Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution

First Advisor

D. Dustin Berna

Second Advisor

Judith McKay

Third Advisor

Jason J. Campbell


Historical Conflict Analysis, International Conflict Theory, National Behavioral Theory, Russia, Social/Political Anthropology, Political science, International relations, Behavioral sciences


The study theorizes that a nation-state can manifest a condition similar to that of personality commonly associated with humans. Through the identification of consistent behaviors, a personality like condition is recognizable, and the underlining motivations dictate national policy independent of any current social/political influence. The research examines Russia during two historical periods examining the conflict events and social/political transitions of the period, to identify common behavioral characteristics, which indicate the existence of any independent personality like trait.

The study focuses on two historical periods: the Monarch Period of Peter I (The Great), and the Post-Soviet Union period of Vladimir Putin, periods selected as historical eras in which Russia experienced major political or social transition. Using a comparative qualitative historical analysis with a behaviorist focus, the research examines these periods by profiling each era’s elements of society and the events of domestic and international conflict that Russia experienced, while evaluating the actions taken in response to each.

The research discovers that Russia exhibits personality like traits, similar to those associated with humans and are likewise developed from experience, and once imbedded into Russian psychology, regardless of the current social/political elements or situational conditions, remain prime motivators to Russian behavior. The personality like characteristic identified was similar to inferiority, which leads to behavior characteristics comparable to narcissism, as the definition of narcissism relates to the need for admiration and or acceptance. The study identified the origins of the inferiority like complex and the narcissistic like behavior pattern exhibited by Russia in both periods.

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