Meeting room 229, Psychologicum (Siltavuorenpenger 1 A, 00170 Helsinki)
Jussi Backman (University of Helsinki / University of Jyväskylä): Against the Liberal Global Order: On Aleksandr Dugin's Radical Conservatism
Abstract: The paper examines Russian political theorist Aleksandr Dugin’s (b. 1962) attack on the Western liberal hegemony. Even though Dugin’s project is in many ways a theoretical epitome of Russia’s contemporary attempt to profile itself as a regional great power with a political and cultural identity distinct from the liberal West, Dugin can also be read in a wider context as one of the most prominent current representatives of the culturally and intellectually oriented international New Right. The chapter introduces Dugin’s role on the Russian right-wing political scene and his international networks, Russian Neo-Eurasianism as his ideological footing, and his more recent “fourth political theory” as an attempt to formulate a new ideological alternative to liberalism as well as the two other main twentieth-century ideologies, communism and fascism. Dugin’s fourth ideology, essentially meant as an alternative to a unipolar post-Cold War global hegemony of victorious liberalism, draws inspiration from the German conservative revolutionary movement of the Weimar era. In particular, Martin Heidegger’s philosophy of history, with its thesis of the end of modernity and another beginning of Western thought, and Carl Schmitt’s pluralistic model of geopolitics are highlighted as key elements of Dugin’s eclectic political thought, which is most appropriately characterized as a form of radical conservatism.