Solovyova, Ksenia (2015) Is Russian Energy diplomacy a smart power tool of foreign policy in the EU? Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Power is an essential element of human existence and manifestation of power can be found in every dimension of human social life from interpersonal relations to international political disputes. Russian national resource power, in particular, has recently become a more prominent topic of research among scholars of Russian foreign policy study and international politics. There are two major trends in foreign policy literature that stand out – a study of Russian hard coercive power capacity and a preoccupation with the use of Russian soft power. If the former is a straight forward study of Russia’s military power and territorial dominance, the latter embraces the original soft power concept of Joseph Nye (1990; 2004a; 2004b; 2008; 2010; 2011) to assess Russia’s power performance capabilities.
Thus, the extensive EU gas market specifically is an object of geopolitical race for regional
influence and political dominance, particularly with Russia as the main driver. As the likelihood increased that Russia would dominate European gas supply, the question emerged as to how Russia would use its gas diplomacy to influence EU member states’ policies and extract political concessions.
The thesis aims to move away from the traditional approach of segregating power models and the task to objectively measure it by the characteristics of power tools in use. Instead it acknowledges the improbability to effectively measure the intensity of power types used by Russia and embraces Joseph Nye’s conceptualisation of mixed power – smart power. In examining Russian smart power it adopts comparative methodology to understand whether Russian energy diplomacy has characteristics of smart power foreign policy in the EU.

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