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

Indrani Talukdar (Indian Council of World Affairs)

Reconstructing a Uniform National and Geopolitical Russian Identity: Rationale behind Blending of Nationalism and Culture

The 21st century is witnessing a resurgence of nationalism and identity especially amongst the countries who were powerful during the imperial times. One such example apart from Turkey is Russia. Russia, across different historical eras, has developed three schools of thinking about Self and Other – Westernist, Statist, and Civilizationist. Based on either of these, Russia has used this schools to present Russia's international choices in ways consistent with their historically established images of the country and the outside world, justifying their actions. In the 20th century the 'Westernist' school was prevalent during Boris Yeltsin's time. The 'Statist' was prevalent during the Communist Party's time and the 'Civilizationist' is seen under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. This school conceptualized Russia and the other countries especially the West in terms of cultural oppositions. It positioned Russia and its values as principally different from those of the West. It viewed Russia as a civilization in its own and as an alternative to the so-called decadent Western values. Russia, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, felt humiliated however tried to follow the 'Westernists' school, to regroup itself and get into the global world order. It was able to regain its position after 2000 with the economic boom under President Vladimir Putin. Under him, Russia is witnessing 'sovereign democracy' blended with combination of Statist and Civilizationist school of thoughts. However, with the Western expansion and belligerent relationship with Russia has led to the inciting of 'civilizationist' fervour. The paper will examine the three school of traditions and the political eras under them. It will examine whether it is a 'reconstruction' or a 'continuation' of a uniform national and geopolitical Russian identity, and what circumstances led President Putin to use this school and to what extent he is successful, and what will be the future prospect of this blend nationalism and culture.