Publication Details

Brown, S. M. (2006). Post-communist Russia and anti-Americanism: has the West lost Russian public opinion. Australasian Political Studies Association Annual Conference (APSA) (pp. 1-17). Newcastle: Australasian Political Studies Association.


Post-Communist Russia’s place in the international system has constituted a matter of intense academic interest since the end of the Cold War. In 2006, the relationship between the West and Russia cooled markedly in response to changing political alliances among the successor states of the former Soviet Union and Russia’s alleged use of its oil and gas resources for political purposes. Richard Pipes has warned that the West should not trust Russia because both its political elites and public opinion are hostile to Western values. This paper will argue that public opinion in Russia has been, and remains, mostly favourable towards the United States, Europe and the liberal democratic political system associated with the ‘West’ and that anti-Americanism, a discourse considered to be widespread in Europe, remains relatively weak in Russia. While many Russian politicians and ideologues have urged Russians to view the West as both foreign and hostile, a majority of the general public has steadfastly resisted. Sympathetic to Europe and unenthusiastic about new wars, Russia’s general public has proved a surprisingly resilient ally both for a pragmatic Russian foreign policy and for the West.