Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

The Crisis of the Multilateral Order in Eurasia: Authoritarian Regionalism and Its Limits

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Abstract:  The process of authoritarian regionalism, where illiberal or similarly restrictive governments undertake a process of economic integration amongst each other, has emerged in the past two decades as a rival to existing liberal multilateral organisations. Emblematic of this approach is the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU), a grouping of post-Soviet states which has borrowed heavily from the experience of the EU but has set itself up as an alternative form of regionalism. Using the concept of institutional resilience, this article shows how the EaEU has been buffeted by three major shocks that have reduced its attractiveness as a viable development alternative to the West. Crises of economic integration, regional security, and, above all, of domestic stability have exposed the reality that the EaEU may be highly susceptible to shocks and, as a result, is less attractive as an alternative developmental model.

Keywords:  authoritarian regionalism; Eurasian Economic Union; illiberalism; integration; resilience; Russia



© Rilka Dragneva, Christopher A. Hartwell. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.