Helms School of Government


Master of Arts in Public Policy (MAPP)


Robert Nalbandov


Political Culture, Russia, European Union (EU), Cross-Cultural Competency, Economic Sanctions, Economic Interdependence, Geography


International and Area Studies | Political Science


The political impact of European Union (EU) sanctions on Russia is complicated by the political culture of the Russian state and the economic interdependencies of the EU bloc and the Russian Federation. This study explores the impacts of European Union sanctions on Russian politics, using economic interdependence and the political culture of Russia to help explain both the political effects of the sanctions on Russia and the overall Russian political reaction to the scenario that is unfolding. The foundations of government, political society, and political norms within Russia can be found throughout the different bases of Russian political culture which is narrowed down by the usage of the Cross-Cultural Competency (3Cs) Theorem: Russian Orthodox Christianity, geography, autocracy, and economic development. As a whole, the development of the Russian political state has been heavily impacted by its geographical location. However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that Russia’s governments have additionally been influenced by the development of the Russian Orthodox Church, economy, and government, all of which form a large part of the Russian political cultural identity. The development of Russian politics could, therefore, along with the economic interdependence of the two blocs, aid in determining the Russian political reaction to sanctions. Using this case study, it will be investigated how political culture can affect the overall political reactions to external pressure, particularly economic sanctions, and suggest ways to possibly improve the effectiveness of economic sanctions.