Bringing together leading scholars from Russia and outside experts on Russia, this book looks at the difference between the image Russia has of itself and the way it is viewed in the West. It discusses the historical, cultural and political foundations that these images are built upon, and goes on to analyse how contested these images are, and their impact on Russian identity. The book questions whether differing images explain fractiousness in Western-Russian relations in the new century, or whether distinct ‘imaginary solitudes’ offer a better platform from which to negotiate differences. Providing an innovative comparative study of contemporary images of the country and their impact, the book is a significant contribution to studies of globalisation and international relations.
Table of Contents
1. The power of images and the images of power: past and present identity in Russia’s international relations Ray Taras 2. Mirror, mirror...: myth-making, self-images and views of the US ‘Other’ in contemporary Russia Bo Petersson 3. Russia in international society over the longue durée: lessons from early Rus’ and early post-Soviet state formation Iver B. Neumann 4. The ‘Varangian problem’: science in the grip of ideology and politics Elena Melnikova 5. Russian and European mutual perceptions: foreign policy stereotypes in historical perspective Aleksander V. Golubev 6. Russia and the ‘West’ in the 2000s: redefining Russian identity in official political discourse Olga Malinova 7. Constructing Russophobia Valentina Feklyunina 8. Images, metaphors, and power: reinventing the grammar of Russian trans-border regionalism Andrey S. Makarychev 9. The embarrassing Russian connection: selective memory of the Russian heritage in contemporary Poland Tomasz Zarycki
Ray Taras is Professor of Political Science at Tulane University, USA.