The triumph of Russian national security policy? Russia’s rapid rebound

Matthew Sussex*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Russia’s return to prominence in international affairs has been in many respects surprising. Russia’s easy seizure of Crimea, its role in Syria and its ambitious pivot eastward have emboldened Moscow at a time of crisis for the liberal order. This article characterises Russian national security policy as a deliberate ‘rebound’ strategy, designed to deliver a rapid return to power and status. The author defines rebounding in respect to four characteristics: a relatively short timeline for the rebounding state to achieve its goals; a strategic (re-)emphasis on territory and hard power; the construction of alternative networks of influence via institutions; and active efforts to undermine existing normative and legal orthodoxies. The author then assesses these in terms of specific Russian national security policy objectives, including in the key domain of information operations. The article concludes that Vladimir Putin has skilfully employed conventional material capabilities and geopolitics, combined with the exploitation of contemporary information networks for instrumental purposes. Paradoxically, though, those same factors will constrain Russian national security objectives in the future.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)499-515
    Number of pages17
    JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2017


    Dive into the research topics of 'The triumph of Russian national security policy? Russia’s rapid rebound'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this