The Eurasianist movement was launched in the 1920s by a group of young Russian �migr�s who had recently emerged from years of fighting and destruction. Drawing on the cultural fermentation of Russian modernism in the arts and literature, as well as in politics and scholarship, the movement sought to reimagine the former imperial space in the wake of Europe's Great War. The Eurasianists argued that as an heir to the nomadic empires of the steppes, Russia should follow a non-European path of development. In the context of rising Nazi and Soviet powers, the Eurasianists rejected liberal democracy and sought alternatives to Communism and capitalism. Deeply connected to the Russian cultural and scholarly milieus, Eurasianism played a role in the articulation of the structuralist paradigm in interwar Europe. However, the movement was not as homogenous as its name may suggest. Its founders disagreed on a range of issues and argued bitterly about what weight should be accorded to one or another idea in their overall conception of Eurasia. In this first English language history of the Eurasianist movement based on extensive archival research, Sergey Glebov offers a historically grounded critique of the concept of Eurasia by interrogating the context in which it was first used to describe the former Russian Empire. This definitive study will appeal to students and scholars of Russian and European history and culture.
The 2014 Ukrainian crisis has highlighted the pro-Russia stances of some European countries, such as Hungary and Greece, and of some European parties, mostly on the far-right of the political spectrum. They see themselves as victims of the EU “technocracy” and liberal moral values, and look for new allies to denounce the current “mainstream” and its austerity measures. These groups found new and unexpected allies in Russia. As seen from the Kremlin, those who denounce Brussels and its submission to U.S. interests are potential allies of a newly re-assertive Russia that sees itself as the torchbearer of conservative values. Predating the Kremlin’s networks, the European connections of Alexander Dugin, the fascist geopolitician and proponent of neo-Eurasianism, paved the way for a new pan-European illiberal ideology based on an updated reinterpretation of fascism. Although Dugin and the European far-right belong to the same ideological world and can be seen as two sides of the same coin, the alliance between Putin’s regime and the European far-right is more a marriage of convenience than one of true love. This unique book examines the European far-right’s connections with Russia and untangles this puzzle by tracing the ideological origins and individual paths that have materialized in this permanent dialogue between Russia and Europe.
Author: Mark Bassin
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Release Date: 2015-07-17
Between Europe and Asia analyzes the origins and development of Eurasianism, an intellectual movement that proclaimed the existence of Eurasia, a separate civilization coinciding with the former Russian Empire. The essays in the volume explore the historical roots, the heyday of the movement in the 1920s, and the afterlife of the movement in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. The first study to offer a multifaceted account of Eurasianism in the twentieth century and to touch on the movement's intellectual entanglements with history, politics, literature, or geography, this book also explores Eurasianism's influences beyond Russia. The Eurasianists blended their search for a primordial essence of Russian culture with radicalism of Europe's interwar period. In reaction to the devastation and dislocation of the wars and revolutions, they celebrated the Orthodox Church and the Asian connections of Russian culture, while rejecting Western individualism and democracy. The movement sought to articulate a non-European, non-Western modernity, and to underscore Russia's role in the colonial world. As the authors demonstrate, Eurasianism was akin to many fascist movements in interwar Europe, and became one of the sources of the rhetoric of nationalist mobilization in Vladimir Putin's Russia. This book presents the rich history of the concept of Eurasianism, and how it developed over time to achieve its present form.
Military action in South Ossetia, growing tensions with the United States and NATO, and Russia's relationship with the European Union demonstrate how the issue of Russian nationalism is increasingly at the heart of the international political agenda.This book considers a wide range of aspects of Russian nationalism, focussing on the Putin period. It discusses the development of Russian nationalism, including in the Soviet era, and examines how Russian nationalism grows out of – or is related to – ideology, culture, racism, religion and intellectual thinking, and demonstrates how Russian nationalism affects many aspects of Russian society, politics and foreign policy. This book examines the different socio-political phenomena which are variously defined as ‘nationalism’, ‘patriotism’ and ‘xenophobia’. As Russia reasserts itself in the world, with Russian nationalism as one of the key driving forces in this process, an understanding of Russian nationalism is essential for understanding the dynamics of contemporary international relations.
This timely book provides a comprehensive overview of the geographical, historical, political, cultural, and geostrategic factors that drive Russia today. Explaining Russia’s perspective, it offers a much-needed analysis that will help readers understand how the country deals with its domestic issues and how these influence Russian foreign policy.
In 1991 the Soviet empire collapsed, at a stroke throwing the certainties of the Cold War world into flux. Yet despite the dramatic end of this 'last empire', the idea of empire is still alive and well, its language and concepts feeding into public debate and academic research. Bringing together a multidisciplinary and international group of authors to study Soviet society and culture through the categories empire and space, this collection demonstrates the enduring legacy of empire with regard to Russia, whose history has been marked by a particularly close and ambiguous relationship between nation and empire building, and between national and imperial identities. Parallel with this discussion of empire, the volume also highlights the centrality of geographical space and spatial imaginings in Russian and Soviet intellectual traditions and social practices; underlining how Russia's vast geographical dimensions have profoundly informed Russia's state and nation building, both in practice and concept. Combining concepts of space and empire, the collection offers a reconsideration of Soviet imperial legacy by studying its cultural and societal underpinnings from previously unexplored perspectives. In so doing it provides a reconceptualization of the theoretical and methodological foundations of contemporary imperial and spatial studies, through the example of the experience provided by Soviet society and culture.
Author: Alexander Dugin
Release Date: 2014-12-15
Genre: Political Science
According to Alexander Dugin, the twenty-first century will be defined by the conflict between Eurasianists and Atlanticists. The Eurasianists defend the need for every people and culture on Earth to be allowed to develop in its own way, free of interference, and in accordance with their own particular values. Eurasianists thus stand for tradition and for the blossoming variety of cultures, and a world in which no single power holds sway over all the others. Opposing them are the Atlanticists. They stand for ultra-liberalism in both economics and values, stopping at nothing to expand their influence to every corner of the globe, unleashing war, terror, and injustice on all who oppose them, both at home and abroad. This camp is represented by the United States and its allies around the world, who seek to maintain America’s unipolar hegemony over the Earth. The Eurasianists believe that only a strong Russia, working together with all those who oppose Atlanticism worldwide, can stop them and bring about the multipolar world they desire. This book introduces their basic ideas. Eurasianism is on the rise in Russia today, and the Kremlin’s geopolitical policies are largely based on its tenets, as has been acknowledged by Vladimir Putin himself. It is reshaping Russia’s geopolitics, and its influence is already changing the course of world history. “Essentially, the unipolar world is simply a means of justifying dictatorship over people and countries. […] I think that we need a new version of interdependence. […] This is particularly relevant given the strengthening and growth of certain regions on the planet, which process objectively requires institutionalization of such new poles, creating powerful regional organizations and developing rules for their interaction. Cooperation between these centers would seriously add to the stability of global security, policy and economy.” — Vladimir Putin, Valdai Club, October 24, 2014
Author: Bill Bowring
Release Date: 2013-04-17
Law, Rights and Ideology in Russia: Landmarks in the destiny of a great power brings into sharp focus several key episodes in Russia’s vividly ideological engagement with law and rights. Drawing on 30 years of experience of consultancy and teaching in many regions of Russia and on library research in Russian-language texts, Bill Bowring provides unique insights into people, events and ideas. The book starts with the surprising role of the Scottish Enlightenment in the origins of law as an academic discipline in Russia in the eighteenth century. The Great Reforms of Tsar Aleksandr II, abolishing serfdom in 1861 and introducing jury trial in 1864, are then examined and debated as genuine reforms or the response to a revolutionary situation. A new interpretation of the life and work of the Soviet legal theorist Yevgeniy Pashukanis leads to an analysis of the conflicted attitude of the USSR to international law and human rights, especially the right of peoples to self-determination. The complex history of autonomy in Tsarist and Soviet Russia is considered, alongside the collapse of the USSR in 1991. An examination of Russia’s plunge into the European human rights system under Yeltsin is followed by the history of the death penalty in Russia. Finally, the secrets of the ideology of ‘sovereignty’ in the Putin era and their impact on law and rights are revealed. Throughout, the constant theme is the centuries long hegemonic struggle between Westernisers and Slavophiles, against the backdrop of the Messianism that proclaimed Russia to be the Third Rome, was revived in the mission of Soviet Russia to change the world and which has echoes in contemporary Eurasianism and the ideology of sovereignty.
Author: Edith W. Clowes
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Release Date: 2011-03-17
Genre: Literary Criticism
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russians have confronted a major crisis of identity. Soviet ideology rested on a belief in historical progress, but the post-Soviet imagination has obsessed over territory. Indeed, geographical metaphors-whether axes of north vs. south or geopolitical images of center, periphery, and border-have become the signs of a different sense of self and the signposts of a new debate about Russian identity. In Russia on the Edge, Edith W. Clowes argues that refurbished geographical metaphors and imagined geographies provide a useful perspective for examining post-Soviet debates about what it means to be Russian today. Clowes lays out several sides of the debate. She takes as a backdrop the strong criticism of Soviet Moscow and its self-image as uncontested global hub by major contemporary writers, among them Tatyana Tolstaya and Viktor Pelevin. The most vocal, visible, and colorful rightist ideologue, Aleksandr Dugin, the founder of neo-Eurasianism, has articulated positions contested by such writers and thinkers as Mikhail Ryklin, Liudmila Ulitskaia, and Anna Politkovskaia, whose works call for a new civility in a genuinely pluralistic Russia. Dugin's extreme views and their many responses-in fiction, film, philosophy, and documentary journalism-form the body of this book. In Russia on the Edge, literary and cultural critics will find the keys to a vital post-Soviet writing culture. For intellectual historians, cultural geographers, and political scientists the book is a guide to the variety of post-Soviet efforts to envision new forms of social life, even as a reconstructed authoritarianism has taken hold. The book introduces nonspecialist readers to some of the most creative and provocative of present-day Russia's writers and public intellectuals.
Author: Igor Torbakov
Publisher: Ibidem Press
Release Date: 2018-09-30
Igor Torbakov explores the nexus between various forms of Russian political imagination and the apparently cyclic process of decline and fall of Russia's imperial polity over the last hundred years. While Russia's historical process is by no means unique, two features of its historical development stand out. First, the country's history is characterized by dramatic political discontinuity. In the past century, Russia changed its "historical skin" three times: following the disintegration of the Tsarist Empire accompanied by violent civil war, it was reconstituted as the communist USSR, whose breakup a quarter century ago led to the emergence of the present-day Russian Federation. Each of the dramatic transformations in the 20th century powerfully affected the notion of what "Russia" is and what it means to be Russian. Second, alongside Russia's political instability, there is, paradoxically, a striking picture of geopolitical stability and of remarkable longevity as an imperial entity. At least since the beginning of the 18th century, "Russia" has been a permanent geopolitical fixture on Europe's north-eastern margins with its persistent pretense to the status of a great power. Against this backdrop, the book's three sections investigate (a) the emergence and development of Eurasianism as a form of (post-)imperial ideology, (b) the crucial role Ukraine has historically played for the Russians' self-understanding, and (c) the contemporary Russian elites' exercises in historical legitimation.
Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Release Date: 2011-08-01
Genre: Political Science
The war in Georgia. Tensions with Ukraine and other nearby countries. Moscow's bid to consolidate its "zone of privileged interests" among the Commonwealth of Independent States. These volatile situations all raise questions about the nature of and prospects for Russia's relations with its neighbors. In this book, Carnegie scholar Dmitri Trenin argues that Moscow needs to drop the notion of creating an exclusive power center out of the post-Soviet space. Like other former European empires, Russia will need to reinvent itself as a global player and as part of a wider community. Trenin's vision of Russia is an open Euro-Pacific country that is savvy in its use of soft power and fully reconciled with its former borderlands and dependents. He acknowledges that this scenario may sound too optimistic but warns that the alternative is not a new version of the historic empire but instead is the ultimate marginalization of Russia.