An Approach to the Analysis of Bilateral Relations

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-9-111-118
A. Davydov,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 05.05.2022. Revised 01.06.2022. Accepted 30.06.2022.

Abstract. The article presents an approach to assessment of how independent an international actor can be from the political point of view. The author formulates a coordinate system composed of four spaces (fields) of social communication. The first one is the space of ideological interaction. In this space, governments have a possibility to manipulate the policies of their counteragents via exploiting psychological sentiments in the short term or fortifying specific worldview attitudes in the long run among the peoples in foreign countries. The second is the space of international norms. Unlike on the national level, the international relations system does not imply an existence of a common decision-making mechanism that serves as a generator of communication norms. Therefore, states use their national might to establish a normative order, which they are trying to fortify by consequently repeating specific actions in the international arena. In the third space, international actors try to integrate their counteragents into a specific type of economic relations that would serve as a determinant of their behavior. Finally, in the security space, the relations of states are defined by their internal understanding of what specific international trends and policies could threaten their own interests of national survival and development. The author concludes that the state of affairs in these four spaces determines the nature of subjectivity (sovereignty) of international actors on the global political stage. Through this lens, their bilateral relations could be classified into one of three types: subject-subject (interdependent), subject-object (unilaterally dependent) or object-object (independent). Therefore, the assessment of the nature of interstate bilateral relations could serve as a good starting point to characterize the whole structure of the international relations system: whether it is functioning in a unipolar, bipolar or multipolar manner. Moreover, the presented methodology could help to evaluate a degree of effectiveness of the foreign policy strategies implementation, since it presents a measurable coordinate system of the state and the structure of international affairs. 

Keywords: political science, international relations, theory of international relations, system of international relations, foreign policy, bilateral relations, political space


  1. Inozemtsev N.N., ed. The Fundamentals of the International Relations Theory. Moscow, Aspekt Press, 2022. 623 p. (In Russ.)
  2. Gantman V.I., ed. System, Structure and Process of Development of Modern International Relations. Moscow, Nauka, 1984. 419 p. (In Russ.)
  3. Prokhorenko I.L. Spatial Approach in International Relations Studies. Moscow, IMEMO RAN, 2015. 111 p. (In Russ.)
  4. Voitolovsky F.G. Unity and Disunity of the West. Ideological Reflection of Political World Order Transformations in Minds of the Elites of the United States and Western Europe, 1940s – 2000s. Moscow, Kraft+, 2007. 454 p. (In Russ.)
  5. Davydov A., Kislitsyn S. The New U.S. Sanctions Regime against Iran. World Economy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 28-36. (In Russ.) Available at:
  6. Davydov A.A. Systemic Crisis in the U.S.-Turkish Relations under the Presidency of D. Trump. MGIMO Review of International Relations, 2019, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 145-160. (In Russ.) Available at:
  7. Davydov A., Samarskaya L. The U.S.-Israel “Special Relations”: Structural Foundations and Trump Factor. World Economy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 10, pp. 40-51. (In Russ.) Available at:
  8. Davydov A.A., Kupriyanov A.V. U.S.-India Relations: Alliance in the Making or Temporary Partnership? Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost’, 2022, no. 2, pp. 21-34. (In Russ.)
  9. Tkachenko A.A. Generation. Big Russian Encyclopedia. 2016. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 05.05.2022).
  10. Fedorov V. Missionary. Big Russian Encyclopedia. 2016. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 07.05.2022).
  11. Ivanov I.S., Kortunov A.V., Timofeev I.V., eds. The Policy of Sanctions: Goals, Strategies, Tools: Reader. Moscow, RIAC, 2020. 452 p. (In Russ.)
  12. Baranovsky V.G., Ivanova N.I., eds. Global Governance: Opportunities and Risks. Moscow, IMEMO RAN, 2015. 315 p. (In Russ.)
  13. Wallerstein I. Analysis of World Systems, and the Situation in the Modern World. St. Petersburg, Universitetskaya kniga, 2001. 416 p. (In Russ.)
  14. Abdulov R.E., Komolov O.O., Stepanova T.D. The risis of the American Cycle of Accumulation, and China’s Prospects in the Struggle for the Place of the New Hegemon. Problems in Political Economy, 2021, no. 1, pp. 78-102. (In Russ.)
  15. Kosenok A. History of Prohibitions. Kommersant, 18.03.2019. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 05.05.2022).
  16. Tsedilina E. The Baltic states – twenty years without the USSR. Russia and New States of Eurasia, 2012, no. 1, pp. 49-62. (In Russ.) Available at:
  17. Batalov E.Ya., Malashenko I.E., Mel’vil’ A.Yu. The Ideological Strategy of the United States on the World Stage. Moscow, Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 1985. 230 p. (In Russ.)
  18. Trofimenko G.A., ed. Modern U. S. Foreign Policy. Vol. 1. Moscow, Nauka, 1984. 466 p. (In Russ.)
  19. Inozemtsev N.N., ed. Global Problems of the Present. Moscow, Mysl’, 1981. 285 p. (In Russ.   0
  20. Lipkin M.A. Council for Mutual Economic Assistance: The Historical Experience of an Alternative Global World Order (1949–1979). Moscow, Ves’ Mir, 2019. 184 p. (In Russ.)
  21. Lebedeva M. Modern Megatrends of World Politics. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2019, vol. 63, no. 9, pp. 29-37. (In Russ.) Available at:
  22. Shakleina T.A., Baikov A.A., eds. Megatrends: The Main Trajectories of the World Order Evolution in the 21st Century. Moscow, Aspekt Press, 2021. 528 p. (In Russ.)

For citation:
Davydov A. An Approach to the Analysis of Bilateral Relations. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 9, pp. 111-118.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 4
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Financial Contagion Propagation in Europe under the Impact of Global Shocks
  • Regional Powers on the African Continent: Trends and Prospects
  • Investment Activity of the PRC in the Kyrgyz Republic
  • “Land Grabbing” Concept: Global and National Aspects
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.