Use of force and civil-military relations in Russia: An automated content analysis

Brandon M. Stewart, Yuri M. Zhukov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Russia's intervention in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict has highlighted the need to rigorously examine trends in the public debate over the use of force in Russia. Approaching this debate through the prism of civil-military relations, we take advantage of recent methodological advances in automated content analysis and generate a new dataset of 8000 public statements made by Russia's political and military leaders during the Putin period. The data show little evidence that military elites exert a restraining influence on Russian foreign and defence policy. Although more hesitant than their political counterparts to embrace an interventionist foreign policy agenda, Russian military elites are considerably more activist in considering the use of force as an instrument of foreign policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-343
Number of pages25
JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Civil-military
  • Content analysis
  • Document classification
  • Elites
  • Russia
  • Use of force


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