Published: March 15, 2018

Betcy Jose and Christoph Stefes recently published a working paper titled, "Russian Norm Entrepreneurship in Crimea: Serious Contestation or Cheap Talk" with the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in Hamburg. In it, the authors explore how powerful autocratic regimes such as Russia and China have recently begun to challenge Western democracies' long-held control over the global discourse that shapes international norms. Using Russia's 2014 claims of humanitarian intervention for military action in the Crimea as a starting point for their examination, Jose and Stefes find that the Russian government has seemingly pursued a normative agenda in its foreign policy that may even contradict Russia's material interests. Their research also suggests that Russia maintains distinct autocratic traits as demonstrated by Russia's unilateral actions in Crimea. The next phase of the project includes interviews with foreign policy elites to uncover the reasons their countries' reactions to Russia's justifications for its Crimean intervention.