The Canadian Foreign Policy Journal (CFPJ) is a fully peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published three times a year by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada.

The full article is available on the CFPJ website: Enemy-Based Foreign Policy as a Framework for Understanding Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine.


The main objective of this research is to establish the analytical framework of enemy-based foreign policy in order to understand certain actions of Russia’s foreign policy towards Ukraine during the invasion of 2022. Through a literature review on the construction of the enemy, the analysis of academic and journalistic sources, as well as the analysis of Vladimir Putin’s speeches and other official positions from the Kremlin, we determine that Russia’s foreign policy is oriented towards the reconfiguration of its identity in the international system through the disintegration of Ukraine, and at the same time serves as a benchmark in defining Russia’s survival. In other words, the creation of the enemy functions as an instrument of ontological position. Finally, based on the work of Esposito and Butler, we find that enemy-based foreign policy accomplishes a dual function of separating lives worthy of mourning from those that are not: it allows the killing as a way to eliminate the Other, but at the same time reinforces the inner life of the political body through annexation, which is used to guarantee immunity from the Other.

About the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal

[CFPJ is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published three times a year by the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University. Established in 1992, CFPJ is Canada’s leading journal of international affairs. The journal’s international advisory and editorial boards reflect diverse political, disciplinary and professional perspectives. Contributors are drawn from Canada and around the world. Essays are fully referenced, peer-reviewed, authoritative yet written for the specialist and non-specialist alike.  Its readers include government officials, academics, students of international affairs, journalists, NGOs and the private sector. Details regarding submitting articles commentaries and review essays to the Journal can be found here:]

About the Authors

César Niño is Associate Professor and Researcher in International Relations at the Universidad de la Salle (Colombia). He has a PhD in International Law from the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio (Spain), and is currently a PhD student in International Peace, Conflict and Development Studies at the Universitat Jaume I (Spain). His research areas include international security, conflict, terrorism, violence, peace, and organized crime. 

Lucas d’Auria is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Universidad de La Salle (Colombia). He holds a MSc in International Relations Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His areas of research include Critical Security Studies, migration politics and theories of International Relations.

Ángela Cristina Pinto Member of the Faculty of Economics, Business and Sustainable Development as Assistant Research Professor at La Salle University, Bogotá, Colombia. Magister in International Studies, Montreal University, Canada. 

Photo via Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine

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