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Moscow Rules

What Drives Russia to Confront the West

Keir Giles (author)

ISBN: 9780815735748

Publication Date: Nov 2018

Format: Paperback

Describes how Russian leaders have used consistent doctrinal and strategic approaches to the rest of the world. These approaches may seem alien in the West, but understanding them is essential for successful engagement with Moscow. Keir Giles argues that understanding how Moscow's leaders think will help the West develop a less crisis-prone and more productive relationship with Russia.

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Keir Giles surveys Russia's history and the present day, to explain why its current leadership feels it has no choice but to challenge and attack the West.

This book is for anyone that cannot understand why Russia and its leaders behave as they do.

The relationship between Russia and the West is once again deep in crisis. A major reason is that Western leaders have too often believed or hoped that Russia sees the world as they do - but things look very different from Moscow. This book shows that efforts at engagement with Russia that do not take this into account are a key reason for repeated disappointment and crisis.

In confronting the West, Russia is implementing strategic and doctrinal approaches that have been consistent for centuries. The roots of current Russian behaviour and demands can be traced not just to the Soviet era, but back into Tsarist foreign and domestic policy, and further to the structure and rules of Russian society. But this also gives the US and the West pointers for how to behave – and how not to - in order to manage the challenge of Russia effectively, based on past experience of both successful and unsuccessful engagement with Moscow.

This book recognizes the reality of confrontation and provides an essential introduction to grasping why Russia sees it as inevitable. Recognising and accepting that this will not change in the near future will help the West find a way of dealing with Russia without risking a deeper conflict. Consequently it offers a basis for building a less crisis-prone relationship with Russia.


"A more comprehensive demolition of western naivety comes from Keir Giles's Moscow Rules... Giles's book is concise, lucidly argued and minutely researched. It would serve as an excellent primer on East-West security..." - The Times

"My only regret is that I did not have this book 35 years ago" - Former President of Estonia Toomas Ilves

"Should be required reading for all who deal with Western policy towards Russia" - Former British Ambassador to Moscow Roderic Lyne

"A compelling, well-documented argument for honest acceptance of differences between the West and Russia - and for a policy of firm deterrence" - Evelyn N. Farkas, senior fellow, Atlantic Council

"Keir Giles has done us all a great service in writing this book" - Lt-Gen (Rtd) Ben Hodges, Commander, United States Army Europe 2014-2017
Pages 240
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Nov 2018
Publisher Chatham House
Series Insights: Critical Thinking on International Affairs
Subject/s Systems of law   International relations   Diplomacy   Marxism & Communism  
Keir Giles is a senior consulting fellow at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs. He also works with the Conflict Studies Research Centre (CSRC), a group of subject matter experts in Eurasian security with a particular focus on the wide range of security challenges coming from Russia.

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