04/02/2014 01:36 pm ET Updated Dec 05, 2014

Why the West So Badly Misread Putin - And Today's World

ALEXANDER JOE via Getty Images

Nader Mousavizadeh, Co-founder and Managing Director Macro Advisors; former Chief Executive Officer Oxford Analytica

The West consistently misjudged Putin's economic pain threshold because we assume a global convergence to its political norm threshold. The Russian leader, and many other leaders around the world, have neither the personal motivation nor the domestic constituency to sustain such a choice.

A real -- as opposed to idealized -- map of the new geopolitical world would shine the light on capitals as diverse as Tokyo, Brasilia, Riyadh, Delhi, Beijing, Ankara and Bangkok and reveal an emerging archipelago of diverging politics, economics and ideals of governance. With such a map -- however unwelcome and unfamiliar it may appear -- decisions driven by historic grievances, nationalist rivalries, unrequited respect, elite interests and a deep desire to chart a course independent of the dominant Western narrative will seem rather less surprising.

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