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The Russian Approach to the Soft Power Concept
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

The Russian Approach to the Soft Power Concept

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2022-2-63-75
© Anna S. KOSIAKINA, 2022
Received 14.09.2021. 
Revised 01.12.2021. 
Accepted 20.07.2022.
Anna S. KOSIAKINA (, ORCID: 0000-0001-8732-9973,
Rossotrudnichestvo, 18/9, Vozdvezhenka Str., Moscow 125009, Russian Federation.

The article is devoted to a comprehensive study of the Russian ‘soft power’ policy. The author gives her view on the ‘soft power’ phenomenon and practices and draws the line between related concepts of ‘soft power’ and ‘public diplomacy’, all while explaining the reasons for the special interest of the Russian central authorities in the concept for the last two decades, which is embodied in doctrinal documents on foreign affairs. Distinctive features of the country’s understanding of ‘soft power’ and its politics are highlighted.The institutional approach and organizational theory are widely used in the article. With their help, the activities of the main ‘soft power’ institutions functioning in Russian Federation, such as Rossotrudnichestvo (The Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation), Russkiy Mir Foundation and the Gorchakov Fund are analyzed.The author comes to the conclusion that the lack of a clear formal distribution of responsibilities between departments leads to interdepartmental inconsistency and even competition and significantly reduces the undoubted positive effect of their work.Besides, the article pays special attention to the tools and resources of the Russian ‘soft power’ policy. Apart from traditional tools like language, education, cultural and historical heritage, such new ones that have intensified or appeared due to COVID-19 pandemic are as follows: humanitarian aid and ‘vaccine diplomacy’. And finally, the author gives a forecast on Russian ‘soft power’ in connection with the events on the territory of Ukraine and comes to the conclusion that in the coming years it will be difficult to create an image of an attractive country abroad.

For citation:

Kosiakina A. The Russian Approach to the Soft Power Concept. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2022, no 2, pp. 63-75.

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