Analyzing the use of civilization in Russian-language political and media discourses, intellectual and academic production, and artistic practices, this book discusses the rise of civilizational rhetoric in Russia and global politics.
Why does the concept of civilization play such a prevalent role in current Russian geopolitical and creative imaginations? The contributors answer this question by exploring the extent to which discourse on civilization penetrates Russian identity formations in imperial and national configurations, and at state and civil levels of society. Although the chapters offer different interpretations and approaches, the book shows that Russian civilizationism is a form of ideological production responding to the challenges of globalization. The concept of "civilization," while increasingly popular as a conceptual tool in identity formation, is also widely contested in Russia today.
This examination of contemporary Russian identities and self-understanding will be of particular interest to students and scholars of Russian area studies and Slavic studies, intellectual and cultural history, nationalism and imperial histories, international relations, discourse analysis, cultural studies, media studies, religion studies and gender studies.
"At the end of the Cold War, Samuel Huntington prophesized that national identities would increasingly involve a sense of belonging to larger cultural-historical entities he called civilizations. Russia as Civilization: Ideological Discourses in Politics, Media, and Academia takes Huntington one step further, to explore how the image of a single nation can be constructed and perceived as a civilization unto itself. Through detailed examinations of Russian intellectual and creative practices as well as political discourses, gender debates, media, the fine arts, and the production of academic scholarship, the chapters shed light on the extraordinary potential of the civilization concept as a locus for mobilizing powerful senses of shared national identity. This collection is essential reading for all those interested in the cultural politics of Russian identity, and in contemporary Russian culture and politics more generally." - Mark Bassin, Baltic Sea Professor in the History of Ideas, Center for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.
"Using Russia as a case study, this book sheds new light on how and with what consequences the notion of civilizations has replaced that of nations as a conceptual foundation for constructing group identities worldwide. It makes a compelling case for understanding the proliferation of civilizational narratives in Russia as a transnational phenomenon and as a response to the challenges posed to the country by globalization." - Vera Tolz, Sir William Mather Professor of Russian Studies, The University of Manchester, UK.
Introduction: Russian Civilizationism in a Global Perspective
Sanna Turoma and Kåre Johan Mjør
Mikhail Suslov and Irina Kotkina
Kåre Johan Mjør