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Dead-Letter Regimes in the Post-Soviet Space: Strategies and Communication (2016-2020)

Field of study: Contemporary history

This paper explores why dead-letter regimes, sets of norms and institutions with low efficiency and few expectations of tangible output, have become an enduring feature of international politics in the post-Soviet space. It focuses on the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union, the two regional regimes endorsed by Russia. The paper analyzes their emergence and evolvement, normative frameworks, performance and member states’ expectations. It argues that, while mostly failing as instruments of strategic action, these regimes have become important conduits of communicative action and arenas enabling member states to enact specific international roles.

Keywords: dead-letter regimes, Collective Security Treaty Organization, Eurasian Economic Union, post-Soviet space, communicative action, strategic action

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