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A study in soft power, national security and the political-criminal nexus

13 October 2011

PhD ceremony: Ms. L.L. Roslycky, 11.00 uur, Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: A study in soft power, national security and the political-criminal nexus

Promotor(s): prof. P.M. Volten

Faculty: Arts

Psychological warfare uses soft power - the power of attraction - as a weapon. It lures citizens into believing or doing things they would otherwise not do. It does so by changing the way they view themselves, each other and the world around them. Great states use it to gain territorial power by manipulating human perceptions; even to the extent of strategically promoting ethnic conflict and war. Yet, to date, the legitimacy of such policies and the linkages between soft power and national security have remained relatively unknown.

Lada L. Roslycky creates the first framework for the empirical analysis of soft power warfare. Soft power wars are fought inside human hearts and minds and are intricately interlinked with the most pivotal and intangible components of national security. Markedly, Roslycky shows that informal foreign policies aimed at the acquisition of power are not restricted to the realm of legitimacy. She presents the political-criminal nexus as a social structure through which states transform transnational organized crime into a foreign policy instrument.

In a clear step-by-step analysis, the reader is shown how Russia’s strategy of deterring Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration was effectuated by a hostile soft power strategy aimed at promoting pro-Russian separatism in The Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The hearts and minds of the Crimean population were targeted to influence each component of Ukraine’s soft power security. Moreover, this hostile strategy was supported by a Russia-centred, post-Soviet political-criminal nexus made up of intelligence services, government executives and non-governmental organizations.

This research provides new and unique insight into Russian-Ukrainian relations. It shows that knowing the character of a state’s political-criminal nexus facilitates the understanding of its identity and behaviour.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.41 p.m.

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