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Two largely debated questions in the realm of international relations are the roles of post-Cold War Russia and China within the current global context. However, the debates in the literature fails to take into account the fact that both superpowers employ the same tactic: the asymmetrical conquest of new territory as promoted by historical claims, retroactively justified through population displacement. Subsequently, debates on the topic mistakenly focus on elite motivations rather than what can be controlled: the responses of the international community to the abovementioned tactics. I will document why mainly Russia but also China have opted to use the tactic of territorial conquest and demonstrate how the international community has tacitly promoted the use of this tactic. I will ultimately argue that there is a need to create international standards for sovereignty and that a move from inactive conflict avoidance to active conflict resolution is necessary.


This article was originally published in Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, volume 29, in 2016.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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