For the most part, I concur with Monaghan’s approach. The New Politics of Russia expertly dismantles the way the West views Russia. The book is a refreshing addition to the literature on Russian-Western relations.
If I were to add anything to Monaghan’s analysis, it would be to say that one of the reasons why we misperceive Russia is because we misperceive ourselves and so misperceive how Russians see us. We do not take seriously their objections to what we do; and we do not take those objections seriously because of our inability to regard ourselves as anything other than the ‘good guys’. If we are to improve our understanding of Russia, we perhaps first need to improve our understanding of ourselves.Because exceptionalism. One consequence of assuming exceptionalism is conflating the supposed need for "American leadership" with imposing permanent US global hegemony.
In this scheme the US is the center, the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (five eyes") are the core. NATO is comprised of vassal states that support the core and which the core pretends are part of the core. The rest of the world is the periphery consisting of colonies.
Russians don't see it this way.
Book Review: The New Politics of Russia
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa