Assessing Foreign Policy Commitment Through Migration Policy in Russia
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 24, Number 4, Fall 2016
- pp. 475-499
- Additional Information
Russia’s foreign policy is often seen as reactionary and provocative. This article argues that, despite strong rhetorical framing of foreign policy postures by the Russian government, the level of commitment to implementing these outward stances varies. Looking at the hierarchy of legal mechanisms used in Russia, this article develops a novel measure of policy commitment. It then utilizes this measurement to assess how immigration legislation shifts to match foreign policy postures in Russia’s relationships with Turkey, the U.S., and Ukraine. The analysis shows that migration-related sanctions against Turkey in 2015 were largely symbolic, whereas similar sanctions against the West are much more deeply embedded in legislation and implementation. The 2014 flows of refugees from Ukraine were similarly met with comprehensive reforms to the legal framework at many levels.