The article examines Russia as a great power from the point of view of status inconsistency theory. Applications of the theory to Russia have focused on the status accorded to Russia in diplomatic representation and membership of key international organizations, which suggests that Russia is a ‘status overachiever’ in that it has an international status that is greater than its actual capabilities would warrant. However, this article focuses on Russian perceptions of the country’s status internationally, especially as reflected in the actual experience of membership in international organizations (OSCE, Council of Europe) and relations with the EU in the context of the two Chechen wars. The article demonstrates that, at least according to Russian assessments, Russia is accorded lower status in these organizations than the great power status which most Russians believe should be theirs. While concluding that status inconsistency is a useful tool for explaining Russian foreign policy behavior, the article notes that differing assessments of what Russia’s level of status recognition is pose challenges for status inconsistency theory.

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