China-Russia relations and prospects for regional stability: a historical and conceptual investigation

  • Polina Campbell

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis employs the English School theory of International Relations and historical analysis to examine China-Russia relations and their impact on stability in the Central Asian region within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Despite historical reversals in the relationship, the relevant literature suggests that China and Russia consider themselves not as competitors, but as partners determined to strengthen and develop their relations. These findings are supported by deeper research utilising Chinese and Russian government sources, which are also used to examine each state’s main interests within the Central Asian region. This leads to the investigation of the impact of the relationship on the region. Qualitative data has been collected with regard to two classes of materials. One consists of texts of international treaties and agreements, declarations, communiques, and resolutions of international organisations. The other class of material concerns analytical reports and speeches of international and national specialists as well as groups of specialists on the issues of regional and international security and disarmament. This thesis mobilises the views of these scholars and specialists who have an in-depth understanding of specific problems associated with their respective nations. By analysing the bilateral relationship within the English School theoretical framework, this thesis has sought to enhance understanding of whether the current zeitgeist of mutual gains through strengthened economic and diplomatic links will continue on a long-term basis. The results gained from this research should contribute to a more sophisticated understanding of China–Russia relations and their influence on regional stability. The distinctive contribution of this thesis is that the China-Russia relationship in its cooperative dimensions holds the promise of shaping international relations in Central Asia, to a preponderant extent than hitherto experienced, and thereby impacting on the wider sphere of global relations and norm-building.
Date of Award2024
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRosita Dellios (Supervisor) & Ronald Ferguson (Supervisor)

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