The Role of Expert Community in American Foreign Policy toward Ukraine (19902010s)

664
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-3-84-93
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. The article describes the role of the think tank community in shaping the U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine during Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barak Obama administrations. The research shows that the Ukrainian factor played an important role in American foreign policy since the country’s independence. While Ukraine was still a republic within the Soviet Union, think tank scholars and American officials were closely monitoring its internal development, looking for alternative voices among both the opposition and the country’s elite. Those efforts have helped to establish the basis for future American policymakers. As the second most important and influential republic in the USSR, Ukraine was seen by all U.S. administrations as an important counterpart to the Russian dominance in the near abroad, regardless of the ruling party. Influential American think tanks and leading experts who helped to make an impact on the Ukrainian political class since the Ronald Reagan era have been shaping the U.S. policy toward Ukraine. The article is focused on the system analysis of ideological stances taken by different groups of American experts, regarding the development of political process in Ukraine in 1990–2010s. While the strategy to bring Ukraine into NATO was the main goal for all of the American administrations during this period, officials alone did not pursue it. Various scholars and experts from leading American think tanks took an active part in preparing various policy ideas and provided their expertise to foreign policy officials. Their motives were both scholarly and ideological, and their ties to administration officials promoted their ideas to senior foreign policy levels. However, they would have never been able to succeed in case they would not find a very receptive Ukrainian administration, inspired by desires to counter Russia’s influence. One of the study’s objectives was to identify prerequisites for the formation of Washington’s position in the Ukrainian crisis. It covers the main international and domestic factors shaping the conceptual agenda of Washington’s Ukrainian policy. The article might help those who study American policy toward Ukraine and other republics of the former Soviet Union. 

Keywords: Ukraine, U.S. foreign policy, expert community, think tanks, Russia–Ukraine relations, Ukrainian crisis 


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For citation:
Alexander B. The Role of Expert Community in American Foreign Policy toward Ukraine (19902010s). World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 84-93. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-3-84-93



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