Russia’s Rising Military and Communication Power: From Chechnya to Crimea
with James Rodgers
Media, War, & Society
Most scholars working on Russia’s use of strategic narratives recognize the importance of the Russian state. Nevertheless, the authors argue that much of the attention on strategic narratives has given insufficient appreciation for how Russia has developed its military and media policies in a coordinated manner: learning from its mistakes and failures as it went along, and becoming more efficient each time. In making their case, they examine three theatres of Russian military activity and their accompanying media coverage: the wars in Chechnya in 1994–1995 and 1999–2000; war with Georgia in 2008 over the separatist territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia; and Ukraine, especially Crimea, since 2014. The Russian leadership addressed the shortcomings on each occasion, with the news media being increasingly weaponized as time went on. The authors argue that scholars should see Russia’s evolving uses of those military and media power resources as part of a single strategic process. How the Russian state goes about its media policy can accentuate the military intervention for better or for worse as far as its image is concerned.
My name is Alexander Lanoszka. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo. I am also the Ernest Bevin Associate Fellow of Euro-Atlantic Geopolitics at the newly created Council on Geostrategy. I am a co-leader of the European NATO subgroup of the Defense and Security Foresight Group and a member of the Réseau d'Analyse Stratégique. I am currently on sabbatical at Sciences Po Bordeaux.
I was previously a Lecturer in the Department of International Politics at City, University of London, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, and a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT's Security Studies Program. I completed my doctorate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University in 2014.
My research addresses issues in alliance politics, nuclear strategy, and theories of war, and has appeared in International Security, Security Studies, International Affairs, and elsewhere. My books include Atomic Assurance: The Alliance Politics of Nuclear Proliferation (Cornell, 2018) and Military Alliances in the Twenty-first Century (Polity, 2022). I have done work on East Asia but Europe is my primary regional focus, with special emphasis on Central and Northeastern Europe. I have two places that I consider home: Windsor-Detroit and Krakow, Poland.
On this website, you will find information about my books, monographs, and published articles as well as information on my academic research, teaching, and commentary.
11 OCTOBER 2021
This week I am beginning an eight-week sabbatical at Sciences Po Bordeaux, where I will be teaching a course on theories of war. It is nice to travel again, as it is my first trip overseas since February 2020.
NEW CoG OP-ED
23 SEPTEMBER 2021
I wrote a piece for the Council on Geostrategy that reflects on the recent Canadian federal election and where the country goes from here. Simply put, expect a more inward-looking polity and a lot of foreign policy continuity. Read on here.
NEW MLI OP-ED
16 SEPTEMBER 2021
I penned a short essay for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute on the Canadian foreign policy success story that no federal leader - not even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - is talking about during the 2021 parliamentary elections: Canada's involvement in European security.
What I am reading now
Historically-informed scholarship at its finest, Timothy Crawford in The Power to Divide examines how great powers use wedge strategies to prevent enemy coalitions from forming. I am hopping around the case studies, but the one on the failed Anglo-Franco-Soviet negotiations in 1939 offers probably the most compelling account for them that I have come across.