Volume 22, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This article questions the offensive realist explanation of the war in Ukraine found in the work of John Mearsheimer. It argues that Mearsheimer’s failure to take seriously predispositional factors means his account of the war offers an incomplete basis for discerning motives, predicting the conflict’s evolution, or responding to Russian aggression. To address this deficit and explain how ideological beliefs and meanings expressed in discourse are shaping Russia’s prosecution of the war, the article sets out an interpretive framework that draws on insights into armed conflict and ideology from the likes of Michael Freeden and Jonathan Leader Maynard as well as contributions to Political Discourse Analysis (PDA) primarily in the work of Teun van Dijk. To explore the Russian ideological and discursive aspects at play in the Ukraine war, the article fixes its analytical gaze on an address delivered by Putin to the Russian nation on February 24, 2022.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): discourse; great power; ideology; Mearsheimer; offensive-realism; prediction; Putin; Ukraine; War
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