; Katzenstein 1996; Finnemore 1996; Duffield 1998; Ruggie 1998; Wendt 1999.

       [2] For various overviews, see Checkel 1998; Dash 1998; Hopf 1998; Katzenstein et al. 1999; Sterling-Folker 2000.

       [3] Which is may be why some scholars went so far as to suggest that the field is stagnating (Jervis 1998, 990). For exceptions investigating various IPE issues from the cultural norms’ perspective, see Finnemore 1996; Crane 1999; Williams 1999; Goff 2000; Shulman 2000; Tsygankov 2000a, 2000b.

       [4] The conceptual universe of cases is potentially rich and includes, in addition to the former USSR, eastern European countries—former members of the Soviet block—and post-imperial nations in general.

       [5] The view was widespread in Ukraine and some other republics during 1990-1991 (see more details in Boffa 1996, 230, 252).

       [6] Before independence, the NIS were national republics and been forced to trade primarily with one another, rather than with countries outside of the Soviet borders.  The share of inter-republican trade comprised up to 85-90 percent of the republics' total trade (Bradshaw 1993,29).  Accordingly, a commonly held expectation was that the former republics would do their best to keep this pattern alive (See for example Slay 1991, 2).

       [7] It is worth emphasizing that this project does not study actual trade flows and trade patterns.  Following the research tradition of International Political Economy, it focuses, instead, on the state as a unit of analysis and asks the question about motivations underlying state behavior, not the behavior of private economic actors. Because I study state action, not private activity, the primary focus of my study concerns economic agreements, not patterns of trade or other economic activities.  Next chapter returns to this point and specifies the meaning of the term ‘foreign economic policy’ as used in this study.

       [8] See WB 1995;  Michalopoulos and Tarr 1996.

       [9] Wyzan 1995.

       [10] See for example Burant 1995; Kulinich 1995; Vares 1995; Kubicek 1997.

       [11] Chapters 6 and 7 further address the issue of alternative explanations.

       [12] Each of the IPE perspectives is, of course, based on its own ontological and epistemological assumptions and world-views, and some of these assumptions are in conflict and cannot be reconciled (Biersteker 1999).  This incommensurability on the level of assumptions makes a dialogue across paradigms difficult, but not impossible: some room should be granted for juxtaposing and comparing various philosophical beliefs in various empirical situations and with the use of testable propositions.

       [13] Some major statement representing views from developed and developing worlds, respectively, are Hirschman 1969; Krasner 1978; Gowa 1994 and Wallerstein 1974; Cardoso and Faletto 1979.

       [14] Holsti 1986; Gowa and Mansfield 1993.

       [15] Porter & Saivetz 1994; Drezner 1997.

       [16] Krivogorsky and Eichenseher 1996, 34-35; Shishkov et al 1997, 83-84.

       [17] Katzenstein 1977;  Hall 1986;  Mastanduno, Lake & Ikenberry 1989;  Keohane and Milner 1996.

       [18] Gati 1996; Dawisha and Parrott 1997a, 1997b.

       [19] They each represent the nations with independent, moderate and traditional pro-Russian orientation as it was outlined above in the “Research Question” section.

       [20] For others more recent efforts to adopt a national identity perspective in international studies, see especially, Lapid and Kratochwil 1996; Katzenstein 1996; Krause and Williams 1997; Prizel 1998.

       [21] Anderson 1991, 6.

       [22] Conversely, the state structures approach, as one of its early proponent has recently acknowledged “has typically focused on the variability in the autonomy and the capacity of states, not on their identity” (Katzenstein 1996, 23).

       [23] Conceptually, this conflict between the two systems of authority relationships was recognized by many scholars of empires, nationalism and state-building (see for example, Seton-Watson 1977, Chaps.6-8; Doyle 1986; Strange 1996; Dawisha and Parrott 1997; Barkey and von Hagen 1997).

       [24] This, of course, will be true when holding many other things equal.

       [25] In his study of economic nationalism, Rawi Abdelal (1999) arrived at a similar line of argument by suggesting that the ex-Soviet republics’ politicized identities shaped their economic behavior.  Abdelal and I arrived to our conclusions independently, which further validates our studies’ results.

       [26] Other factors, too, can play their role in fostering national identity. For example, ethnicity and religion may under certain conditions reinforce the sense of nation by helping it to break with its imperial past. While not excluding these factors from consideration, this study assumes that, at its core, identity and nationalism are modern phenomena that have been established historically, through the process of gradual global expansion of modernity norms (For the development of linkages between modernity and nationalism, see Motyl 1992a). Chapter 2 elaborates on this point.

       [27] George 1982, 15.

       [28] This, of course, is only an approximate appraisal.  The three are not and cannot be identical: most experts suggest, for example, that Ukraine was somewhat better placed than the other two with regard to their potential for economic restructuring.  Yet this is counterbalanced by two circumstances.  First, while the three are not economically identical, they are relatively similar and form a group of most economically advanced republics in the former USSR when compared to most other ex-Soviet republics.  Experts’ estimations of the NIS’ economic viability and potential to integrate their economies into the world economy vary, but they are fairly consistent in terms of suggesting a similarity between Baltics, Ukraine and Belarus (See for example Corbet and Gummich 1990; Schroeder 1992;  Erikson 1992;  Vavilov & Vjugin 1993;  Brown & Belkindas 1993;  Watson 1994; Krivogorsky and Eichenseher 1997, 35).  Second, being economically stronger Ukraine is not the strongest on the national identity dimension (Latvia is), which suggests an additional test for the national identity hypothesis: if the hypothesis has any merit we should not see Ukraine pursuing the most aggressive pattern of economic reorientation.

       [29] The republics differed in terms of nuclear weapons. Unlike Latvia, Ukraine and Belarus posessed nuclear arsenals, but by 1994, they transferred those arsenals to Russia.

       [30] All the former Soviet republics, with the exception of Russia. As the former hegemon, Russia is incompatible with the NIS in its institutions and perceptions of the outside world and, therefore, cannot be analyzed with the use of the tools chosen for the analysis of the rest of the NIS’ national identities.

       [31] In constructing my classification, I found useful typologies of Soviet and post-Soviet nations, offered in the following works: Rakowska-Harmstone 1974; Armstrong 1988; Szporluk 1992; Suny 1993; Dawisha and Parrott 1994; RFE/RL RR, 1993-95; Chinn and Kaiser 1996; Bremmer and Taras 1997; Brzezinski 1997.

       [32] Unlike Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Tajikistan, these three have also been relatively peaceful since the Soviet disintegration, which allows us to isolate an additional potentially rival explanation—the republics’ participation in military conflicts.

       [33] As the former hegemon, Russia is incompatible with the NIS in its institutions and perceptions of the outside world and, therefore, will be excluded from the analysis.