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Russia, the EU and the Return of History

Daniel Matthews-Ferrero

Russia and the EU emerged as the twin products of the end of history. The EU was a product of liberalism’s global victory, while Russia was the product of the defeat of communism. With the death of “the grandest of grand narratives”, it was supposed that liberal democracy would gradually extend across the globe, with world history on autopilot. However, this conception has suffered increasing setbacks. This article argues that there are two exemplary cases of the return of history. One arises internally, in domestic politics: through the decomposition of liberal democracy, best expressed through the rise of populism. The other arises externally, in international relations: increasing multipolarity, best expressed through the Ukraine Crisis with Russia. Our focus here in this article is on the latter example.

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