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Russia vs. the EU: The Competition for Influence in Post-Soviet States

Jakob Tolstrup
Russia vs. the EU: The Competition for Influence in Post-Soviet States
ISBN: 978-1-935049-93-7
ISBN: 978-1-62637-188-0
2013/295 pages/LC: 2013030240
A FirstForumPress Book
Also of interest: Promoting Authoritarianism Abroad by Rachel Vanderhill
"This is a timely, if not prescient, book.... [Tolstrup provides] a rich description of the democratic (or mostly nondemocratic) development of Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine and the influence Russia and the EU have had."—Frank Schimmelfennig, Slavic Review

"Extremely impressive.... Provides a nuanced view of the important role that external actors have played in promoting both democracy and autocracy."—Thomas Ambrosio, North Dakota State University

"Offers illuminating comparative insights and makes several important contributions to the literature on the international dimension of democratization."—Sergiy Kudelia, Baylor University


Do Russia and the European Union have any substantial influence over the political trajectories of post-Soviet states? Shedding new light on the interplay between domestic and external drivers of regime change, Jakob Tolstrup analyzes the impact of Russia and the EU on the democratization and autocratization processes in Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine.


Jakob Tolstrup is assistant professor of political science at Aarhus University.


  • Setting the Stage: Post-Soviet Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine.
  • Studying the Influence of External Actors.
  • A Theory of External Influence.
  • The Period of Uncertainty: 1991–1994.
  • Ruling Elites Regain Control: 1995–1999.
  • Domestic Changes and External Transformation: 2000–2004.
  • The Return of Geopolitics: 2005–2010.
  • Overall Trends in Russian and EU Influence.