Research / Projects

The Vision of Eurasia: Eurasianist Influences on Politics, Culture and Ideology in Russia Today

The aim of this project is to evaluate the degree to which the concepts, arguments, and tropes of Eurasianism have penetrated across public and political life in Russia today. Originally formulated by Russian émigré nationalists in the 1920s and 1930s, Eurasianism represented an entirely new vision of Russia as Russia-Eurasia: a distinct and autonomous historical world stretching from Russia's western borderlands east to the Pacific. Beginning in the late 1980s, these old doctrines were rediscovered and began to be resurrected. They were appealing because they offered a compelling ideological narrative for those who opposed the breakup of the Soviet Union and believed that Russia needed to be a strong state capable of resisting its external opponents, especially those from the West. By the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s first presidency, Eurasianism had become an common term of reference in Russia. Its influence was apparent not only in academic and political discourses but in the popular imagination as well, and it figured prominently in representations of Russia in popular culture. Eurasianism is also highly influential outside of the Russian Federation, for example in Kazakhstan, where it has been as a sort of official state ideology.

Most recently, Vladimir Putin has formally endorsed the Eurasian vision as one of his key foreign policy projects for his second presidential term. The importance of Eurasianism calls for complete reassessment of its contemporary role. Drawing on wide spectrum of sources and materials, our project seeks to do just that: firstly, by examining the degree to which Eurasianist concepts and perspectives have penetrated across public and political life in Russia today; secondly, by analysing the reasons for this penetration; and finally by investigating the ways in which these perspectives still reflect the doctrines of the “classical Eurasianists”, and alternatively how they are being adapted to fit the post-Soviet realities of the 21st century.

We will consider these questions through five subprojects examining the relation between Eurasianism and a) Russian Foreign Policy, b) Centre-Periphery relations in Russia, c) public debates about national identity d) Political Parties and the Church, and finally, e) popular culture and artistic production. This project will present the first fully comprehensive overview of Eurasianism’s current status in Russian politics and culture.

Publications

Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Sergei Glebov

Mark Bassin

Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

Yes
2015

School/Centre

CBEES

School of Historical and Contemporary Studies

History of Ideas


Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

In: . : .

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Irina Kotkina


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2014

School/Centre

CBEES

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Irina Kotkina


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2014

School/Centre

CBEES

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: . : .

Nowadays Eurasianism is gradually transformed from a philosophical doctrine known only to experts into cultural and political practice. The attempts of reintegration of the former Soviet Union made by Kremlin encourage population to reflect on the historical mission of Russia and its ‘civilizational’ identity. Vladimir Putin in his article published in “Izvestya” in October 2011 made clear division between the supporters and opponents of the Eurasian Union. Russia’s contemporary Minister of Culture, Vladimir Medinsky, warmly supports the idea of the Eurasian integration and even called it the major “macro-task” of Russia. In his writings and documents of his ministry, Medinsky actively entertains the idea of Eurasian union and considers Eurasianism one of the most fruitful doctrines aiming at Russian inner and foreign politics.  In my presentation I am going to analyze the recent documents and statements of the Ministry of Culture concerning Eurasianism as a force of cultural and political re-integration of Russia with former Soviet territories and other neighboring countries.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Irina Kotkina


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2013

School/Centre

CBEES

-


Research area for doctoral studies

-

In: Empire De/Centered. : Ashgate, 2013. 61-83.

AuthorPublishing yearSubject

Igor Torbakov


Research linked to the Baltic region and Eastern Europe

No
2013

School/Centre

-

-


Research area for doctoral studies

Historical Studies

Status

Started

Project Manager

Mark Bassin
Professor
School of Historical and Contemporary Studies

People linked to the project

Irina Kotkina


Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University, USA)

Igor Torbakov  (Uppsala University)

Gonzolo Pozo  (Kings College, London)

More information

Project start: 2013
Project end: 2016

Financier: Östersjöstiftelsen

Research linked to the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe: Yes

Information på svenska

School/centre to which the project is linked