(Russia in Global Affairs) International relations are concerned with national interests and how they evolve. Some researchers insist that there are obligatory and unchangeable interests expressed in terms of power or prosperity. Others suggest reconstructing national interests depending on how a country acts in a particular situation. Still others hold that national interests are relatively stable, but can vary considerably due to external factors, such as emerging or disappearing norms, institutions, or circumstances.
Assuming that evolution actually takes place, one could legitimately wonder how national interests are stated and for what purpose. We are interested in “non-trivial” interests; that is, interests that go beyond the obvious security needs of a state and its economic survival in the face of external threats. […]
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