Assessing the Depth of Foreign Policy Commitment through Russia’s Migration Policy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Russia’s foreign policy is often seen as
reactionary and provocative. This article argues that,
despite strong rhetorical framing of foreign policy
postures by the Russian government, the level of
commitment to implementing these outward stances
varies. Looking at the hierarchy of legal mechanisms
used in Russia, this article develops a novel measure of
policy commitment. It then utilizes this measurement
to assess how immigration legislation shifts to match
foreign policy postures in Russia’s relationships with
Turkey, the U.S., and Ukraine. The analysis shows that
migration-related sanctions against Turkey in 2015 were
largely symbolic, whereas similar sanctions against the
West are much more deeply embedded in legislation
and implementation. The 2014 flows of refugees from
Ukraine were similarly met with comprehensive reforms
to the legal framework at many levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-490
Number of pages25
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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