Russia's strategy in the Middle East and North Africa

This event will be in Zoom

In this joint seminar from the International Relations as Social Science and Russia and Eurasia Security Working Groups, we present ideas and conclusions from the speaker’s recent book on Russia's strategy in the Middle East and North Africa in the turbulent period since the inception of the Arab Spring. It explores Russia's thinking and decision-making, and the key policy challenges faced by Moscow, in the context of its relations with both the regional MENA states and the major external powers. 

The book focuses on Russia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war; the domestic sources of its foreign policy; its clash with the Western powers over issues pertaining to sovereignty and humanitarian norms; its response to the challenge posed by Islamist extremism; and its political-military and economic interests in the MENA region. We draw on ideas developed in the book to examine the consequences of the shift in Russia’s foreign policy orientation away from the West following its military intervention in Ukraine, and the implications of Moscow’s more assertive global strategy in its bid to shape the political, economic and socio-cultural contours of a ‘multipolar’ world order, exploiting the Global South countries’ dissatisfaction with Western-led global governance.


Dr Derek Averre is Honorary Reader in Russian Foreign and Security Policy and former Director of the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Bologna and was formerly a VP at the College of Europe NATOLIN. His current research focuses on Russia’s relations with the countries of the Global South. Recent research interests focused on Russian foreign/security policy, Russia-EU relations, Russia's relations with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and arms control/non-proliferation issues. 

Dr Averre has published a number of extensively-cited academic and policy-related articles in the sphere of Russia’s relations with the EU and NATO, Russia’s role in European security governance, Russia-MENA relations and arms control in the post-Soviet period. His latest work is a book, published by Manchester University Press, entitled Russian Strategy in the Middle East and North Africa. He has been principal/co-investigator in successful bids for around £3 million of research funding, inter alia from the UK Government for projects on arms control and economic transition; from European Union-funded projects involving European and Russian scholars; and from a NATO Advanced Research Workshop grant.

Registration will close two hours before the event begins.

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