This seminal book explores the complex relationship between popular geopolitics and nation branding among the Newly Independent States of Eurasia, and their combined role in shaping contemporary national image and statecraft within and beyond the region. It provides critical perspectives on international relations, nationalism, and national identity through the use of innovative approaches focusing on popular culture, new media, public diplomacy, and alternative "narrators" of the nation. By positing popular geopolitics and nation branding as contentious forces and complementary flows, the study explores the tensions and elisions between national self-image and external perceptions of the nation, and how this complex interplay has become integral to contemporary global affairs.
Table of Contents
Foreword: [Not] Made in the USSR
1. Of Idols and Idylls: The Question of National Image
2. The Supermarket of Nations: Competitive Identity and the Brand State
3. The Mind’s Eye: Popular Culture, Geographical Imagination, and International Relations
4. A Brand New Eurasia: Places, Spaces, and Peoples of the Post-Soviet Realm
5. The Post-Soviet Bogeyman: A Guide to the Dangerous Personae of the Former USSR
6. Laughable Nations: Parodying the Post-Soviet Republics
7. Mapping Trashcanistan: The Post-Soviet Badlands in Popular Culture, News Media, and Academe
8. Branded! Marketing the New Nations of Eurasia to the (Western) World
9. Conclusion: Post-Soviet Eurasia: The Once-and-Future Geopolitical Imaginary
Robert A. Saunders is Professor in the Department of History, Politics, and Geography at Farmingdale State College, a campus of the State University of New York, where he teaches courses on Russia, Central Asia, and world religions. His research interests include post-totalitarian states, geopolitics, popular culture, and the mass-mediation of national identity.