The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century

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"Drawing on her depth of knowledge as a Russia scholar and sharp insights gained as an intelligence analyst, Angela Stent has written a page-turning book about U.S.-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War. A must-read for anyone engaged in the study or practice of this critical bilateral relationship."--John Negroponte, former U.S. deputy secretary of state

"Angela Stent has written a comprehensive, thoughtful, and tremendously useful study of post-Cold War relations between Russia and the United States. She uses interviews with key actors in Russia and the United States and a host of other fresh sources to examine the unpredictable ups and downs of what remains the most important bilateral relationship in international relations in the twenty-first century. This is a must-read for anyone concerned about global affairs now and in the future."--Kathryn Stoner, Stanford University

"Angela Stent has done the seemingly impossible: from the maelstrom of the past two decades she's distilled the essence of modern Russia and its complex relations with the United States. The Obama administration's 'reset,' she says, isn't new; there have been four 'resets' in this relationship, by Democratic and Republican administrations, with mixed results. Using her extraordinary decades-long experience as scholar and government insider, along with her trenchant analysis of what makes Russia's foreign and domestic policy tick, Stent explains what has worked, what has not--and why. The U.S.-Russian relationship will remain a limited partnership, she predicts, until the bonds of Cold War thinking--on both sides--can be broken."--Jill Dougherty, CNN's foreign affairs correspondent

"This is the first book to cover the full sweep and complexity of U.S.-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War. It is likely to remain the best work on the subject for a long time to come. Stent brings to the saga a narrative verve and personal knowledge of many of the main characters, amassed in her distinguished career as a scholar and government official. A triumph and a major contribution."--Strobe Talbott, Brookings Institution

"The Limits of Partnership offers a comprehensive overview of U.S.-Russian relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union. I know of no other book that explains why the post-Soviet bilateral relationship has never lived up to expectations."--Fiona Hill, Brookings Institution

"Stent's argument is richly developed, covering a wide swath of the U.S.-Russian bilateral policy agenda and buttressed by a great deal of historical detail, at least some of which will be new to most readers. The Limits of Partnership is clearly the product of assiduous research, and profits as well from Stent's personal experience in the politics of U.S. policymaking toward Russia."--Robert C. Nurick, Atlantic Council

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In her largely chronological account of U.S.-Russian relations since 1990, Ms. Stent gives a comprehensive overview of the obstacles that have prevented a closer relationship."--Yascha Mount, Wall Street Journal

"[L]ucid. . . . [R]eadable and sometimes surprising . . ."--Kirkus Reviews

"[M]agisterial . . ."--The Economist

"[Stent's] compelling book provides perhaps the most comprehensive and sober--as well as sobering--assessment of relations across the past two decades."--Neil Buckley, Financial Times

"Stent . . . expertly condenses the past two decades of this tumultuous relationship with an insider's command of detail."--Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Times Higher Education

"In The Limits of Partnership, Stent . . . clearly and carefully lays out the contentious issues that have divided the United States and Russia since the end of the Cold War."--Glenn C. Altschuler, Huffington Post

"Until now, there have been no broad-based studies of the vexed contemporary U.S.-Russian relationship in English--or, for that matter, in Russian. This volume fills that void admirably."--Foreign Affairs

"Truly outstanding . . ."--Mark Adomanis,

"[An] insightful and balanced assessment of two decades of post-Soviet interaction between Washington and Moscow. . . . Stent draws many useful lessons from the ups-and-downs in the U.S.-Russian relationship."--Paul J. Saunders, National Interest

"In her magisterial new book The Limits of Partnership, Angela Stent performs a great service by showing that the end of the Obama Reset is only one part of a much broader pattern that goes back to the end of the Soviet Union."--Donald N. Jensen, Institute of Modern Russia

"Where Stent's narrative truly excels . . . is in presenting the Russian side of the story. It does not fall victim to the understandable temptation to mock Yeltsin or Putin, but rather treats Russia as a U.S. partner with legitimate grievances. This is a particularly worthwhile contribution."--Heather Williams, War Studies Publications

"The Limits of Partnership is a comprehensive and objective history and analysis. While dealing with the detailed complexity of the many issues involved, it does so in a clear, straightforward style. Although written before the present Ukrainian crisis, it is an indispensable source for understanding why this crisis has worsened our relationship with Russia."--Walter G. Moss, History News Network

"A descriptive and integrative type of work, The Limits of Partnership contributes to a renewed understanding of the legacy of the Cold war, of the cultural mechanisms underlying its practices, the ebb and flow, the meanderings and limitations of ideology, viewed in transnational perspective. Stent's is without doubt a particularly apt and timely undertaking, one whose pertinence is fully probed by the crisis in Ukraine that sparked a proliferation of discourse on the 'new Cold War.' This is certainly a cogent political analysis of the postcommunist architecture in Europe as it profiles itself at this juncture in the twenty-first century."--Adriana Neagu, American, British and Canadian Studies

Kirkus Reviews
Whatever happened to the end of the Cold War? According to Stent (Government and Foreign Service/Georgetown Univ.; Russia and Germany Reborn: Unification, the Soviet Collapse, and the New Europe, 1998, etc.), since the collapse of the Soviet Union barely 20 years ago, there have been four "resets" in relations. George H.W. Bush was wary but optimistic, Bill Clinton welcoming, George W. Bush ambivalent and Barack Obama--well, just a touch frosty, at least in some measure due to Vladimir Putin's return to power. Why, Stent wonders, "has it been so difficult to develop a productive and more predictable post–Cold War U.S.–Russian partnership"? Her lucid book is an extended answer to that pointed question. Part of the problem is Russia's unwillingness to become a second-tier power, and, as Stent notes, the nation's GDP has in fact grown sevenfold since 2000, largely due to oil and gas exports. Couple that with the fact that Russia has few material needs for which it requires America's participation to meet, and it becomes more difficult to exert any sort of economic control. Meanwhile, many Russians have regarded the period following the Soviet collapse not as a harbinger of peace and prosperity but as a shameful tumble into irrelevancy and disorder, something to be avoided in the future. George W. Bush's fateful assertion that he could look inside Putin's soul aside, what is clear from Stent's book is that it is in the self-interest of the U.S. to develop friendlier ties with Russia, even as tensions continue to pull the nations apart--most recently, the kerfuffle over Edward Snowden, who has found safe harbor of a kind in Moscow thanks to "the lack of an extradition treaty," something a security-conscious administration might want to remedy. Academic but readable and sometimes surprising, as when Stent reminds readers that Putin offered important information just before 9/11 that went ignored.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691152974
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/5/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 161,335
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela E. Stent is professor of government and foreign service and director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies at Georgetown University. Her books include "Russia and Germany Reborn: Unification, the Soviet Collapse, and the New Europe" (Princeton).
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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
List of Acronyms xvii
George H. W. Bush and Russia Reborn 1
Chapter One The Bill and Boris Show 13
Chapter Two Rethinking Euro-Atlantic Security 35
Chapter Three Bush and Putin in the Age of Terror 49
Chapter Four The Iraq War 82
Chapter Five The Color Revolutions 97
Illustrations following page 123
Chapter Six The Munich Speech 135
Chapter Seven From Kosovo to Georgia: Things Fall Apart 159
Chapter Eight Economics and Energy: The Stakeholder Challenge 177
Chapter Nine Reset or Overload? The Obama Initiative 211
Chapter Ten From Berlin to Damascus: Disagreements Old and New 235
Chapter Eleven The Limits of Partnership 255
Acknowledgments 275
List of Interviewees 279
Chronology of Major Events in U.S.-Russian Relations 283
Notes 293
Bibliography 321
Credits for Illustration Section 327
Index 329
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