Seminar with Prof Stefan Hedlund, May 28

Ukraine, Russia and the West

When Value Promotion Met Hard Power

Professor Stefan Hedlund, Uppsala University, Institue for Russian and Eurasian Studies

When: May 28, 15.15-16.30
Where: K3 Studio, C Area, 5th floor, Niagara building, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1

Why did Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine come as such a surprise to the West? This is the key question considered in this broad-ranging book. It argues that Russia and the West had been playing different games: while Russia under Putin had become obsessed with using hard power to restore the Cold War security architecture in Europe, the major Western powers had become equally obsessed with value promotion that allegedly would ensure a global triumph for the values of the West, touted as “universal values.” While the Russian play for a sphere of interest was clearly defined and demarcated, the Western play for values was by definition without limits. Hence there could be no common ground and no common understanding. When push came to shove, Russian hard power trumped Western value promotion – and Ukraine was left to pay the price.

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