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Regional and Global Revisionism: Russia and China in a Comparative Perspective


What happens when a state is dissatisfied with its status quo or perceives its decline on the international stage? What variables determine the nature, degree and extent of a country’s revisionist threat? A preliminary distinction between status quo and revisionist powers lies in the opposite tendency to either strengthen or threaten the distribution of power and goods, international rules and territorial order. Drawing on these premises, a new typology of revisionism is proposed based on four variables: power capabilities, objectives of the revisionist policy, the means employed and the level of action. The aim is to develop a theoretical framework that can identify and differentiate between past and present types of revisionism through an interpretative grid that takes into account not only the factors that are already known (for example, objectives and means) but also the link between power capabilities, objectives and the level of action. It will thus be possible to explain the difference between the current Russian and Chinese revisionist policies.
Keywords: regional revisionism; global revisionism; Russia; China