Differences in approaches to Eurasian integration were discussed at the RAMI Convention

The Eurasian sector of the CCEIS HSE took part in the international RAMI Convention at the end of September 2017 at MGIMO. In the section “Eurasian Union: from integration alternative to civilization”, representatives of the sector Yuri Kofner, Anna Renard-Koktysh and Nadezhda Tynnikova presented reports on differences in the understanding of Eurasian values in the Russian expert and youth communities. Discussions at other sections of the Convention only confirmed the existence of a significant difference in views on the nature and prospects of the EAEU.

Yuri Kofner, the head of the Eurasian sector of the Higher School of Economics gava a report on the contradictions in the Eurasian discourse as a result of the polarization between (neo-classical) Eurasianism, which grew on the works of the classical Eurasianists, and pragmatic Eurasianism, which circumvents the value aspects. As Kofner noted, both the Russian spring and the creation of the EAEU gave an impetus to polarization on the wave of patriotism.

Anna Renard-Koktysh, a guest expert of the Eurasian sector of the Higher School of Economics tried to structure the contradictions in the discussions between conservatives and liberals on important issues of the EAEU development. These are diametrically opposed views on both the depth and quality of cooperation within the integration project and their choice of priority partners outward, as well as on the existence of common values. For example, regarding the basic understanding of justice within the EAEU.

The laboratory assistant of the Eurasian sector of the Higher School of Economics Nadezhda Tynnikova, using the example of the differences between the programs of the Eurasian Movement of the Russian Federation and its ideological opponents, demonstrated what different values are present among the supporters of integration in the post-Soviet space among the Russian youth.

Of the fifty scientific sites organized for the two days of the event at the Convention of the Russian Association for International Studies, there were 3 sections on the Eurasian Union: in addition to the political scientist Kirill Koktysh, discussionswere also organized by the economist Elena Kuzmina and the Valdai Discussion Club. The RAMI Convention demonstrated the interest of experts in different views on the Eurasian integration: supporters of both purely economic drivers of integration as well as adherents of the concept of common Eurasian cultural values.

However, the researchers agreed that from the moment when the EAEU became a reality, it is necessary not to oppose the two positions to each other, but to seek common ground between (neo-)classical and pragmatic Eurasianism. As, for example, can be seen in the recent works of Yaroslav Lisovolik, chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB).

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