The Role of Russian Civil Society in Foreign Policy Decision Making. A Comparative Analysis with Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.


The ongoing project “The role of Russian civil society in foreign policy decision making. A comparative analysis with Republic of Moldova and Ukraine (November 2014 – October 2015)” is a Collection of policy briefs, round tables and study visits The initiative is implemented with the financial support of Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, a project of German Marshall Fund.

Project brief description:
The main goal of this project is to produce policy recommendations aimed to enhance the dialogue between authorities and civil society entitled with foreign policy tasks (actions) from Russian Federation, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. The second task of the project is to provide a model for the analysis of civil society influence upon foreign policy in the former soviet space.

Objectives of the project:
– To asses the role of civil society in Russia, Moldova and Ukraine in the development and implementation of actions regarding foreign policy;
– To analyze the relationship established between civil society and political actors in terms of „partnership or competition”. To explore the elements involved in strengthening the capacity of civil society;
– To study the role of the Russian, Moldovan and Ukrainian civil society in the processes of democratization;
– To explain how the transfer of expertise from civil society to decision makers takes place and whether there is a transfer of ideas, solutions, recommendations or a totally transfer of experts;
– To make recommendations for Russian, Ukrainian and Moldovan foreign policy experts and decision makers.

Our study is focused on specific case studies (the debates over the partnership with EU, CIS, US and NATO). We aim to explain how civil society manages to be involved in foreign policy decision making process. The study also tries to assess how the dialogue between civil society representatives and has evolved in the period 2008 – 2014. The above mentioned period was chosen because it marks important events on the EU – Former Soviet Space agenda: the launch of Eastern Partnership and the proposal of Russian President Vladimir Putin to create Eurasian Union (Eurasian Economic Union). In order to achieve its goals the study uses qualitative methods: document analysis, discourse analysis and semi-structured interviews. Representative persons for certain socio-professional categories will be considered for interviews (professors/teachers, MPs, representatives of public institutions, journalists, political and economic analysts, and experts from think tanks).
Therefore, we would look at how the Russian actors from the Civil Society Organizations see themselves in relation with the policy makers.

Target group(s): think tanks, civil society representatives and NGOs involved in foreign policy debates from Russian Federation, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

Beneficiaries: civil society and governmental organizations, decision makers, stakeholders who are interested in promoting business interests.

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