Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 6 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0190253301
ISBN-10: 0190253304
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Editorial Reviews


"Gerard Toal's book is positioned within the field of critical geopolitics ... It offers a convincing critique of the dominant explanations ... [this] book makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate." -- Viacheslav Morozov, Slavic Review

"Near Abroad is a brilliant and indispensable contribution to our understanding of post-Soviet politics and the hidden power of geopolitical culture. Examining the conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine, Toal convincingly shows that geopolitical practice is neither inherently rational nor driven by objective external pressures, but is rather infused with deep normative assumptions about the legitimate boundaries of political spaces, shared discourses and flows among transnational political communities, and highly stylized emotional appeals."

-- Alexander Cooley, Director, Harriman Institute, Columbia University; author of Logics of Hierarchy and Great Games, Local Rules

"Gerard Toal is one of the smartest and most interesting thinkers working on post-Soviet politics today and his incisive new book, Near Abroad, does not disappoint. Toal sheds new light on how Russians think about their neighbors, with major implications for regional stability and the West more generally."

-- Henry Hale, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University; author of Patronal Politics

"Cutting through the overarching narratives that dominate discussion of Russia's engagement with its 'near abroad,' Toal offers telling insights into the underlying geopolitical conceptions and arrangements that are at the heart of the territorial struggles that have unfolded in Ukraine and Georgia. The book is not just a contribution to understanding these selected conflicts, however. It will help audiences beyond the academy appreciate the nature and value of the 'critical geopolitics' project that Toal himself has played such an important role in advancing."

-- Alexander Murphy, Professor of Geography, University of Oregon, and former President, Association of American Geographers

"In this valuable work, Gerard Toal attempts to answer the question, 'Why does Russia invade its neighbors?' Toal performs the deft and essential balancing act of recognizing both that Russia poses significant threats to its region and that events and leaders outside of Moscow have also played a role in the deteriorating relationship between Russia and the US. This book is an extremely important contribution for those of us looking for a deeper, more thoughtful and challenging analysis of the dynamic between Russia, its neighbors like Ukraine and Georgia, and the US."

-- Lincoln Mitchell, author of The Democracy Promotion Paradox

"It is a book that challenges oversimplified understandings of the post-Soviet realm, and it is a clarion call for a thicker geopolitics-a project to which geographers have much to contribute. Its engaging style and thought-provoking analysis make it a work that can and should reach audiences outside the academy. It is also the kind of book that can advance understanding of geography's relevance for public debate. More such books are very much needed." - Alexander B. Murphy, Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.

"Near Abroad reads like a suspense novel that happens to also be a remarkable piece of scholarship. It is thoroughly researched and written with great care and responsibility." - Marianna Pavlovskaya, Department of Geography, Hunter College

About the Author

Gerard Toal (Gearóid Ó Tuathail) is Professor of Government and International Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech's Washington metro area campus.

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Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Book
Reviewed in Canada on February 23, 2017
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