Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Olga Romanova (Cranfield University, UK)

Between Internationalization and Uniqueness: Transformation of Foreign Policy Narratives in Russia

Both ideas, internationalization and uniqueness, are not new for foreign policy discourses of Russia. The discussion on whether Russia should accept western values or keep its own unique culture could be traced at least from the 17th century. The more western values Russian tsars imported, the more discussion about development paths and identity was raised. The proposed paper aims to disclose the foreign policy narrative on internationalization versus uniqueness in Russia since the late 1980s. In the late 1980-early 1990s ideas of internationalization/Europeanization emerged in political discourse of many Soviet republics, starting with Baltic States and including Russia. At that period of time new independent states, including Russia, clearly declared the wish close integration with western community. However, after a few years the discourse on internationalization was followed by discourse on Russia as a unique country and then further reflected in such foreign policy goals as to play the role of integrator on post-Soviet space, bridge between East and West, industrial and post-industrial world, and even great power. The paper develops ideas of cultural studies in foreign policy analysis and more recently introduced narrative approach. Basing on the analysis of mass media, legislation, elite discourse it describes the narrative on Russian foreign policy. It then discusses two topics: how the narrative on uniqueness and choosiness reconstructed foreign policy goals in Russia since the late 1980s; and what kind of correlations could we trace between narrative on uniqueness and foreign policy goals such as ideas of bridges, great/regional power.