Russia’s Identity in International Relations: Images, Perceptions, Misperceptions 0415520584, 9780415520584

Bringing together leading scholars from Russia and outside experts on Russia, this book looks at the difference between

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Russia’s Identity in International Relations: Images, Perceptions, Misperceptions
 0415520584,  9780415520584

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

Citation preview

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BASEESjROUTLEDGE SERIES ON RUSSIAN AND EAST EUROPEAN STUDIES

Russia's Identity in International Relations Images, perceptions, misperceptions Edited by

Ray Taras

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Russia’s Identity in International Relations

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 useful contribution to studies of globalisation and international relations. Ray Taras is Professor of Political Science at Tulane University, USA.

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

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Series editor: Richard Sakwa, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent Editorial Committee: Julian Cooper, Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham Terry Cox, Department of Central and East European Studies, University of Glasgow Rosalind Marsh, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages, University of Bath David Moon, Department of History, University of Durham Hilary Pilkington, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick Graham Timmins, Department of Politics, University of Stirling Stephen White, Department of Politics, University of Glasgow Founding Editorial Committee Member: George Blazyca, Centre for Contemporary European Studies, University of Paisley This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects. 1. Ukraine’s Foreign and Security Policy, 1991–2000 Roman Wolczuk 2. Political Parties in the Russian Regions Derek S. Hutcheson 3. Local Communities and PostCommunist Transformation Edited by Simon Smith 4. Repression and Resistance in Communist Europe J. C. Sharman

5. Political Elites and the New Russia Anton Steen 6. Dostoevsky and the Idea of Russianness Sarah Hudspith 7. Performing Russia – Folk Revival and Russian Identity Laura J. Olson 8. Russian Transformations Edited by Leo McCann

9. Soviet Music and Society under Lenin and Stalin The baton and sickle Edited by Neil Edmunds

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10. State Building in Ukraine The Ukranian parliament, 1990–2003 Sarah Whitmore 11. Defending Human Rights in Russia Sergei Kovalyov, dissident and Human Rights Commissioner, 1969–2003 Emma Gilligan 12. Small-Town Russia Postcommunist livelihoods and Identities. A portrait of the intelligentsia in Achit, Bednodemyanovsk and Zubtsov, 1999–2000 Anne White

18. Russian and Soviet Film Adaptations of Literature, 1900–2001 Screening the word Edited by Stephen Hutchings and Anat Vernitski 19. Russia as a Great Power Dimensions of security under Putin Edited by Jakob Hedenskog, Vilhelm Konnander, Bertil Nygren, Ingmar Oldberg and Christer Pursiainen 20. Katyn and the Soviet Massacre of 1940 Truth, justice and memory George Sanford 21. Conscience, Dissent and Reform in Soviet Russia Philip Boobbyer

13. Russian Society and the Orthodox Church Religion in Russia after Communism Zoe Knox

22. The Limits of Russian Democratisation Emergency powers and states of emergency Alexander N. Domrin

14. Russian Literary Culture in the Camera Age The word as image Stephen Hutchings

23. The Dilemmas of Destalinisation A social and cultural history of reform in the Khrushchev era Edited by Polly Jones

15. Between Stalin and Hitler Class war and race war on the Dvina, 1940–46 Geoffrey Swain

24. News Media and Power in Russia Olessia Koltsova

16. Literature in Post-Communist Russia and Eastern Europe The Russian, Czech and Slovak fiction of the changes 1988–98 Rajendra A. Chitnis 17. The Legacy of Soviet Dissent Dissidents, democratisation and radical nationalism in Russia Robert Horvath

25. Post-Soviet Civil Society Democratization in Russia and the Baltic States Anders Uhlin 26. The Collapse of Communist Power in Poland Jacqueline Hayden 27. Television, Democracy and Elections in Russia Sarah Oates

28. Russian Constitutionalism Historical and contemporary development Andrey N. Medushevsky

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29. Late Stalinist Russia Society between reconstruction and reinvention Edited by Juliane Fürst 30. The Transformation of Urban Space in Post-Soviet Russia Konstantin Axenov, Isolde Brade and Evgenij Bondarchuk 31. Western Intellectuals and the Soviet Union, 1920–40 From Red Square to the Left Bank Ludmila Stern 32. The Germans of the Soviet Union Irina Mukhina 33. Re-constructing the Post-Soviet Industrial Region The Donbas in transition Edited by Adam Swain 34. Chechnya - Russia’s ‘War on Terror’ John Russell 35. The New Right in the New Europe Czech transformation and right-wing politics, 1989–2006 Seán Hanley 36. Democracy and Myth in Russia and Eastern Europe Edited by Alexander Wöll and Harald Wydra 37. Energy Dependency, Politics and Corruption in the Former Soviet Union Russia’s power, oligarchs’ profits and Ukraine’s missing energy policy, 1995–2006 Margarita M. Balmaceda

38. Peopling the Russian Periphery Borderland colonization in Eurasian history Edited by Nicholas B Breyfogle, Abby Schrader and Willard Sunderland 39. Russian Legal Culture Before and After Communism Criminal justice, politics and the public sphere Frances Nethercott 40. Political and Social Thought in Post-Communist Russia Axel Kaehne 41. The Demise of the Soviet Communist Party Atsushi Ogushi 42. Russian Policy towards China and Japan The El’tsin and Putin periods Natasha Kuhrt 43. Soviet Karelia Politics, planning and terror in Stalin’s Russia, 1920–1939 Nick Baron 44. Reinventing Poland Economic and political transformation and evolving national identity Edited by Martin Myant and Terry Cox 45. The Russian Revolution in Retreat, 1920–24 Soviet workers and the new Communist elite Simon Pirani 46. Democratisation and Gender in Contemporary Russia Suvi Salmenniemi 47. Narrating Post/Communism Colonial discourse and Europe’s borderline civilization Nataša Kovačević

48. Globalization and the State in Central and Eastern Europe The politics of foreign direct investment Jan Drahokoupil

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49. Local Politics and Democratisation in Russia Cameron Ross 50. The Emancipation of the Serfs in Russia Peace arbitrators and the development of civil society Roxanne Easley 51. Federalism and Local Politics in Russia Edited by Cameron Ross and Adrian Campbell 52. Transitional Justice in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union Reckoning with the Communist past Edited by Lavinia Stan 53. The Post-Soviet Russian Media Conflicting signals Edited by Birgit Beumers, Stephen Hutchings and Natalia Rulyova 54. Minority Rights in Central and Eastern Europe Edited by Bernd Rechel 55. Television and Culture in Putin’s Russia: Remote Control Stephen Hutchings and Natalia Rulyova 56. The Making of Modern Lithuania Tomas Balkelis 57. Soviet State and Society Under Nikita Khrushchev Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith

58. Communism, Nationalism and Ethnicity in Poland, 1944–1950 Michael Fleming 59. Democratic Elections in Poland, 1991–2007 Frances Millard 60. Critical Theory in Russia and the West Alastair Renfrew and Galin Tihanov 61. Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Russia European organization and Russia’s socialization Sinikukka Saari 62. The Myth of the Russian Intelligentsia Old intellectuals in the new Russia Inna Kochetkova 63. Russia’s Federal Relations Putin’s reforms and management of the regions Elena A. Chebankova 64. Constitutional Bargaining in Russia 1990–93 Information and uncertainty Edward Morgan-Jones 65. Building Big Business in Russia The impact of informal corporate governance practices Yuko Adachi 66. Russia and Islam State, society and radicalism Roland Dannreuther and Luke March 67. Celebrity and Glamour in Contemporary Russia Shocking chic Edited by Helena Goscilo and Vlad Strukov

68. The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917–1939 Elizabeth White

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69. Learning to Labour in Post-Soviet Russia Vocational youth in transition Charles Walker 70. Television and Presidential Power in Putin’s Russia Tina Burrett 71. Political Theory and Community Building in Post-Soviet Russia Edited by Oleg Kharkhordin and Risto Alapuro 72. Disease, Health Care and Government in Late Imperial Russia Life and death on the Volga, 1823– 1914 Charlotte E. Henze 73. Khrushchev in the Kremlin Policy and government in the Soviet Union, 1953–1964 Edited by Melanie Ilic and Jeremy Smith

74. Citizens in the Making in PostSoviet States Olena Nikolayenko 75. The Decline of Regionalism in Putin’s Russia Boundary issues J. Paul Goode 76. The Communist Youth League and the Transformation of the Soviet Union, 1917–1932 Matthias Neumann 77. Putin’s United Russia Party S. P. Roberts 78. The European Union and its Eastern Neighbours Towards a more ambitious partnership? Elena Korosteleva 79. Russia’s Identity in International Relations Images, perceptions, misperceptions Edited by Ray Taras 80. Russia – Democracy Versus Modernization Edited by Vladislav Inozemtsev and Piotr Dutkiewicz

Russia’s Identity in International Relations

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Images, perceptions, misperceptions

Edited by Ray Taras

First published 2013 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

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© 2013 selection and editorial material, Ray Taras; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Ray Taras to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors of their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Russia’s identity in international relations : images, perceptions, misperceptions / edited by Ray Taras.    pages ; cm. – (BASEES/Routledge series on Russian and East    European Studies ; 79.)   Includes bibliographical references and index.   1. Russia (Federation)–Foreign relations. 2. Russia (Federation)–   Foreign public opinion. 3. Identity politics–Russia (Federation)   4. Russians–Ethnic identity. 5. Russia (Federation)–Foreign relations–   Western countries. 6. Western countries–Foreign relations–Russia   (Federation) I. Taras, Ray, 1946– II. Series: BASEES/Routledge series   on Russian and East European Studies ; 79.   DK510.764.R883 2012  327.47–dc23                  2011052591 ISBN: 978-0-415-52058-4 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-203-11242-7 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by HWA Text and Data Management, London

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Contents

List of contributors 1 The power of images and the images of power: past and present identity in Russia’s international relations

xi 1

Ray Taras

2 Mirror, mirror … Myth-making, self-images and views of the US ‘Other’ in contemporary Russia

11

Bo P etersson

3 Russia in international society over the longue durée: lessons from early Rus’ and early post-Soviet state formation 24 Iver B . N eumann

4 The ‘Varangian problem’: science in the grip of ideology and politics

42

Elena M elnikova

5 Russian and European mutual perceptions: foreign policy stereotypes in historical perspective

53

Aleksander V. G olubev

6 Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s: redefining Russian identity in official political discourse

73

Olga M alinova

7 Constructing Russophobia Valentina F eklyunina

91

x  Contents

8 Images, metaphors, and power: reinventing the grammar of Russian trans-border regionalism 110 A ndrey S . M akarychev

9 The embarrassing Russian connection: selective memory of the Russian heritage in contemporary Poland

133

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T omasz Z arycki

Index

149

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Contributors

Valentina Feklyunina is lecturer in politics at the University of Newcastle. Aleksander V. Golubev is senior specialist at the Institute of Russian History, the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Moscow. Andrey S. Makarychev is researcher at OstEuropa Institut, Frei Universitat Berlin and has been professor of political science at the Public Service Academy as well as professor of international relations at the Linguistic University, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Olga Malinova is a chief research specialist at the Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and professor at MGIMO-University. She is former president of the Russian Political Science Association. Elena Melnikova is head of department at the Institute of World History in the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Iver B. Neumann is research director at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. His latest book is At Home with the Diplomats (Cornell University Press, 2012). Bo Petersson is professor of political science and international migration and ethnic relations (IMER) at Malmö University, Sweden. Ray Taras has been Willy Brandt Professor at Malmö University in Sweden and visiting fellow at the Robert Schumann Center of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He also is professor of politics at Tulane University in New Orleans, US. Tomasz Zarycki is professor and deputy director of the Robert B. Zajonc Institute for Social Studies at the University of Warsaw, Poland.

1 The power of images and the images of power Past and present identity in Russia’s international relations Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 20:40 14 March 2017

Ray Taras Russia’s identity possesses a power in its own right. It becomes an unsettling power when ‘national’ identity is defined in transnational ways – in imperial or great power terms. Earlier research focusing on constructions of Russia’s identity has affirmed this linkage. Iver Neumann’s twin studies of Europe as Russia’s Other (1996) and Russia as Europe’s Other (1998) demonstrated how power and hierarchy in international relations were established based largely on reciprocal images. Images have power in international relations, therefore, whether they are of major historical powers such as Russia, France, Britain, or the United States, or of great powers defined in non-geopolitical or non-military ways, for example, (self-)acclaimed ‘moral’ superpowers like Sweden or Canada. Images of power enhance the power of images. Self-drawn images of being a powerful nation or state may be as unsettling for neighboring peoples and, under certain circumstances, for international society as a whole as images of power attributed to a state by external actors. In the case of Russia, derzhava, meaning power, might, or dominion, reentered the political lexicon not long after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. The term was appropriated primarily by political opponents of President Boris Yeltsin who was seen as presiding over the rapid decline of Russian state power both on historic Russian lands as well as regionally and even internationally. Unlike glasnost and perestroika, which became self-explanatory terms that made their way into foreign languages, derzhava retains a mystique about it, one greater for Russians than for those in the West. More emotive terms have been used in the West to construct images of Russia’s power. Imperialism, expansion, and revanchism are commonly used concepts. Security threat, grand strategy or design, resurgence, destabilizing actor, and ambition are additional terms

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2  Ray Taras employed to convey the Kremlin’s appetite for power. Whoever constructs these images, their effect is the same: both externally and self-drawn images of Russian power possess significant weight in shaping the conduct of international relations. Today, images are regarded by many scholars as more relevant to explaining international relations than the power of ideology, which had been the case during the cold war; hence studying the power of images and the images of power offers greater explanatory potential today than examining the ideology of power and the power of ideology (Therborn 1999). After the cold war ended, identity – not ideology – and reciprocal state images and perceptions of each other – not the strategic nuclear balance – became the pivotal factors promising a better understanding of international politics. Studying the military balance between two former superpowers became an irrelevant research exercise as post-Soviet Russia shrunk to a medium-power state in the 1990s. Cold war power meltdown was not a one-sided affair. Even a weakened Russia perceived cracks in what had been a largely unified Western bloc which had confronted the USSR. Post-cold war Russia developed a more nuanced perception of geopolitical space entailing ‘the deconstruction of the West as a monolithic military actor into a more dynamic conception of the West as the site of conflicts, divergent interests and economic dynamism.’ As Richard Sakwa inferred from this revised image of the West, the more flexible perspective ‘allowed the transcendence of traditional “Russia versus the West” discourses’ (Sakwa 2007: 225). No better example can be given of how changing reciprocal images of each other have affected the international politics in which Russia is implicated. Studying images of Russia In the new century, under a strongman adopting a more assertive approach to the promotion of Russia’s interests, Russia experts have speculated how much has been substance and how much is image building in Russia’s reputed resurgence under President Vladimir Putin. It has made more sense for analysts to search for answers to this question by turning from the realist and liberal internationalist schools of international relations to a social constructivist approach. Images that ascribe an identity to a nation have now become a mainstream component of international relations research. In

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The power of images and the images of power  3 addition to Neumann’s two books, another landmark study also appearing in the late 1990s examined the connection between Russian national identity and its foreign policy. In it Ilya Prizel observed: ‘Although debates over Russia’s national identity and interests have raged since the eighteenth century, the ideal of Russia as a superior civilization and a transcendent empire with a universal mission has remained. Indeed, a Russian national identity without this vision has yet to emerge’ (Prizel 1998: 155). It is no surprise, then, that two decades after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russia’s international ambitions, as conveyed in images of the state and its leadership, continue to evoke concern. The part played by identity – whether developed within Russia or constructed by external actors – in the shaping of international relations has received greater scholarly attention in the years since the publication of Prizel’s book. If we accept that national identity is largely an invention whose basis typically combines a mix of both objective (primordial) factors and subjective images (see Smith 1993), then Russia’s identity provides particularly imaginative constructions. Two simple reasons for this are that it is a vast country, and also that it can summon multiple images – as a European or Slavic or Eurasian or Pacific rim or Muslim state – as international contingencies arise. A pioneering study of Russian foreign policy built on identity that explicitly invoked the social constructivist approach was published by Ted Hopf (2002). Making the assumption that in order to understand the international system a society has to understand itself, the author compared ‘identity topographies’ (based on analyses of media and cultural production) for Russia for two years spaced nearly a half century apart: 1955 and 1999. Hopf ’s interest was in how the domestic formation of identity helped define national interests and the foreign policies they produced. As he put it, the study described ‘how a state’s own domestic identities constitute a social cognitive structure that makes threats and opportunities, enemies and allies, intelligible, thinkable, and possible’ (Hopf 2002: 16). It was state, as opposed to national, identity that formed the subject of the investigation. Hopf carried out this research by examining the identities of key decision-makers as depicted in archival material, journals, newspapers, memoirs, writers, and textbooks. A more recent analysis of Russia’s international politics that also specifically makes use of social constructivism is by Anne Clunan

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4  Ray Taras (2009). In this case, the preference for a constructivist approach stems from the author’s research question: how a national identity emerges rather than what a state identity may lead to. She, too, abandons conventional realist, balance-of-power approaches and proposes an interdisciplinary framework termed aspirational constructivism. Grounded in social psychology, it underscores the centrality of collective self-esteem in international politics. The aspirations that self-esteem engender are often based, unsurprisingly, on a nation’s history. These aspirations shape, in turn, a country’s national and security interests. For contemporary Russia, according to Clunan, the quest to regain international status originates in five Russian self-images: Western, statist, Slavophile, neocommunist, and nationalist. She identifies ‘statist developmentalism’ promoted by Putin as the most influential Russian self-image today. Russia’s resurgence, her argument goes, can be explained by the coalescing of traditional security concerns, historical aspirations, and human agency around this ascendant new national identity which, in turn, has reconfigured Russia’s national and security interests. The studies on Russian foreign policy by Prizel, Hopf, and Clunan have ushered in a new research agenda that is the product of a new analytic framework. This volume contributes to the constructivist perspective on international relations by analyzing images of Russia twenty years after the establishment of the Russian Federation. Although an approach that gained traction in Western political science, the social constructivist framework has been adopted by some of Russia’s leading scholars who are included in this book. The theoretical underpinnings of our study lie, therefore, in the premises of international relations experts who have employed constructivist frameworks to explain foreign policy. They reject a focus on purely material factors such as power and they argue instead, as Robert Jackson puts it, that ‘the most important aspect of international relations is social, not material.’ That is, ‘The social and political world, including the world of international relations, is not a physical entity or material object that is outside human consciousness. Consequently, the study of international relations must focus on the ideas and beliefs that inform the actors on the international scene as well as the shared understandings between them’ (Jackson and Sørensen 2010: 162).

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The power of images and the images of power  5 In short, the constructivist approach focuses on the social construction of reality which takes place when ideas, thought processes, and norms become the primary explanatory variables in place of material phenomena. Images, perceptions, self-images, and misperceptions form integral parts of constructions of reality. Over the past two decades constructivist frameworks have been applied to study international relations just as they have continued to be used in the study of human and social relations. A seminal study staking the constructivist claim that identity, culture, and norms matter in international politics – even at its very core, security policy – was published by Peter Katzenstein. He urged a broadening of the analytical perspective on national security ‘to include as well culture and identity as important causal factors that help define the interests and constitute the actors that shape national security policies and global insecurities’ (Katzenstein 1996: 537). As Jackson concluded, then, while constructivists studying international politics may put different weight on individual factors, ‘they all emphasize the importance of culture and identity, as expressed in social norms, rules, and understandings. The social and political world is made up of shared beliefs rather than by physical entities. For constructivists, that must always be the starting-point for analysis’ (Jackson and Sørensen 2010: 173). Within this general framework constructivist scholars need to make analytic choices. These often reflect the three levels of analysis found in the study of international relations: the individual decisionmaker, the domestic structures, and the international system. Some constructivists prefer to focus on domestic factors, for example, the principal national sources of state identity and self-representation. Others look at systemic aspects, such as the ideational and normative components of international society and the reciprocal images that states have of each other. Beliefs and norms embraced by individual policy-makers – the first level of analysis – have infrequently constituted a subject of constructivists’ inquiry. This understanding of the social constructivist school of international relations generates the research questions that the present book addresses. These include: How is Russia’s history interpreted in terms of changes in its identity over time and in terms of perceptions of the identity of the ‘Other’, in particular, Europe? To what degree have Russia’s images of itself differed from images constructed of the country in the West? What historical, cultural, and

6  Ray Taras political foundations are these images built upon? How contested are these images domestically and how do they impact Russian identity? Do conflicting images explain fractiousness in Western– Russian relations in the new century? Or are such contrasting images better viewed as distinct ‘imaginary solitudes’ that offer a better platform from which to negotiate differences?

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Structure of the book This book centers on images of Russia and their influence on its international politics. Some contributors highlight domestic sources of Russian identity and how these impact Russia’s position in international politics. Other authors emphasize dissonance in Russia’s image abroad compared to its self-representation; gauging what effect this has on international politics is the explanandum they are concerned with. In Chapter 2 Bo Petersson examines images of Russia’s Other, the United States, and the myth-making that has gone into their construction. Two concurrent but seemingly contradictory myths that inform Russia’s history are its preordained status as a great power and its cycle of ‘times of troubles’ when Russia has been weakened. Such myths shaped the nature of the country’s relations with the US during the cold war and only now, Petersson contends, have they been seen as relevant to Russia’s relations with the rising power of East Asia. Chapter 3 by Iver Neumann examines Russia’s identity over the longue durée in order to find continuities. In particular he compares state formation in the early Rus’ period with that in the immediate post-Soviet years. He introduces the concepts of great power habitus and governmentality to explain why Russia has consistently aspired to be a major player in international politics while, at the same, being handicapped by the fatal flaw of unaccountable government that sustains negative Western images of it. Neumann suggests, then, that so long as a political system values memories of its past position at the center of a suzerain system, it will be relegated to the outer tier of international society. An important issue in early Rus’ state formation taken up by Neumann is the part played by Khazars and Varangians, depicted respectively as peoples indigenous and exogenous to Rus’ lands. In Chapter 4 Elena Melnikova describes how the ‘Varangian problem’

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The power of images and the images of power  7 – decoded as the role that Scandinavians had in the formation of the old Russian state – resurfaced in Russia in the first years of the twenty-first century. Although a consensus had been established acknowledging the significant part that Scandinavians had played in the emergence of the early Eastern-Slavic state and recognizing that the early Russian elite was of Norse origin, Russian nationalists in the new century rejected this ‘alien’ heritage and embarked on an ‘anti-norman’ ideological campaign. Reconstruction of the past and appropriation of a ‘new’ (in practice, ‘old’) identity was designed to appeal to resurgent patriotic feelings. For Melnikova, this anti-normanism proclaimed a superiority of Slavs (Russians) over Scandinavians and other ‘invaders’ who were represented as enemies. Its uses for formulating twenty-first-century Russian foreign policy were apparent. Chapter 5 by Aleksander V. Golubev provides a Russian historical perspective on mutual perceptions of Russia and Europe over the longue durée. He argues that at critical moments in history political elites rely on acquired stereotypes to chart their conflict resolution process. Such stereotypes invariably entail representations of the state and its external and domestic policies with little consideration given to the makeup of its society, people, and culture. Golubev points out that centuries-old negative Russian stereotypes of the West began to disappear already in the second half of the twentieth century. As a result, while acknowledging that release from longstanding, outworn stereotypes which had negatively shaped Russia’s relations with the West has not been complete, Golubev contends that they have become steadily less influential in the making of foreign policy. In Chapter 6 Olga Malinova focuses on the interface between macro-political identity and official symbolic policy in post-Soviet Russia. Identity policy is an integral aspect of symbolic politics and Malinova describes such identity construction in Russia from the start of the century to the present through a reading of the presidential addresses of Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev. In carrying out this discursive analysis she is interested in specifying a usable model of collective self-identification in which ‘the West’ plays a defining role. At the same time, Malinova highlights discursive cleavages reflecting longstanding patterns about ‘the West’ and even unpacks differing emphases on international actors given in major speeches by the last two Russian presidents. Her conclusion is that tradition-

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8  Ray Taras bound views of ‘the West’ continue to shape contemporary discourse and the international politics it speaks to. In Chapter 7 Valentina Feklyunina documents the many faces – and interpretations – of Russophobia. She traces how criticisms of specific Russian institutions and government policies are converted into a master Russophobic narrative that is ascribed to the critics. Her framework includes an analysis of official discourse employed by Russia’s leaders on the phenomenon. Discourse studiously avoids invoking the term while simultaneously charting its wide reach. A review of public opinion surveys confirms that most Russians have internalized the official discursive view that the West has engaged in a subtle anti-Russian propaganda campaign. With few reservations all major political currents in the country accept that their country is a target of Russophobic attacks. Feklunina then explains how these alleged externally constructed negative images of Russia are relayed to Russian citizens in order to convey a securitized image of threat. The effect is to put Russian liberals, and Kremlin critics generally, in a no-win situation. Chapter 8 investigates the part played by images, metaphors, and power in shaping Russian trans-border regionalism. Metaphors, Andrey Makarychev asserts, are an important discursive tool that help construct international – above all, European – images and identities of many of Russia’s western regions, especially Kaliningrad and the St-Petersburg district. The chapter extends the metaphor concept to an elaboration of how non-political types of discourse can be converted into political ones. For the author, this function of metaphors as politicizing and depoliticizing instruments is central to Russian regions’ image-making policies, whether projecting transborder imagery that depicts these regions as models for other parts of Russia or, more significantly, enhances their direct contacts with the European Union. When external images of Russia are negative, the notion of Russophobia is frequently introduced to explain negative stereotyping. Rightly or wrongly, few countries have been more closely associated with Russophobia than neighboring Poland. In Chapter 9 Tomasz Zarycki describes the uses made in contemporary Poland of selective memory of Russian influences in the country. He examines the devaluing of the nineteenth-century Russian heritage in Poland as part of a grand narrative that spotlights the country’s European links. Instead of invoking Russophobic

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The power of images and the images of power  9 explanations, Zarycki recognizes that Russia has represented a negative reference point and significant inferior Other for Poland; this frame compensates for Poland’s own inferiority complex in its relations with the West. The Orientalizing image of Russia functions to buttress hierarchies of prestige found in the West. Modernity, openness, and Europeanness are juxtaposed with backwardness, underdevelopment, and parochialism, which in Poland is reflected in the cultural mapping of regions. Remembering the Russian heritage today is, then, shaped by the logic of contemporary Polish domestic and international politics. Shared assumptions In summary, this volume brings together analyses by leading scholars from Russia as well as outside experts on Russia that focus on contemporary images of the country and their impact. Their innovative approaches apply social constructivist logic to the important question of Russia’s place in world politics. While focusing on multiple explanatory factors, authors agree that images matter in determining Russia’s position in the international system. The contributors follow a conceptual framework which captures how Russia’s identity has wavered between common images constructed both inside and outside the country – its lag behind the West but also the power it can project – and those distinctive endogenous images that follow the Slavophile tradition – arguably best encapsulated in Nicolas I’s slogan of ‘Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality’. Considerable overlap between images constructed in Russia and abroad is discernible, therefore. Some convergence between images is also taking place – for example, states functioning in an interdependent multilateral world – whose effect may be to ease Russia into ever more international structures traditionally dominated by Western powers. By contrast, some contemporary images of Russia – both within the country and abroad – underline the revival of a great power and the consolidation of a sovereign democracy; these images raise both aspirations and anxieties in global politics. Whichever the case, whether we regard Russia as an imperial power, as Europe’s ‘Other’, as adversary of the US, or merely as ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’, we are iterating a social construction that has a life of its own and power in its own right.

10  Ray Taras

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Bibliography Clunan, A. (2009) The Social Construction of Russia’s Resurgence: Aspirations, Identity, and Security Interests, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Hale, T., and Held, D. (eds) (2011) Handbook of Transnational Governance: Institutions and Innovations, Cambridge: Polity Press. Hopf, T. (2002) Social Construction of International Politics: Identities and Foreign Policies, Moscow, 1955 and 1999, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Jackson, R., and Sørensen, G. (2010) Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches, 4th edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Katzenstein, P. (ed.) (1996) The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, New York: Columbia University Press. Neumann, I. B. (1996) Russia and the Idea of Europe: A Study in Identity and International Relations, London and New York: Routledge. Neumann, I. B. (1998) Uses of the Other: The ‘East’ in European Identity Formation, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Prizel, I. (1998) National Identity and Foreign Policy: Nationalism and Leadership in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sakwa, R. (2007) Putin: Russia’s Choice, 2nd edn, London: Routledge. Smith, A. D. (1993) National Identity, Las Vegas, NV: University of Nevada Press. Therborn, G. (1999) The Ideology of Power and the Power of Ideology, London: Verso.

2 Mirror, mirror … Myth-making, self-images and views of the US ‘Other’ in contemporary Russia

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Bo Petersson

In Russia the claim to be recognized as a great power seems inseparable from national identity (Lo 2002: 20). The phenomenon was vividly illustrated by Vladimir Putin when, as president, he stated that ‘either Russia will be great or it will not be at all’ (Shevtsova 2003: 175). Even in the years of deepest political and economic crisis, during the Yeltsin presidencies in the 1990s, there was among the political elites and the public alike a stubborn insistence that Russia was now and forever a great power, no matter what (Lo 2002). Tellingly, Yeltsin’s first, markedly liberal and pro-Western foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, remarked that Russia was ‘doomed’ to be a great power (Lo 2002: 19). There were also historical parallels to this, indicating a perennial link between sentiments of national identity and great power aspirations. However backward Russia was according to the domestic eighteenth-century discourse, it had an unflinching view of moral greatness and an everlasting rightful status as a velikaya derzhava, or great power (Prizel 1998: 167). The significance attributed to the great power claim has, of course, political implications in Russia. In the words of one observer, ‘the great power identity is fundamental, not only in an identity perspective but for the very prospects of the regime remaining in power’ (Vendil Pallin 2009: 268). Squandering the great power heritage or being indifferent to it would seem to be recipes for getting voted out of office. The idea of Russia as a naturally ordained great power is not the only notion of key significance in contemporary political discourse, however. There is also a deep-rooted idea accounting for why Russia has so often throughout its history actually fallen short of realizing its supposedly preordained great power potential (Petersson, forthcoming). This is the notion of the recurring Times of Troubles (smuta), which denote deep socio-political and

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12  Bo Petersson economic turmoil during which state weakness is endemic and the country is beset by foreign intervention, weak domestic leaders, and internal opportunists conspiring with aggressive foreign powers, all at the same time (Solovei 2004). The articulation of this idea is a potent weapon in domestic political life as it can be used to sow suspicion against political actors allegedly working in favor of foreign interests. It is also a powerful rhetorical device endorsing nationalist arguments about the need to ensure a strong, respected, and, when needed, feared Russia. Since, according to this political myth, such periods of societal unrest come and go in Russian political history, it follows that they are also (temporarily) overcome in the end. Moreover, they are ended in a manner that reveals Russia’s inherent great power potential, above all the fine qualities of its people and the leaders that appear to unite them. Just as in the case of the paradigmatic smuta between 1598 and 1612–13 (Dunning 2001), the troubles end as a result of a united popular effort and also due to the emergence of a bold and resourceful leader in the nick of time who unites the people behind him, restores order, throws out the foreign intruders, and punishes the internal troublemakers. Visibly, therefore, the two myths stand in a dialectical relationship to each other, as the one accounts for the shortcomings of the other. They live off each other and sap each other’s strength. The point that I wish to develop in this chapter, and which I have addressed elsewhere (Petersson, forthcoming), is that these two forceful political ideas, the one about the preordained great power status and the one about the cyclically recurring Times of Trouble, make up two partly symbiotic, partly countervailing political myths which reveal and reflect major dynamics of contemporary political developments in Russia. Indeed, I contend that Vladimir Putin’s successes among the Russian electorate can partly be understood through the perspective of a political myth. Political myths resonate with widespread sentiments about national identity, and acclaimed political guardians of mythical traditions thus garner support and legitimacy from the voters. For a remarkably long time Putin has been skilled at claiming to be the keeper and restorer of the great power tradition, at the same time as he has been the one to allegedly combat and overcome the most recent Time of Troubles marking the presidencies of his first predecessor, Boris Yeltsin.

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Mirror, mirror …  13 Analytically, political myths are narratives which are believed to be true or acted on as if they were true by a group of people; hence they have implications for the lived and perceived political reality of those people. It is beside the point to try to decide whether these political myths are actually true or false (Blustein 2008; Bottici 2010). It is a fact, though, that the common usage of the term can hamper its usefulness as an analytical tool, which calls for pedagogical efforts on the part of the user. I still find the term expedient, though, since it does not carry the political connotations of the contending term ‘ideology’, does not presuppose a certain methodological approach like the terms ‘narrative’ or ‘discourse’ do, but connotes an intimate link with national identity which I find highly relevant. I would thus argue that political myths provide building blocks for a group’s efforts to define a common purpose and a collective identity. Preferred readings of the past, shared by many, are of central importance for the construction of collective identities, and such readings are what political myths most often are about. The myths provide a general framework through which people can strive to make sense of their destinies and life paths. If individuals and groups can be part of a larger narrative which sets their present in relation to a greater past and indicates the direction toward a preferably brighter future, it adds considerable strength to their construction of identities. Their strivings are endowed with meaning, a sense of cohesiveness, and added significance. Identity, stereotypes, and images of the Other Political myths about the national Self are not the only clue for understanding Russian national identity. I posit that the publicly projected image of the Other as represented by the United States is vital for the understanding of contemporary Russian self-identity. A working hypothesis might be that, in times of weakness and smuta, there is a more engaged attitude towards the outside world, including the United States, as Russia in a state of weakness cannot afford to antagonize the stronger powers. On the other hand, someone has to be blamed for shortcomings, not least in view of the unfulfilled expectations for great powerhood, and so the US might be attributed blame for this. In other words, there are no unidirectional links.

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14  Bo Petersson Contemporary theories on identity construction have it that social actors do not and cannot know their identities a priori. Rather, it is through social interaction that a sense of the Self is formed (Suzuki 2007: 30; Neumann 1999: 13; Greenhill 2008: 345). ‘The face of the other summons the self into existence’, says Iver B. Neumann (1996: 150). That is why negative stereotypes and enemy images are so central to the definition of group identities (Sibley 1995; Elias and Scotson 1994). When depicting the Other as not being up to the standards of one’s own group, the image of the Self is boosted as virtuous and good. For a number of reasons enemy images hold special clout for welding groups together. The enemy is as a rule projected to be at least roughly equal in strength to the in-group, and most often it is also believed to be at least potentially stronger. Moreover, the adversary is depicted as evil, inflexible, and with a set of goals that is incompatible with that of one’s own group (Cottam 1994: 20). In this way a looming – or at least potential – danger to the collective self is conjured up and prompts the group to close ranks and strengthen its internal cohesion. Enemy images constitute a particularly powerful and compelling kind of stereotype that tends to guide action. A stereotype, as a frozen and most often negative image of the Other (Petersson 2006), is a statement about assumed characteristics of an individual on the basis of his/her perceived group belonging. Stereotypes about other nations work according to the same principle of extreme simplification. For the adherents of the stereotype it provides ‘a useful fit’ with reality rather than ‘an exact match’ (McGarty et al. 2002: 8). The rationale for common action might build on erroneous assumptions, but serves to nurture common action all the same. Enemy images project a sense of imminent threat and danger which, to keep the resultant damage level at bay, presupposes concerted action (Petersson 2006; Luostarinen 1989). The centrality of the Self/Other nexus in identity construction, be it on an individual or collective level, is a universal phenomenon. In contemporary social theory it has often been argued that conceptions of Self tend to mirror the practices of significant others over time. This is what lies behind the notion of the ‘looking-glass self ’ (Wendt 1992: 404); only through this mirror image can a view of the national Self be properly discerned. Significant also for the purposes of this chapter, the idea of the mirror image is compelling for the

Mirror, mirror …  15

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study of Russia and Russian identity. The stereotypical images of the US are not only antagonistic, however; typically they communicate envy and contempt at the same time. This complexity makes it even more interesting to follow and analyze the development of Russian images of the US. The images of the both envied and denigrated superpower of the United States are not only interesting on their own, but they also lend insight into contemporary Russian selfidentity. Russia–US relations in history Ever since Peter the Great, the debate on whether Russia should pursue its own path of development or open up a window on the West has been a driving force in Russian politics (Rabow-Edling 2001). Seen in a historical perspective, however, the United States has not enjoyed a central position in the construction of Russian national identity for all that long a time. Rather the US constitutes a comparatively recent obsession (Shlapentokh 2011); it is Europe, as represented primarily by Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, that historically has been the main concern (Neumann 1996, 1999). During the nineteenth century a large number of Russian intellectuals saw Europeanness as the principal, overarching problem for Russian national identity, and there were repeated warnings about the incessant intellectual colonization of Russia by the ‘Romano-Germanic’ world (Laruelle 2008: 2–4). The Russian focus on the United States is largely a product of the second half of the twentieth century. World War II left Germany defeated and the United Kingdom and France drained of resources and strength. As a consequence, the United States emerged as the undisputed leader of the Western bloc. Since the US now embodied the West, it was, analogously, attributed all the negative characteristics associated with the West in Russian discourse: cultural inferiority, reprehensible morals, and shallow ideals (Harle 2000: 120). In general Russian leaders expressed mixed feelings towards the United States during the twentieth century. At the outset, Soviet rulers were in fact rather positive. They looked at the US as a fellow challenger to European colonial powers – as kin of sorts in the international arena (Harle 2000: 120). However during the 1930s an outbreak of anti-Americanism surfaced (Shlapentokh and Woods 2004: 170), not least in connection with the Stalin-era obsession

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16  Bo Petersson with internal and external enemies and the constantly reiterated theme of capitalist encirclement. During the cold war a curious mixture of feelings of material inferiority and ideological and cultural superiority informed Russia’s relations with the US. It has often been recounted how the Soviet political elite used to apply the US as a yardstick for measuring its own level of economic development and military might, at the same time as they condemned the US and predicted its demise (Jönsson 1984). The US was consistently deplored for ideological reasons as well as for being morally retrograde. These mixed feelings affected elite assessments of what level of cooperation should be maintained with the US, and politicians in the post-Soviet era experienced similar ambiguity. Indicatively, in the late 1990s the US was prominent on the list of both perceived worst external threats to Russia and preferred international partners (Petersson 2001: 114). Views of the US and the West after 1991 It is nearly a truism that the dissolution of the Soviet superpower in 1991 profoundly affected Russian national identity. When compared with the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation had lost a third of its territories and 40 per cent of its population. Twenty-five million ethnic Russians who used to be citizens of the Soviet Union found themselves outside of the borders of the Russian Federation, often in what turned out to be less than benign surroundings. For those who remained within the borders, a seemingly bottomless socio-economic chasm opened up in the wake of shock therapy and market economy reform. Russia’s decline was as abrupt as it was precipitous. One malicious saying had it that, whereas the Soviet Union had been a superpower, post-Soviet Russia could be said to be a ‘Burkina Faso with missiles’. This image, of course, did not square well with the great power myth. However in those turbulent times, comparisons with the United States were no less important for Russian self-perceptions and identity. The US remained the yardstick against which Russia measured itself. In the search for a new national identity, interaction with this significant Other retained its importance (Prizel 1998: 10). The early 1990s encompassed a brief period when the dominant Russian political discourse on the United States was positive; it stressed Russia’s natural ‘belonging’ to the West. This coincided

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Mirror, mirror …  17 with the peak of the Democratic Russia movement, which showed an impressive power of political mobilization before and in the immediate aftermath of the August coup of 1991. But it failed to secure a stable and central presence in the Russian political arena (Flikke 2006). According to Neumann (1999: 169), a reason why the democratic movement never consolidated its position was the lack of reciprocity; in West European political discourse Russia continued to be the Other. Russia was simply not let into the living room of the purported common European home but continued to be relegated to its wings. US views were perceived as no less denigrating. Another explanation for lack of democratic progress was offered by Sherlock (2007). He argued that the Yeltsin regime performed dismally when it came to defining political myths that could shore up its legitimacy. A golden opportunity was offered and lost by the resourceful crushing of the August coup in 1991 where Yeltsin himself was cast in the role of main hero. However this formidable material for myth construction was squandered two years later because of Yeltsin’s heavy-handed suppression of the political resistance mounted by the Russian parliament against his presidency. Among other things this led to the White House – the site of parliament which had been the principal arena of resistance to the August ring-leaders – being rendered useless as symbol of the new democratic Russia and Yeltsin’s centrality to it. In the 1990s it was a popular undertaking among foreign scholars to subdivide the political spectrum in Russia into different ideological inclinations, such as liberals, centrists, and Eurasianists, defined according to preferences for particular international partners (Prizel 1998; Dawisha and Parrott 1994). The liberals held the United States to be the preferred international partner as well as economic model worthy of emulation. The centrists’ idea of Russian–US relations was purely instrumental: Russia should maintain this relationship in order to attain certain goals, such as protecting itself from the influence of potentially more threatening antagonists like China and Japan. Prizel (1998: 272) graphically described this centrist attitude toward the United States as a relationship ‘free of romance and mutual admiration’. For their part, the Eurasianists stuck to the enemy image of the US and opposed any kind of drawing closer to the US (Prizel 1998). Since the enemy was viewed as aggressive, Eurasianists believed that Russian international behavior should be too.

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18  Bo Petersson To summarize, during the cold war and immediately thereafter Russia and the West – notably the US – were ‘simultaneously allies and potential foes’ (Shevtsova 2003: 338). The attitude toward upholding a working relationship with the United States is summed up in the expression ‘whether we like it or not’ (Petersson 2001), an approach which signals considerable ambiguity. On the one hand, the US is denigrated and detested, on the other it is admired, albeit reluctantly. In the way that it embodies sovereignty and projects power in the world arena, the US served as the primary role model during and after the cold war (Trenin 2007: 98). ‘Reluctant admiration’ of the US has not only been the result of its economic might and its status as the sole military superpower of the post-cold war world. Its resolve in international politics and commitment to defend its interests abroad have been counted among its strengths (Petersson 2001: 115–16). Mixed feelings about the US were evident in President Dmitry Medvedev’s observation made in 2009: ‘The issue of harmonizing our relations with Western democracies is not a question of taste, personal preferences or the prerogatives of given political groups.’ These relations were to be maintained out of necessity. He also cautioned against adopting the images of a ‘happy and infallible West’ and an ‘eternally underdeveloped Russia’. Medvedev’s call for respect for Russia and treatment of it as an equal was clear (Johnson’s 2009). During Putin’s first two presidential terms analysts noted an increasingly alarmist rhetoric in Russia declaiming how the US was returning to being a security threat (Mendelson and Gerber 2008). Russia’s political and economic shortcomings were more regularly blamed on external and internal foes, a perspective standing in stark contrast to the Yeltsin years when the principal focus had been on internal threats such as centrifugality, separatism, and organized crime (Petersson 2001). In recent years recurrent themes in Russian discourse have included foreign encirclement, dangerous influence of outsiders, and the alleged desire of external powers to meddle in the internal affairs of Russia – just like during the paradigmatic Time of Troubles. The US, particularly under the Bush presidency, was perceived as the external actor behind such schemes (Shlapentokh and Woods 2004: 169). Elite negative views of the US were mirrored in public opinion, especially among younger people. Twenty percent of respondents in one survey asserted that the US was an enemy of Russia while an additional 40 percent saw it as a rival (Mendelson

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Mirror, mirror …  19 and Gerber 2008: 117). In the view of Shlapentokh (2011), however, these sentiments were not indicative of an inherent public dislike of everything American. Rather, these negative views were cultivated and inculcated by the ruling elite of an increasingly authoritarian Russia, together with the mass media which all too readily followed instructions from central authorities. At the same time, and seemingly paradoxically, other analyses pointed to patterns of convergence, including at the personal level, in Putin’s relations with his then opposite number George W. Bush. Their policies were highly congruent on the war on terror where Bush propounded views about Islamic terrorism that Putin wanted to hear given his actions in Chechnya. Russian print media expressed a preference for a Republican incumbent in the White House since presidents from that party tended to be more pragmatic, were focused on traditional, hard-security matters, and were less insistent on the observance of human rights around the globe (Petersson and Persson 2010). At a summit meeting in Moscow in July 2009, the ‘reset decision’ was made by the US and Russia to start from a clean slate. At this stage both powers were run by new presidential administrations, under Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev respectively. The two parties agreed to set aside strained US–Russia bilateral relations that had been negatively impacted by the Russia–Georgia war in 2008 and the US plans for a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. President Medvedev observed that the reset decision had great importance not only for bilateral relations but also for ‘the trends of the world’ (Medvedev 2009b). He adopted a hyperbolic tone as he stressed the importance of improvement in the relations between the two powers. There was a hint of the former Soviet superpower mentality in this view, suggestive as it was that all major political matters around the globe were to be settled at summit meetings between the US and Russia. No less curious was Medvedev’s understanding of globalization which, rather than making governance structures in the world more complex, increased the opportunity structures for Russia and the US to affect world developments: I would like to emphasize that each of our countries understands its role in its own way, but at the same time we realize our role and responsibility for the situation in this world – especially in a period when the level of globalization has reached such

20  Bo Petersson

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dimensions and such parameters that the decisions we make very often determine the situation in general. And such powerful states as the United States of America and the Russian Federation have special responsibility for everything that is happening on our planet. (Medvedev 2009b) Medvedev’s statement hinted that the two former superpowers should remain hegemonic. It was as though the financial crisis in the West and the economic ascendancy of China had not taken place. Russia’s ‘uncontested’ great power status was again being invoked. Simultaneously, there were no signs that the cyclically persistent Time of Troubles that had resurfaced in the 1990s had had any chastizing effect. Russia was, according to this logic, back where it belonged. President Medvedev asserted that greatness can never be a given but has to be earned (Medvedev 2009a). At the time this was a statement directed as criticism of the US tendency to take its great power status for granted. But the statement – probably contrary to Medvedev’s intentions – can be read as equally applicable to Russia’s inclinations. It is hard to live up to the myth of being an eternal great power unless Russia steers clear of Times of Trouble and unrest and, in addition, earns respect and recognition in the eyes of the outside world. Conclusions There is one additional dimension to take into account in this account of Russia’s identity and global status. It is the question of which countries in the outside world matter most to Russia and how important they are in shaping its self-image. Following the political and economic recovery presided over by Putin and administered for a short interlude by Medvedev, Russia has emerged in the role of norm transmitter, challenging not just the US but also the European Union in its self-proclaimed mission to promote values of democracy and human rights worldwide (Wagnsson 2008). Within the framework of what has been referred to as Greater Europe, there is unease, triggered in part by the Eurozone crisis, about the EU’s future role in global affairs and, ironically, in Europe itself. No longer is it self-evident that the EU is the moral, economic,

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Mirror, mirror …  21 and political center of Europe; it is being increasingly challenged in this role by states such as Russia and Turkey (Sakwa 2011). The norms that Russia promotes are different to those propagated by the EU such as democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Russia’s standard setting has centered on a robust and resolute interpretation of sovereignty, national self-determination, and the struggle against terrorism. The latter has been pursued with a fervency equalling US zeal during the Bush presidency (Wagnsson 2008). If the EU is in general decline the same may be said about the US, which is no longer an uncontested superpower. In view of its chronic economic difficulties and the conspicuous lack of political initiatives to resolve the crisis that has characterized the administration of President Barack Obama, the US has lost ground in relation to China. How are these shifts in power in the international system salient to the study of images of Russia? From what we know of the construction of Russia’s image over time, there is little doubt that perceptions of American decline will diminish the centrality of images of the US in Russian national identity construction. It seems an inescapable conclusion that, just as Russia’s attention during the twentieth century shifted from Europe to the US, in the near future China will probably replace the US as the yardstick against which Russia will measure itself. Ever since Peter the Great, Russia’s leaders have been careful to assert Russia’s belonging to Europe. On this basis alone the prospective shift in focus towards East Asia represents a major challenge for future constructions of Russia’s national identity. Bibliography Blustein, J. (2008) The Moral Demands of Memory, New York: Cambridge University Press. Bottici, C. (2010) A Philosophy of Political Myth, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cottam, M. L. (1994) Images and Intervention: U.S. Policies in Latin America, Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. Dawisha, K., and Parrott B. (eds) (1994) Russia and the New States of Eurasia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dunning, C. S. L. (2001) A Short History of Russia’s First Civil War: From the Time of Troubles to the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty, University Park, PA: Penn State University Press. Elias, N., and Scotson, J. L. (1994) The Established and the Outsiders: A Sociological Enquiry into Community Problems, London: Sage.

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22  Bo Petersson Flikke, G. (2006) The Failure of a Movement: The Rise and Decline of Democratic Russia 1989–1992, Acta Humaniora 250, Oslo: University of Oslo. Greenhill, B. (2008) ‘Recognition and Collective Identity Formation in International Politics’, European Journal of International Relations, 14(2): 343–68. Harle, V. (2000) The Enemy with a Thousand Faces, Westport, CT: Praeger. Johnson’s Russia List (2009), no. 168 (10 September). Jönsson, C. (1984) Superpower: Comparing American and Soviet Foreign Policy, London: Frances Pinter. Laruelle, M. (2008) Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire, Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press. Lo, B. (2002) Russian Foreign Policy in the Post-Soviet Era: Reality, Illusion and Mythmaking, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Luostarinen, H. (1989) ‘Finnish Russophobia: The Story of an Enemy Image’, Journal of Peace Research, 26(2): 123–37. McGarty, C., Yzerbyt, V. Y., and Spears, R. (2002) ‘Social, Cultural and Cognitive Factors in Stereotype Formation’, in C. McGarty, V. Y. Yzerbyt, and R. Spears (eds), Stereotypes as Explanations (pp. 1–15), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Medvedev, D. (2009a) ‘Building Russian–U.S. Bonds’, Washington Post (31 March), http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2009/03/31/1659_type104017_ 214519.shtml (accessed Aug. 2011). Medvedev, D. (2009b) ‘Joint Press Conference with President of the United States of America Barack Obama Following Russian-American Talks’ (6 July), http://archive.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2009/07/06/2342_type82914type 82915_219130.shtml (accessed Aug. 2011). Mendelson, S. E., and Gerber, T. P. (2008) ‘Us and Them: Anti-American Views of the Putin Generation’, Washington Quarterly, 31(2): 131–50. Neumann, I. B. (1996) ‘Self and Other in International Relations’, European Journal of International Relations, 2(2): 139–74. Neumann, I. B. (1999) Uses of the Other: ‘The East’ in European Identity Formation, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Petersson, B. (2001) National Self-Images and Regional Identities in Russia, Aldershot: Ashgate. Petersson, B. (2006) Stories about Strangers: Swedish Media Perceptions of SocioCultural Risk, Lanham MD: University Press of America. Petersson, B. (forthcoming) ‘The Eternal Great Power Meets the Recurring Times of Troubles: Twin Political Myths in Contemporary Russian Politics’, in C. Mithander, J. Sundholm, and A. Velicu (eds), European Cultural Memory Post1989, Amsterdam: Rodopi. Petersson, B., and Persson, E. (2010) ‘Coveted, Detested and Unattainable? Images of the US Superpower Role and Self-images of Russia in Russian Print Media Discourse 1984, 1994, 2004, 2009’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 14(1): 71–89. Prizel, I. (1998) National Identity and Foreign Policy: Nationalism and Leadership in Poland, Russia and Ukraine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Mirror, mirror …  23 Rabow-Edling, S. (2001) The Intellectuals and the Idea of the Nation in Slavophile Thought, Stockholm: Stockholm Studies in Politics. Sakwa, R. (2011) ‘The Western Study of Contemporary Russia: Double Bottoms and Double Standards’, Russian Analytical Digest, 95: 5–10. Sherlock, T. (2007) Historical Narrative in the Soviet Union: Destroying the Settled Past, Creating an Uncertain Future, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Shevtsova, L. (2003) Putin’s Russia, Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Shlapentokh, V. (2011) ‘The Puzzle of Russian Anti-Americanism: From “Below” or From “Above”’, Europe-Asia Studies, 63(5): 875–89. Shlapentokh, V., and Woods, J. (2004) ‘The Threat of International Terrorism and the Image of the United States Abroad’, Brown Journal of World Affairs, 10(2): 167–80. Sibley, D. (1995) Geographies of Exclusion, London: Routledge. Solovei, V. (2004) ‘Rossiya nakanune smuty’, Svobodnaya mysl, 21(12): 38–48. Suzuki, S. (2007) ‘The Importance of “Othering” in China’s National Identity: Sino-Japanese Relations as a Stage of Identity Conflicts’, Pacific Review, 20(1): 23–47. Trenin, D. (2007), ‘Russia Redefines Itself and its Relations with the West’, Washington Quarterly, 30(2): 95–105. Vendil Pallin, C. (2009) ‘Rysk utrikespolitik’, in A. Jonsson and C. Vendil Pallin (eds), Ryssland: Politik, samhälle och ekonomi (pp. 248–69), Stockholm: SNS Förlag. Wagnsson, C. (2008) Security in a Greater Europe: The Possibility of a PanEuropean Approach, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Wendt, A. (1992) ‘Anarchy is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics’, International Organization, 46(2): 391–425.

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Iver B. Neumann Traditional historians may be aghast at the inferences that international relations theorists draw from their studies of the longue durée. Within the field of political studies, the long-dominant realist school has insisted that history fundamentally consists of repeated patterns under the structural conditions of anarchy. The rise and fall of hegemons is said to provide support for the argument that history repeats itself (Gilpin 1981). Today the most sustained challenge to the realist approach comes from constructivists whose premise is that ‘structure is continually in process’ (Wendt 1999: 186). The contingent nature of discrete events occurring over the longue durée is held to hold greater explanatory power than repeated patterns. Historical institutionalists, in turn, contend that path dependence in the making of history is primarily the work of political and other kinds of institutions (Pierson 2004). Studying the pivotal role that practice plays for constructivists can help explain the stability of structure so dear to realists. Stability stems from agency, more specifically, from embodied dispositions that are accumulated across history and carry into the present. The practice of social constructivism gives shape to the historical process and the outcomes that are reached. Memory plays an integral part in the making of social constructions. If this appears to be a truism, we should recall that international relations has generally underestimated the importance of memory in explaining state behavior in the international system. But memory is clearly crucial to understanding the case of Russia’s international politics. It is my argument that the country has rarely obtained increasing returns from pursuing ‘tried and true’ practices – the memory of which is most vivid. On the contrary, it appears that Russia regularly lost ground by following what were regarded as memory-directed historical pathways. ‘Out-of-place’ behavior,

Russia in international society over the longue durée  25 which originated in its formative period, has not served Russia well; indeed, it has confined it to a largely peripheral role in international politics as ‘the odd state out’. Russian ruling elites often preferred to reiterate less efficient international practices rather than selecting them out.

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Habitus and the curse of Russian history From early contacts between Muscovy and the Holy Roman Empire through increased contact during Peter the Great’s reign and, finally, in the Soviet period, Russia has wanted recognition from leading European powers as their equal (Neumann 1996). This quest has been at the center of Russia’s identity politics. Indeed, Russian nationalism solidified around this very idea: Russia has to be a great power or it will be nothing. This has served as an explicitly formulated self-referential axiom in Russian identity politics. To cite Aleksandr P. Izvolsky, Russian foreign minister over a hundred years ago, to ‘decline to the level of a second class power [ … and] become an Asiatic state … would be a major catastrophe for Russia’ (Lieven 1983: 6). The persistence of this motif and the force of its presence in Russian identity politics underscore how Russia’s quest for recognition as a great power has been unsuccessful. Russia’s passionate and persistent pursuit of this feature of its identity has taken on a life of its own. William Wohlforth observed how ‘Russian-Soviet adaptations [in international politics] are not usefully understood as calculating strategic plans with coherent sets of corresponding institutions but rather as frantic bursts of activity that haphazardly make the best of the mix of resources Russia happens to have at that moment’ (Wohlforth 2001: 230). How are we to understand what drives these ‘frantic bursts of activity’? Neorealists would single out systemic pressures but the dispositions of actors matter, too. If we focus on the agent level, then the mechanism of path dependence may be the habitus of actors, that is, the embodied distillate of history that they put together (Neumann and Pouliot 2011). Russia’s relations with the West over the longue durée surprise by their striking consistency: they seem to reflect a habitus that, as I describe below, results from the injection of bad habits acquired over a long period into international politics. From the early Rus’ period to today’s sovereign democracy, from the dynasties of the

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26  Iver B. Neumann tsars to contrasting Soviet leaderships and, most recently, different types of democrats, much of Russia’s international politics has been viewed as awkward, inept, or inappropriate by European and Western leaders. Over the last millennium, a number of features in Moscow’s complex relationship with ‘international society’ have reflected a set of deep-rooted, historically inherited dispositions which have produced international practices that have appeared gauche and clumsy in Western eyes. Borrowing elements from Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology can help me explain how a persisting hysteresis evolved in Russia’s international politics and went on to influence its dynamics for a long time. Hysteresis refers here to the lack of fit between a repertoire of practices accumulated through history on the one hand (understood here as Russian habitus) and the arena in which it is deployed on the other (here, its foreign policy) (Neumann and Pouliot 2011). How can we explain Russia’s deep-rooted, quasi-fatal attraction to clumsy international practices? For Wohlforth, the age-old Russian ‘propensity to expand’ has been mostly to blame. This propensity, in turn, has been a product of international systemic pressures and geopolitical conditions (Wohlworth 2001: 214). Wohlforth argued, for example, that Eurasia’s flat geography raised the existential dilemma: ‘conquer or be conquered’ (Wohlforth 2001: 217). I agree with him that ‘[w]hen considered over the long term, Russian and Soviet behavior falls into repetitive patterns that strike analysts as distinct and identifiable models’ (Wohlforth 2001: 228). But I disagree that the key mechanism accounting for such path dependence is increasing state adaptation to systemic pressures. The neorealist logic by which ‘[i]n competitive systems, states can either emulate the practices of successful rivals or maximize their own advantages’ furnishes only a partial explanation; internal social processes at work within Russian lands must also be taken into account. On the one hand, as Wohlforth observed, ‘[i]n the steppe system, Russia chose to emulate some of the successful practices of its local competition’ (Wohlforth 2001: 218). But this explanation only partially accounts for the nature of Russia’s encounters with Europe. In many ways Russia did not adapt efficiently to the interaction required of it and instead stuck to practices that came to be viewed as barbaric, awkward, or inept by Europeans; a parallel argument about Russia’s economy has been made by Stefan Hedlund (2005).

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Russia in international society over the longue durée  27 This learned behavior poses a puzzle for international relations theories which assume that history selects out inefficient behaviors. In national security terms, Russian incapacity – or unwillingness – to emulate the more successful practices of its European neighbors triggered hysteresis effects and symbolic struggles that have persisted into the twenty-first century. In the contemporary period, this longstanding social dynamic has taken the form of a relentless quest for status, which sparked security dilemmas in Russian–Western relations that neorealism alone has a hard time explaining. The history of Russian–Western relations provides many examples of how the structural exigencies of the state system ‘shape and shove’ diplomatic practices. Probably the two most vivid examples are the fluid alliance pattern that characterized the Napoleonic Wars and its aftermath, and the alliance between Stalinist Russia and Britain, France, and the United States during World War II. Such episodic cases substantiate the argument that the European state system has tossed and shaped Russian foreign policy. This systemic pressure does not tell us all we need to know about Russian–Western relations. The central argument to be developed in this chapter is, then, that for most of the millennium in which there have existed one or more polities dominated by Russians, political relations between them and neighboring polities have been characterized by social unease. One key driver of this apprehension has been contrasting international practices leading to symbolic struggles and security concerns. This difference is largely due to the long-run effects of Russia’s habitus, whose early dispositions inherited from the steppe grated upon European sensibilities and, later, impeded interactions with the Western world. The concept of hysteresis may help us make sense of this protracted lack of savvy in Russia’s international politics. The incongruence between dispositions that actor-agents embrace and the positions that they occupy in a configuration like the state system is at the root of many symbolic power struggles in world politics. To go to the source of Russia’s ineptitude in international politics, we need to examine its formative experience. This can throw light on when, where and how (proto-) Russians acquired the dispositions that went on to shape their cultural pathways over the next millennium. Particularly instructive is the interaction between Rus’ – and later Muscovy – and the Eurasian steppe empires that dotted the expanses between China’s northern frontier in the East

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28  Iver B. Neumann and Russian forested borderlands in the West. While this period dominated by the Golden Horde extends from ad 800 to the fifteenth century, here I only consider early Rus’ state formation since it represents the source of the later habitus that complicated interactions with and security relations between Russia and Western polities. Recent sparring between the two sides is sparked in part by Moscow’s longstanding quest for recognition of its equal status in the world, a project already discernible in the process of Rus’ state formation. In addition to early Rus’ state formation, I also review post-Soviet Russian state formation. The two taken together serve as historical ‘snapshots’ that bring into focus episodes of Russian international practices characterized by high degrees of hysteresis. I do not suggest that in the intervening centuries hysteresis remained at a similar level; rather, it has been a recurrent feature over the longue durée. The consequence of intermittent hysteresis is that, when compared to most other states in the world, Russia has produced a disproportionately high number of counterproductive political initiatives in international relations. Hysteresis in international relations Hysteresis as developed by Bourdieu describes ‘a socially constituted “sense of the game”’ (Bourdieu and Wacquant 1992: 120–1). Such practical sense is what allows people to carry on with their lives in a way that is reasonable and consistent with common sense. Following Bourdieu, I theorize that practical sense develops in social settings that are marked by habitus. When different groups interact, different habituses meet, may clash, or may borrow from each other. In the case of Russia, there is a longstanding argument over whether it has been a net borrower, or importer, of social models from other nations (Gerschenkron 1962; Snyder 1994). There are many historical instances in which Russia emulated Western practices and achieved security and recorded political development. By contrast, few examples can be identified of Russian practices being copied abroad – except at gunpoint. A social power differential has existed between the two with Russia in the subordinate position. In rare and brief instances – during the reign of Peter the Great, after the Crimean War, after the cold war – Russia openly acknowledged this social power differential. The rest

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Russia in international society over the longue durée  29 of the time, it followed ingrained ways of carrying on international politics. Given that the state system grew out of and was embedded in a European – not Russian – social setting, and given Russia’s constant borrowing of external social models, the claims Russia has regularly advanced to a privileged position in international politics have had little purchase. On the contrary, Russia’s relations with Western neighbors have been characterized by a clash of habituses and failed attempts at gaining the advantage. Hysteresis in Russia’s international relations has originated in two different historical sources. First, Russian leaders had to interact in non-European international arenas like the Eurasian steppe or the Golden Horde. The behavior they developed in these interactions came to be seen as barbaric, uncivilized, or, at a minimum, backward by their Western counterparts. Second, as Moscow grew more insistent on having its equal status recognized by Europe, some of its assertive practices were construed as trying to punch above the country’s weight in international society (Bull 1977). Both these dispositions became persistent attributes of Russia’s relations with the West and triggered symbolic struggles with it. It made its entry into international society problematic (Neumann 2011). The use of hysteresis in the study of Russian-European relations, as pioneered by Vincent Pouliot (Neumann & Pouliot 2011), lacks normative charge. This stands in contrast to, for example, Jack Snyder who pursues a similar argument to mine but offers a negative evaluation of Russia: ‘Russia’s patterns of adaptation to relative backwardness chronically exacerbated its relations with the more advanced states of Europe’ (Snyder 1994: 184). I do not assert that Russia is backward but, instead, emphasize that Western actors throughout history have seen it as a backward society. Similarly Moscow’s international politics have consistently appeared to be clumsy or inappropriate – but that is not the same as asserting that Russian practices were such ‘in reality’. They were simply constructed in such terms. What is hysteresis lies in the eye of the beholder, therefore, and is not ‘out there’ as objective reality. The making of the early Rus’ state My purpose in examining early state formation is to give due attention to the external relations of early complex polities. Although this is

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30  Iver B. Neumann a contested claim because of what it suggests about Russian national identity (see the next chapter for a full discussion), the first Rus’ people were likely Vikings, that is, Varangians (from the Russian varyagi) which I employ here. They originated in northern lands and moved south along the river ways. Archaeological findings document a Scandinavian presence from the middle of the seventh century; by the beginning of the ninth century they had become residents (Noonan 1986: 339). The first stirrings of a Russian state occurred when these Varangians established what became called the Rus’ khaganate some time before 839 (Golden 2001). This early complex polity was centered on present-day Novgorod though, by the tenth century, Kiev became its principal city. Present-day Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians all recognize Kievan Rus’ as the origin of their state formations (see Franklin and Shepard 1996). To be sure, we can decipher patterns of political organization in the steppe from its earliest period; both archaeological knowledge and written sources from the time of the Mongol empire help us understand the makings of early polities. From around 4000 bc, a succession of peoples – Kelts, Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths, Huns – had moved through this region. The Huns and their successors were probably Turkic-speakers until the Mongol conquest of Rus’ in 1238. Early state formation in the specific case of the Rus’ occurred in the forested zone on both sides of the great rivers Dnepr and Volga, extending from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black and Caspian Seas in the south. The density of the forests was such that only the rivers offered a viable route for transport and communication. In these forests and along the steppe lived FinnoUgric and Slav-speaking tribes. These peoples were targets for both trading and raiding. Neither the population nor the territory it inhabited was particularly coveted by potential rulers. Raiding was seasonal, and it was only when tribute-taking – whether in the form of humans, goods, or money – was imposed that we can talk about power relations stable enough to warrant use of the concept of rule. Khazars probably formed the first permanent tribute-taking political community in this region. A mainly Turkic-speaking steppe empire whose apogee occurred in the ninth century, they were pivotal to the formation of the Rus’ state. Yet historians’ focus

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Russia in international society over the longue durée  31 on the sedentary nature of the state has led to a neglect of the importance of steppe peoples like the Khazars (Khazanov 2001). The Byzantines – East Romans whose capital was Constantinople – were also crucial to early Rus’ state formation. When in the ninth century Varangians from the north set up their early polity, it was with the Khazars that they had to compete. Khazars were led by a khagan. The Rus’ borrowed the khaganate structure and employed it into the eleventh century because the Rus’ had been in regular contact with the peoples of the steppe and ‘were aware that Khazar pretentions to universal empire were something to be reckoned with. … If it had not been for the Khazars, much of southeastern Europe would have been conquered by the Umayyads and Abbasids and subsequently incorporated into the Islamic world.’ In short, ‘The Rus’ of Kiev undoubtedly knew this history and understood how the mandate of heaven had helped the Khazars keep the Arabs out of southern Russia and Ukraine’ (Noonan 2001: 90). Varangian pressure on Khazar trade and tribute-taking triggered the downfall of the Khazar empire. Not only was the title of khagan taken over from the Khazars, it was specifically intended to ease the transfer of tribute-paying from one (Khazar) khagan to another (Rus’). It also facilitated smooth and legitimate transition to a wider polity. The tenth century marked Rus’ centralization of tribute collection and the marginalization of the Khazars. The Byzantine emperor reported how the Rus’ prince made the rounds to collect tribute (polyudie), a practice that constituted one of the focal points of the embryonic state – the royal tour. The royal tour was a more routinized and ritualized form of tribute-taking than the spontaneous ‘showing up’ practiced by the Khazars up to that time. As the Russian Primary Chronicle, compiled in Kiev around 1113, noted, the Rus’ khaganate added another novelty to tribute-taking: middlemen were dispatched to live among subjects and collect tax directly from the local tribes. Early state building involved, then, small numbers of tribute-takers making contact with locals and offering them protection against other possible tribute-takers. The interface between Varangians and local Slavs and Finno-Ugrics began to thicken (Neumann 2009). The Khazar empire disappeared not only as a result of Varangian incursions. Another factor was its own religious organization.

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32  Iver B. Neumann Originally shamanistic, Khazaria was affected by contact with Islamic officials as well as with missionaries from Byzantium representing Orthodox Christianity. The top Khazar social stratum also knew about Judaism from the Jewish community based at Kherson, on the northern coast of the Black Sea. Much of it converted to Judaism. The religious turmoil that followed in the multi-confessional Khazar empire was a principal cause of its downfall, and Rus’ leaders would have seen matters in these terms. When Prince Vladimir, who had been an adherent of the Old Norse religion of his parents, became prince of Kiev in 980, the Khazar empire’s demise was a development that instilled in him a newfound appreciation of the importance of religion (Martin 2007: 6). Vladimir initially sponsored the construction of a pagan temple on a hill overlooking the city. Statues were erected of seven gods: Perun, Sazhbog and Stribog (Slavic gods); Semargl and Mokosh (originally Persian deities); and two gods who may have been Norse. But a few years later, in 988, Vladimir discovered that Christianity represented a stronger social glue and converted to it. If we follow Durkheim (1992) and regard religion as a community’s celebration of itself, it is not particularly surprising that under Vladimir a divided pantheon gave way to a common deity. The Rus’ state and external relations: Byzantium and nomads

In order to Christianize his subjects, Vladimir had to lean on religious specialists from Byzantium. From the perspective of sedentary Byzantium, Rus’ nomads to the north had emerged as a threat and one of its counter-moves was to pursue new missionary activity. Vladimir’s conversion to Christianity added a symbolic dimension to the Rus’ state-building project but it also cemented a mutually convenient new military alliance. Byzantine emperor Basil II had suffered a defeat at the hands of nomadic Bulgars and needed Vladimir to send him reinforcements to defend Constantinople. In return, he offered his sister Anna as a marriage partner. Vladimir agreed to send Varangians and, some time later, also agreed to marry Anna. The theme of recognition is in evidence here. As seen from Byzantium, taming a barbarian group was expected to take time. Christianizing the Rus’ would involve their acceptance of the basileus (or emperor) as earthly head of all Christians:

Russia in international society over the longue durée  33

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the emperor is the viceregent of God, the mimesis or ‘living icon of Christ’ (zosa eikon Christou), and he rules the Basileia, the Christian commonwealth, which is in turn the terrestrial counterpart of God’s kingdom in heaven. Since there was only one God, it followed inevitably that there could be only one empire and therefore only one true religion. (Geanakoplos 1976: 39) Upon his baptism Vladimir was welcomed into the family of kings. The next stage was for him to assimilate Byzantine social values and, subsequently, have them encoded into laws. So the major drama of Rus’ state building in the eleventh and twelfth centuries involved adapting religious and legal practices taken over from Byzantium. As recent scholarship on early complex polities has made clear, Rus’ was under the sway of Byzantium more in the religious sphere than in others. This may have been Rus’ strategy. According to one historian, Kievan officials ‘had very little available information on the Byzantine empire’ and, as significantly, there was a ‘lack of interest’ among them. A ‘deliberate pattern’ was discernible in which ‘at each stage of transmission, translators, scribes, editors and local writers are unanimous in their disregard for the imperial heritage of the country from which they took their religion’ (Franklin 2002: 518, 521). An alternative legitimizing source of authority was available for the Rus’ state – kinship. Kinship (rod in Russian) is ‘resonant with echoes of deep traditional belief: belief in the fertility-cult of Rod’ (Franklin 2002: 529). Rod or kinship forms the root of other words in Russian, including narod (which approximates the German Volk) and priroda, nature. The founding myth of Rus’ turns on how the first stranger-king, Rurik (Rörek in Old Norse), was brought in to serve this group. The Primary Chronicle noted that local tribes told the Rus’ ‘our land is vast and abundant, but there is no order in it. Come and reign as princes and have authority over us!’ Rurik (Rörek) and his two brothers came with all their kin, and settled down in different townships. While the motif of brothers acting in partnership is familiar in many cultural settings, it takes on particular significance for Rus’ state building because from it was developed the principle that applied for the next eight centuries – that only Rurikids could become Rus’ princes.

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34  Iver B. Neumann Since Rörek was a Viking whose origins probably lay in today’s Denmark, he would have been firmly planted in a patrilineal tradition, with primogeniture being one principle of succession (just one possible principle, for princely and kingly titles were, particularly in pre-Christian times, often contested in direct combat between warriors). However from the mid-eleventh century into the sixteenth, the prescribed system of succession in Rus’ lands was the Lestvitsa or lestvichnaya sistema (from a root also found in the Russian words for steps and staircase). In English this is rendered as ‘collateral seniority’, and it proposed that the oldest brother should inherit Kiev, and the younger brothers other cities, presumably in some ranked order. Once a prince died, his brothers each moved up a notch. This succession system was a pivotal structuring principle of political organization. We first hear about it in 1054 when Yaroslav the Wise divided Rus’ lands between his sons. Since it did not come with the Varangians from the North, it must have emerged locally. But in what way, given that none of the sedentary neighboring polities had adopted it since they preferred primogeniture? If we examine the practices of the nomads of the steppes, we find that they had just such a succession system (the only other place where this system is known to have existed is amongst the Inner Asian peoples; Halperin 1987: 18). To be sure, collateral succession might simply have been Yaroslav’s own idea, but even in this case he may have borrowed it from practices of groups he had encountered. Most probably, then, we have in the Rus’ succession system yet another example of how the early Rus’ polity was shaped by its relations with the steppe nomads. The experience of the early Rus’ state foreshadows some of the recurring debates – the habitus acquis – in Russian history: endogenous versus exogenous identity, cultural borrowing practices, legitimacy claims, and status recognition. At this early stage of state formation hysteresis – practices incongruent with the tasks at hand – is not yet discernible. The case study of Russian state formation in the post-Soviet vacuum offers more fertile ground for examining hysteresis. Russia’s quest for recognition in the post-Soviet period Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality can be introduced to explain why Western recognition of Russia as a great power has been

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Russia in international society over the longue durée  35 repeatedly repudiated or, at best, extended grudgingly. The French philosopher wrote how ‘In contrast to sovereignty, government has as its purpose not the act of government itself, but the welfare of the population, the improvement of its conditions, the increase of its wealth, longevity, health etc’ (Foucault 1991: 100). The rationality of governing which Foucault called govern­ mentality posed a problem for Russia from the outset. A prerequisite for the state’s ability to use such rationality is being able to marshal a panoply of different resources (Neumann and Sending 2010). But when we examine Russia in terms of its credentials in governmentality, we again observe a process that is determined by an ingrained habitus. The Russian state consistently refused to accept a change away from the logic of direct rule towards a logic of indirect governance. Society was not allowed to exist in an autonomous, organized, institutionalized form. It did not constitute a resource that the state could draw on. As seen from Europe, Russia was clinging to an outmoded, inefficient mode of state power which made it appear anything but great. The tradition-bound importance of the idea of a strong state has been reaffirmed in Putin’s years in power. The logic of his authority is based on the assumption that the guarantee of the system of governance lies in the existence of a strong state. This logic is captured in such slogans as managed democracy and sovereign democracy. The difficulty with this model of governance is that it runs counter to a contemporary liberal trend where the salient question is ‘how can the state govern less’. The Western image of Russia remains, therefore, of a state that is mired in its past and behind the times. Putin’s view of what a state should do is the contrary of today’s Western liberalism. This view sees society as something to be managed, not as a resource which offers its greatest opportunities when it is autonomous. It sees law as one of the instruments of the political executive, not as a check on it. It even regards human rights as something guaranteed by the state, not as something affixed to individuals as human beings who are privileged in their relationship to the state. In short, Russia under Putin has again developed a rationality of government which has its roots in Western Europe but, at the time when Russia has adopted it, has been left behind by Western European states. Since coming to power in 2000, Putin has insisted that Russia remains a great power. If he seeks outside recognition of its status,

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36  Iver B. Neumann it is in terms of the quality of its democracy and market economy about which the West has been skeptical. Where Moscow sees a reformist liberal thrust, its Other sees bad-tasting wine in new bottles. In a commentary on the 1905 reforms in Russia, Max Weber characterized the overhauled system of government as Scheinkonstitutionalismus, fake constitutionalism. Putin’s use of liberal slogans, such as the rule of law, could equally be a target of Weber’s critique. They also possess little practical purchase. To cite one Russian analyst who flags this as a negative development: As the liberal reforms of the social security system failed, the government tended to opt for paternalistic solutions, such as the measures aimed at raising nativity rates, demonstrating that the stronger state is better in providing security to the people. Foreign policy came to be dominated by the idea of establishing Russia as a strong and independent player on the global stage – here, as in domestic politics, autonomy became an end in itself. (Morozov 2007: 18) The habitus to opt for an outdated and failed policy course is evident in early historic episodes. In the nineteenth century following the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Russia faced the choice of following the Western lead and governing society by indirect means, or maintaining a policy of direct rule. As European powers opted for modernization, Russia decided to preserve its ancien régime. In the twentieth century, in the wake of the World War I, Russia again parted ways with other European powers by trying to implement a socialist future while the West clung to its bourgeois present. In the twenty-first century, Europe is set on a course of transnational integration even as the Kremlin declares its sovereign present. Ineptitude in domestic and international society

Russia’s difficulties in gaining recognition as a great power have reflected a deficit in its social power at home and internationally (Neumann 2008a, 2008b). Its domestic manifestation is the pathology of state–society relations. As seen from Europe, a great

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Russia in international society over the longue durée  37 power is not defined by state hegemony over society. Instead for a country to be given the status of a great power, social compatibility at home is required, a condition that remains absent in Russia. Differences in the social, cultural, and political practices of Russia and the West have further undermined Russia’s international status. Because Russia does not fit Western social constructions of great power, it is, paradoxically, more of a threat to the West. As Natalya Narochnitskaya observed, Russia ‘haunts Europe, which, having built its “paradise on earth”, remains apprehensive of our magnitude and our capacity to withstand all challenges’ (quoted in Prozorov 2006: 42). Self-exclusion of Russia from Europe has been the effect of the Kremlin’s clumsy search for great power status following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many Russians find it galling that the recognition game seems always to be played on someone else’s terms (Prozorov 2006). Hysteresis in the post-Soviet period, consisting of a quest for power without its key attributes, has meant that Russia under Putin has been playing the wrong game. Under Putin, then, the societal differences that have historically existed between Western European powers and Russia, and that are inextricably linked to the system of governance, remain. Examples include fuzzy Russian understandings of the rule of law, private ownership, contractual law, independent judiciary, independent media, and prosecutorial practices. If great powerhood depends on more than having the material resources and ability to project military power, then Russia has again chosen a self-defeating course that thwarts its ambitions to be recognized as a great power. Russia’s material base is itself flimsy: Russia’s gross domestic product is one-thirteenth that of the US, less than half of that of the UK, and a third of Germany’s. Its membership in the G-8 is by courtesy only. Similarly, Russia’s standing as one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council is today pyrrhic and not the basis for a claim to great powerhood. Russia lacks the ability to project power to a degree sufficient to satisfy a realist thinker. Its unwillingness to play according to the moral rules laid down in the international normative regime fails the standards of liberal internationalism. Through its aversion to changing the state to approximate a rationality of governing by indirect means Russia fails the test of governmentality. Social self-constructions of great powerhood have limited resonance under these conditions.

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38  Iver B. Neumann An analysis focusing on the Russian–Atlantic relationship in the post-cold war period points to growing hysteresis. In the early 1990s Russia acquiesced to the role of junior partner but its great power habitus resurfaced as multiple and often inconclusive symbolic struggles were waged over its global rank and role (Pouliot 2010). Illustrative of this trend were negotiations over the Bosnian and Kosovo wars and subsequently their international status: Russia’s policies were repeatedly marginalized. Learning from this, in the late 1990s Russia struggled to find a new enhanced role in international politics. The idea of a great power reemerged as a unifying formula for conducting international affairs. The great power habitus again served as the primary knowledge base for political leaders and security elites in Moscow. But the very policy that is ostensibly forged to ‘make Russia strong again’ is predicated on an understanding of strength which is anachronistic and incomplete. Russia has again chosen a counterproductive course in obtaining recognition as a great power. In a world where the liberal standard of civilization, which played such a crucial role in the international relations of the nineteenth century, is reappearing, Russia seems unlikely to be counted as a fully fledged great power for decades. Conclusions What we learn from the study of early state formation is that no polity has ever been an island. We should not treat polities as closed systems but instead approach them as what they always have been – relational. This is true of Russia from its early beginnings despite conventional images of its historical development as being closed to the outside world. The example of the Rus’ state spotlights how complex early polity formation was. Trade is the first factor to release nomadic influences on forms of economic organization, but political organization is also impacted. Once stranger-kings arrive, even if they do not settle immediately but continue raiding, they are likely to engage in state-building practices, particularly through tribute-taking. An evolutionary reading of the practices of Rus’ stranger-kings would be that we have here an intermediary stage between the nomadic and the sedentary. Early state formation may be marked by relations between competing aspiring stranger-kings, in the Rus’ case, between Khazars

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Russia in international society over the longue durée  39 and Varangians. One factor that shapes the way in which the winners go about their state building is relations with former rivals; this was the case with Varangians appropriating the khanagate system from Khazars to buttress political legitimacy. The form of state building also depends on a struggle for recognition from outside forces. Russian state building was shaped in large measure by the desire to gain recognition from the Byzantine emperor. Yet another relational factor is the need for state builders to limit the political presence of others; for Rus’ rulers, it was critical to keep the Byzantines as well as the peoples of the steppe (primarily Pechenegs and Khipchaks) at bay. The recent trend in the study of early complex polities toward taking inter-polity relations seriously is, therefore, a welcome development. Nationalism studies which focused on sharpened boundaries separating polities have become anachronistic. This chapter has focused on two different historical periods of Russia: its early state formation and post-Soviet state formation. I could have examined experiences of Russia’s other predecessor polities, for example, the place of Russian principalities within the suzerain system of the Golden Horde (c.1498–1500). Russia’s general perspective on European polities in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries can be understood in terms of one key memory – that of being dominated by this polity, itself an outgrowth of the Mongol empire. Russia never let go of its memory of being part of a suzerain system and this helps explain why it is therefore still suspended somewhere in the outer tier of international society. There is no simple answer to the question: to what degree is Russia’s contemporary standing in international society still marked by the differing narrative sociabilities that marked Russia’s entry into it? Investigations into this problematic can indicate how differing self-understandings of a polity’s subject position in the system out of which it emerged to enter international society, as well as the mnemonic techniques that were adopted to sustain these subject positions, have served as determinants of ensuing behavior in international society. Russia’s assertive pursuit of great power status in the post-bipolar world is connected to memory of its past subject position and the denigrations that accompanied it. One hypothesis worth exploring is that, as long as a polity retains and even reifies memories of a subject position in a suzerain system, it will remain on the outer tier of international society. Studies of

40  Iver B. Neumann

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Chinese, Greek, and Japanese entry seem to bear out the relevance of investigating the importance of memories of subject positions in former systems for understanding contemporary conditions. Russia’s ambiguity in and angst about its international status today may, then, not be as unusual as historians of the country have sometimes made out. Relational rather than endogenous factors are likely to be key to explaining such proclivities. Acknowledgment I wish to thank Vincent Pouliot for introducing me to the concept of hysteresis and for conversations about how to apply it to Russian– European relations. Bibliography Bourdieu, P., and Wacquant, L. J. D. (1992) ‘The purpose of reflexive sociology (the Chicago Workshop)’, in P. Bourdieu and L. J. D. Wacquant (eds), An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (pp. 61–216), Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Bull, H. (1977) The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Society, London: Macmillan. Durkheim, E. (1992) Professional Ethics and Civic Morals, London: Routledge. Foucault, M. (1991) ‘Governmentality’, in G. Burchell, C. Gordon, and P. Miller (eds), The Foucault Effect (pp. 87–104), Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press. Franklin, S. (2002) ‘The empire of the Rhomaioi as viewed from Kievan Russia: aspects of Byzantino-Russian cultural relations’, in Byzantium – Rus – Russia (pp. 507–37), Aldershot: Ashgate, Variorum. Franklin, S., and Shepard, J. (1996) The Emergence of Rus 750–1200, London: Longman. Geanakoplos, D. J. (1976) Interaction of the ‘Sibling’ Byzantine and Western Cultures in the Middle Ages and Italian Renaissance, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Gerschenkron, A. (1962) Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective, Cambridge, MA: Belknap. Gilpin, R. (1981) War and Change in World Politics, New York: Cambridge University Press. Golden, P. B. (2001) ‘Nomads in the sedentary world: the case of pre-Chinggisid Rus’ and Georgia’, in A. M. Khazanov and A. Wink (eds), Nomads in the Sedentary World, (pp. 24–75), Richmond: Curzon. Halperin, C. J. (1987) Russia and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Hedlund, S. (2005) Russian Path Dependence, London: Routledge. Khazanov, A. M. (2001) ‘Nomads in the history of the sedentary world’, in A. M. Khazanov and A. Wink (eds), Nomads in the Sedentary World (pp. 1–23), Richmond: Curzon.

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Russia in international society over the longue durée  41 Lieven, D. C. B. (1983) Russia and the Origins of the First World War, Basingstoke: Macmillan. Martin, J. (2007) Medieval Russia, 980–1585, 2nd edn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Morozov, V. (2007) ‘Russia and the West: Dividing Europe, constructing each other’, paper presented at the annual conference of the International Studies Association, Chicago, IL, 28 February–3 March 2007. Neumann I. B. (1996) Russia and the Idea of Europe: A Study in Identity and International Relations, New York: Routledge. Neumann, I. B. (2008a) ‘Russia as a great power, 1815–2007’, Journal of International Relations and Development, 11: 128–51. Neumann, I. B. (2008b) ‘Russia’s standing as a great power, 1492–1815’, in T. Hopf (ed.) Russia’s European Choices, (pp. 13–24), New York: Palgrave. Neumann, I. B. (2009) ‘The anthropologist and the early state: the field, the steppe and the case of Rus’ (ca. 800–1100)’, unpublished paper (8 Sept.). Neumann, I. B. (2011) ‘Entry into international society reconceptualized: the case of Russia’, Review of International Studies, 37(2): 463–84. Neumann, I. B., and Pouliot, V. (2011) ‘Untimely Russia: hysteresis in Russian– Western relations over the past millennium’, Security Studies, 20(1): 105–37. Neumann, I. B., and Sending, O. J. (2010) Governing the Global Polity: Practice, Mentality, Rationality, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Noonan, T. S. (1986) ‘Why the Vikings first came to Russia’, Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas, 34: 321–48. Noonan, T. S. (2001) ‘The Khazar Qaghanate and its impact on the early Rus’ state: the translatio imperii from Itil to Kiev’, in A.M. Khazanov and A. Wink (eds) Nomads in the Sedentary World (pp. 76–102), Richmond: Curzon. Pierson, P. (2004) Politics in Time: History, Institutions, and Social Analysis, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Pouliot, V. (2010) International Security in Practice: The Politics of NATO–Russia Diplomacy, New York: Cambridge University Press. Prozorov, S. (2006) Understanding Conflict between Russia and the EU: The Limits of Integration, Basingstoke: Palgrave. Snyder, J. (1994) ‘Russian backwardness and the future of Europe’, Daedalus, 123(2): 179–201. Wendt, A. (1999) Social Theory of International Politics, New York: Cambridge University Press. Wohlforth, W. C. (2001) ‘The Russian–Soviet Empire: a test of neorealism’, Review of International Studies, 27(5): 213–35.

4 The ‘Varangian problem’ Science in the grip of ideology and politics

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Elena Melnikova

Introduction In September 2002 the ‘cursed problem’ of Russian history was revived – the so-called Varangian problem that had provoked heated debates over more than two and a half centuries, burdened with emotional, ideological, and even political considerations. The trigger for its reappearance was the role played by Scandinavians in the formation of the Old Russian state. During the three preceding decades it seemed that a consensus had been achieved, acknowledging the significant part that Scandinavians had played in the processes resulting in the emergence of an Eastern-Slavic state, which was also populated by Finns, Balts, and nomads. The consensus accepted that the early Russian elite was of Norse origin and became assimilated into the Slavic environment by the eleventh century when it changed not only its language and material culture but also its cultural identity (Melnikova 2003, 2010). The terms normanists for those who claimed that Norsemen founded Old Rus’ and anti-normanists for those who rejected the idea that they had played a part in Russian state formation – or that they were even present in Eastern Europe – seemed desperately obsolete. The marginal publications of a few anti-normanists were ignored and considered to be outside the realm of academic discourse. The surge of anti-normanism in 2002 was as unexpected as it was sweeping. Its distinctive features were an extraordinarily broad propaganda battle, on the one hand, and its striking anachronistic character, on the other. Both peculiarities had their roots in the history of the ‘Varangian problem’ and the specific political and ideological challenges of the early 2000s. Moreover, arguments over the establishment of the early Russian state had direct implications

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for the kind of international politics Russia should pursue. If it was accepted that this state had been shaped by ‘foreign’ peoples, it followed that contemporary Russia should engage in cooperation with other states and accept the principle of interdependence. If, on the contrary, Russia’s origins were considered exclusively Russian, its priority should be safeguarding a ‘special way of national development’. Historiographical origins The Varangian problem had emerged in the mid-eighteenth century and stemmed from the legend about the invitation of Rurik, a ‘Varangian’ who became the progenitor of the dynasty of Russian princes and tsars that ruled up to the end of the sixteenth century. The legend is supposed to have originated soon after the time of Rurik: it was included in the earliest, eleventh-century Russian chronicles and was dated by one of the annalists back to 862. Both medieval annalists and eighteenth-century historians regarded the formation of a state as a single-stage act of an individual, in this case, Rurik. The first historians of the newly established St Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Gottlieb Siegfried Bayer and Gerhard Müller, combined a reading of the chronicle text with contemporary concepts of state formation to arrive at a simple conclusion: since Rurik was a Norseman, the Russian state was founded by Scandinavians. Public discussion of Müller’s theses On the origin of the Russian nation (Müller 1749; see also Bayer 1735), which had been prepared for the nameday of Empress Elisabeth in 1749, lasted for about six months and marked the beginning of two and a half centuries of polemic (Pchelov 2010: 74–85). From the very start the debates on the part of Müller’s opponents were more emotional and ideological than scientific (Alpatov 1985: 9–81). Müller’s main critic, Michail Lomonosov, proclaimed that the very idea of the foundation of the Russian state by foreigners was humiliating for Slavs, portraying them as unable to create a state of their own. The ethnicity of Rurik and the origin of the names Rus’ and Varangian became central issues. Acceptance of the Norse derivation of the name Rus’, the Norse descent of Rurik, and, consequently, the formation of the state by Scandinavians, were declared to be unpatriotic. The true patriots, it was argued, were those who claimed Rurik was a Slav (or – later – anyone but

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44  Elena Melnikova a Norseman); who derived the name Rus’ from any language other than Scandinavian and one preferably Slavic; and who stressed the native origins of the Russian state. The reasons for Lomonosov’s aggressive response to Müller’s theses were first and foremost ideological. At a time of national revival and the emergence of a new national self-consciousness and identity following half a century of Europeanization of Russian society, the historical role of the Russians qua Slavs had crucial significance. By the end of the eighteenth century Müller’s approach, which had been rigorously scientific by the standards of his times, had prevailed. From then the Scandinavian origin of the name Rus’ (Melnikova and Petrukhin 1991), as well as of a number of first names of the Russian elite (including Rurik, Oleg and Olga, Igor, Gleb, etc.), was an established fact. Studies of Byzantine, Arabic, German, and Scandinavian written sources together with an increasing amount of archaeological finds pointed to the important role that Scandinavians had played in Slavic society. From the midnineteenth century on, early state formation became viewed not as a single-stage act but as a prolonged, complex process, and the emergence of the Russian state began to be regarded as the result of a multitude of factors; Scandinavian activities, though significant, were only one of them. Scandinavian influences were differently understood by various historians but a general consensus was reached and two magisterial summaries of philological evidence by Wilhelm Thomsen (1876; translated into Russian in 1891) and of archaeological materials by Ture Arne (1914) seemed to bring the controversy to a close (Mošin 1931). Only once did anti-normanism gain a prominent position during the nineteenth century. The motive for this revival was similar to that of a century earlier: the spread of Pan-Slavism combined with romantic idealization of the ‘heroic’ Slavic past left no place for ‘invaders’ (or for aboriginal peoples like the Finns). The Slavic peoples, it was emphasized, had a magnificent history and, even if they invited their rulers ‘from beyond the sea’, the prospective Russian princes were also of Slavic origin and came from the Baltic Slavic tribe Wagri equated etymologically with Varangian (Gedeonov 1876; for a detailed study of the term see Melnikova and Petrukhin 1994). The critical reaction of historians and philologists of the time to such propositions reflected a scholarly approach to the problem, whereas public debate like that between ‘normanist’

The ‘Varangian problem’  45 Michail Pogodin and ‘anti-normanist’ Nikolaj Kostomarov (1860) reflected an ideological dimension (Pchelov 2010: 91–3).

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Revisiting the ‘Varangian problem’ in the Stalinist period The status of the Varangians dramatically changed in the midtwentieth century when the ‘Varangian problem’ became first and foremost a political issue. The racist theories of the Third Reich made use of extreme normanism and advanced the claim that Slavs were an inferior nation, thus justifying German expansion eastward. The reaction of the Soviet establishment was the adoption of officially introduced anti-normanism. The reinterpretation of the role of Scandinavians in the early history of Rus’, ranging from their serving the interests of the Slavic rulers in the processes of the formation of the Old Russian state to total rejection of their constructive role, is reflected in the publication of successive editions of the most influential book on Ancient Rus’ by academician Boris Grekov, the recognized authority in Russian history (Grekov 1937–53). Historical records of the bureaucratic discussions in the 1940s about issuing new editions of his book Kievan Rus’ reflect the flagrant pressure that compelled him to modify his position (Nielsen 1981). He still remained at odds with the official standpoint until 1949 when he accepted that, despite their many connections with Eastern Slavs, Scandinavians had not participated in the processes of state formation (Grekov 1949: 446). Other historians and archaeologists buckled under official pressure more readily. Stalin’s policy of isolationism after the Second World War made use of historical studies, particularly studies of Russian history that substantiated the independent emergence and evolution of the Russian and, subsequently, Soviet state. The presumed autochthonous development of Eastern Slavs into ‘the Rurikides’ empire’, then the Moscow state of Ivan the Terrible and Russian empire of Peter the Great, was viewed as assuring the success of a self-sufficient USSR. The ‘struggle against cosmopolitism’ launched in the second half of the 1940s included, among other issues, the struggle against normanism as a manifestation of the ‘worship of the West’ and a diminishing of the dignity of Slavs. It was not only Scandinavians who had to be expelled from Russian history; the same fate overtook the Khazars. The mightiest

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46  Elena Melnikova state of Eastern Europe that had spread its authority to several Slavic tribes in the ninth century became practically forgotten; until the 1980s the only exception was a book by Michail Artamonov published in 1962; it was mentioned only in the context of Prince Svjatoslav’s victory over the Khazars. Ignoring the Khazar khaganate was especially desirable because of the alleged Judaism of the Khazar elite: anti-Semitism had become an implicit policy of Stalin’s regime. Scandinavians and Khazars were marginalized and even Byzantine influence on Old Russian political and cultural development was reduced to church connections. But detailed studies of ecclesiastical problems were not sanctioned by political authorities. For the first time in the historical sciences, anti-normanism was decreed the official view on the emergence of the Russian state. The threat of repression made historians either accept it or avoid mentioning Scandinavians – as well as Khazars – in their scholarship. Even archaeologists who excavated settlements with large Scandinavian populations like Gnezdovo, near Smolensk, had to deny the presence of Norsemen in Eastern Europe (Artsikhovskij 1966). As in the eighteenth century, the etymology of the name Rus’ took on great importance – even though the Marxist theory of state formation suggested that the ethnicity of the ruling elite, especially the origins of the name of the state, had nothing to do with the emergence and characteristics of the state. Nevertheless historians (but not linguists) began inventing various derivations of the name Rus’; the Slavic one was considered preferable even though it contradicted the fundamentals of comparative linguistics (Tikhomirov 1948; for a critical survey of his and other etymologies of the name Rus’ see Melnikova and Petrukhin 1999: 291–332). The Soviet identity that was imposed and cultivated under the Stalin regime excluded connections with and influences from the outside world. Communist ideologues proclaimed a specific development of the Russian nation from its very beginnings up to the twentieth century that had nothing in common with the development of other European nations. In its most extreme form, anti-normanism offered a historical basis for isolating Eastern Slavs from the rest of the medieval world. School and university textbooks shaped the historical consciousness of society by promoting the image of the foreigner as an enemy, already established through other ideological, political, and administrative means.

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Return of the scientific method and the anti-norman counterattack It was only in the mid-1960s that a return to scientifically grounded assessments of the Scandinavian impact on the early history of Rus’ began to reappear. Initiated by Leningrad archaeologists (Klein et al. 1970; Bulkin et al. 1978; Klein 2009) and continued by Moscow philologists, historians and archaeologists, the study of the ‘Varangian problem’ became transformed into the study of the various interactions of Scandinavian and Eastern European worlds. Reevaluations of the preceding historiographical tradition identified the grave consequences of the two-centuries-long polemics between normanists and anti-normanists. If normanists had discovered and investigated new sources and aspects of Scandinavian–Slavic connections, their opponents repeatedly returned to the same ‘ethnic’ questions which they, even in the middle of the twentieth century, thought crucial for the history of the Old Russian state. They thus transformed the discussion so that it took on its eighteenthcentury character. From the 1970s extensive archaeological excavations, in-depth studies of written sources, together with analysis of numismatic, epigraphic, linguistic materials produced an expansion of the research problematic. Scandinavian activities in Eastern Europe and their consequences for the emergence and development of Ancient Rus’ were thoroughly discussed and compared with their activities in Western Europe (Lebedev 1985; Petrukhin 1995; Melnikova 2009a). It seemed that there was no place for the ‘Varangian problem’ any more: its methodology and theory seemed hopelessly anachronistic. It was, therefore, all the more shocking for the community of historians that an extreme form of anti-normanism resurfaced in 2002. The declaration of war on ‘normanists’ was announced at a conference organized under the aegis of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation. This conference had been originally planned as a purely scientific discussion of the problem ‘Rurikides and Rossia statehood’ (Drevnejshie gosudarstva 2008). The speeches of three anti-normanists (Andrej Sakharov, Apollon Kuzmin, and Vjacheslav Fomin) and their interviews on the main national television program launched a general campaign in the mass media as well as the publication of numerous books and articles.

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48  Elena Melnikova The first publication appeared the day after the conference – an article in the newspaper Rossijskaja gazeta by Andrej Sakharov titled ‘Rurik and the fates of Rossia statehood’. A poster, ‘Rurik the Varangian was a Russian’, was included in the newspaper which is published by the Government of the Russian Federation (Sakharov 2002). The author accused ‘a small group of philologists’ who ‘try to monopolize the history of Ancient Rus’ of propagating normanism ‘nourished by political impulses and ambitions from abroad’. These themes were strikingly similar to the theme of the Stalinist ‘struggle with cosmopolitanism’. They were elaborated in a volume in the Collection of Articles of the Russian Historical Society subtitled AntiNormanism (Nastenko 2003; for a critical review of the volume see Kotljar 2007). It was subsequently reproduced in numerous book and article formats (e.g. Fomin 2005, 2010). The new adepts of anti-normanism were not inventing anything new. They returned to Gedeonov’s idea of the Baltic-Slavic origin of Varangians. The word Varangian was said to derive from the tribal name Wagrii. They claimed Ruric to be a Slav from the southern coast of the Baltic. They invoked sixteenth- and seventeenth-century traditions connecting Ruric to the Roman emperor Augustus by way of Augustus’ relative Prus (equated to Rus) who had settled on the shores of the Baltic and gave his name to Prussia (Petrukhin 2008; Pchelov 2010: 115–33). Both the theoretical basis and methodology of the wave of anti-normanism in the 2000s replicated medieval models in exaggerating the importance of ethnic affinity of the ruling elite in the formation of a state; in accepting as absolute proof references to authorities instead of scientific argumentation; in ignoring source criticism and giving unquestioning trust to late sources; and in widely employing ‘folk etymologies’ (Melnikova 2009b). Motives for manipulating history The motives that caused the revival of anti-normanism in its Slavophile form were multifold and different for various social strata. The political imperative of that period was to lay the historical foundation for Russian rights over the Kaliningrad region (Čekin 2003). From a scientific perspective there was nothing to substantiate this claim: this region had been populated by Baltic – not Slavic – tribes of the Prusses in the early Middle Ages and had

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The ‘Varangian problem’  49 no connections with Ancient Rus’. Anti-normanists, however, were prepared to argue the contrary: ‘It is in this ancient Slavic [sic] land absorbed later by German invasion where the first Slavic state formations emerged, it is here where the first South Baltic princes appeared, and Rurik was one of them’, wrote Sakharov in his newspaper article (Sakharov 2002). Gedeonov’s identification of Varangians with Baltic Slavs was thus transformed into an assertion of Rurik’s Kaliningrad origins. An additional motive of the political elite was an ideological one – to construct a new ‘national idea’ under the conditions of ideological crisis which followed the disintegration of the USSR. Both the emergence of anti-normanism and its later revisions were closely connected with turning points in the formation of national self-consciousness and identity. These served as a kind of psychological compensation for social crises. After the disintegration of the USSR and the demolition of a political system that had defined national self-consciousness as a sense of the state’s superiority and distinctiveness, an identity vacuum had arisen. There was now nothing to be proud of. The superiority complex of the powerful was replaced by the inferiority complex of the weak and defeated. The old system of values was revealed to be a sham. This socio-psychological crisis evoked several negative phenomena and required ideological compensation. One of the responses to this ideological challenge was the spread of historical myths connected primarily with the emergence of the Slavs, Russians, and their state existence (Petukhov 2007; for a critical overview see Volodikhin et al. 1998). A similar phenomenon appeared in other former Soviet republics. In these ethno-genetic constructions Slavic tribes or Russians acquired a heroic past to be glorified. The role of their neighbors, by contrast, was devalued and even took on the image of the outside enemy (Petrov 2004). This reconstruction of the past and the emergent ‘new’ – in reality old – identity appealed to naïve, primitive patriotic feelings (explicitly developed in a series of books by A. Asov). Anti-normanism in its Slavophile form provided a ready, time-sanctified construction that could be embraced by both politicians and citizens. It proclaimed superiority of the Slavs (Russians) over Scandinavians, Khazars, and other ‘invaders’ who were represented as enemies. This construction played on the pseudo-patriotic emotions especially commonplace

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50  Elena Melnikova among uneducated and conservative sections of society. It also exacerbated preexisting nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies within Russia. The Russian state was once again interpreted to be derzhava, both in the domestic and international order. It is no surprise, then, that this historical revisionism reappeared just as Russia’s international politics became a source of renewed concern for many countries in the West. A decade after the anti-normanist revival, political and ideological imperatives have changed again. The felt political need to assert Rurik’s origins in the Kaliningrad region has become a thing of the past. The dangers of a Slavophile construction of early Russian history in a multinational state – the Russian Federation – became self-evident to political authorities. The backlash against ethnically defined Russian identity, seen by some anxious Western states as a return to great power chauvinism, had generated counterproductive policies in international relations. Anti-normanism lost its ‘administrative resource’ and relapsed into a marginal trend in Russian historiography. But the few brief years early in the new century when it burst on the political scene demonstrate how easy it is to manipulate history with myths of origin. Bibliography Alpatov, M. I. (1985) Russkaja istoricheskaja mysl’ i Zapadnaja Evropa (XVIII– pervaja polovina XIX v.), Moscow: Nauka. Arne, T. (1914) La Suède et l’Orient, Stockholm: K.W. Appelberg. Artamonov, M. I. (1962) Istorija khazar, Leningrad: Nauka. Artsikhovskij, A.V. (1966) ‘Arkheologicheskije dannye po varjazhskomu voprosu’, in Kultura Drevnej Rusi (pp. 36–41), Moscow: Nauka. Bayer, G. S. (1735)‘De Varagis’, in Commentarii Academiae scientiarum imperialis Petropolitanae, 4 (for 1729): 275–311; tr. into Russian, F. S. Beer, Sochinenie o varjagakh, tr. Kiriak Kondratovich, St Petersburg: Imperatorskaja Akademija Nauk, 1767. Bulkin, V., Dubov, I., and Lebedev, G. (1978) Arkheologicheskie pamjatniki Drevnej Rus i IX–XI vekov, Leningrad: Nauka. Čekin, L.S. (2003) ‘Rurikgrad? Ein Kommentar zu Andrej Sacharov’, Osteuropa: Zeitschrift für gegenwartsfragen des Ostens, 53: 206–12. Drevnejshie gosudarstva (2008) Drevnejshie gosudarstva Vostochnoj Evropy, 2005 god. Rjurikovichi i rossijskaja gosudarstvennost’, Moscow: Indrik. Fomin, V. V. (2005) Varjagi i varjazhskaja Rus’: K itogam diskussii po varjazhskomu voprosu, Moscow: Russkaja Panorama. Fomin, V. V. (ed.) (2010) Izgnanie normannov iz russkoj istorii, Moscow: Russkaja Panorama.

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The ‘Varangian problem’  51 Gedeonov, S. A. (1876) Varjagi i Rus’: Istoricheskoe issledovanie (vols 1–2), St Petersburg; repr. with introd., comment. and biographical essay by V. Fomin, Moscow: Russkaja Panorama, 2004. Grekov, B. D. (1935) Feodal’nye otnoshenija v Kievskom gosudarstve, 1st edn 1935, 2nd edn 1937 Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe nauchno-pedagogicheskoe izdatel’stvo; Kievskaja Rus’, 3rd edn 1939, 1944, 1949, 1953. Klein, L. S. (2009) Spor o varjagakh: Istorija protivostojanija i argumenty storon, St Petersburg: Evrazia. Klein, L. S., Lebedev, G. S., and Nazarenko V. A. (1970) ‘Normanskie drevnosti Kievskoj Rusi na sovremennom etape arkheologicheskogo izuchenija’, in Istoricheskie svjazi Skandinavii i Rossii IX–XI vv (pp.239–45), Leningrad: Nauka. Kotljar, N. F. (2007) ‘V toske po utrachennomu vremeni’, in Srednevekovaja Rus’ (vol. 7, pp. 343–53), Moscow: Indrik. Lebedev; G. S. (1985) Epokha vikingov v Severnoj Evrope, Leningrad; 2nd rev. edn, Epokha vikingov v Severnoj Evrope i na Rusi, St Petersburg: Evrazia, 2008. Melnikova, E. A. (2003) ‘The cultural assimilation of the Varangians in Eastern Europe from the point of view of language and literacy’, in W. Heizmann and A. van Nahl (eds), Runica – Germanica – Medievalia (pp. 454–65), Berlin and New York: de Gruyter. Melnikova, E. A. (2009a) ‘Vozniknovenie drevnerusskogo gosudarstva i skandinavskie politicheskie obrazovania v Zapadnoj Evrope: Sravnitel’notipologicheskij aspekt’, in B. S. Korotkevich, D. A. Machinskij, and T. B. Senichenkova (eds), Slozhenie russkoj gosudarstvennosti v kontekste rannesrednevekovoj istorii Starogo Sveta (pp. 89–100), St Petersburg: Gosudarstvennyj Ermitazh. Melnikova, E. A. (2009b) ‘Renessans srednevekovja: Razmyshlenija o mifotvorchestve v sovremennoj istoricheskoj nauke’, Rodina, 3: 56–8; 5: 55–7. Melnikova, E. A. (2010) ‘Skandinavy v protsessakh obrazovanija Drevnerusskogo gosudarstva’, Vestnik istorii, literatury, iskusstva, 7: 217–41. Melnikova, E. A., and Petrukhin, V. J. (1991) ‘The origin and evolution of the name rus’: the Scandinavians in Eastern-European ethno-political processes before the 11th century’, Tor, 23: 203–34. Melnikova, E. A., and Petrukhin, V. J. (1994) ‘Skandinavy na Rusi i v Vizantii v X–XI vv. K istorii nazvanija varjag’, Slavjanovedenie, 2: 56–68. Melnikova, E. A., and Petrukhin, V. J. (1989) [Commentaries to Chapter 9], in G. G. Litavrin, and A.P. Novoseltsev Konstantin Bagrjanorodnyj: Ob upravlenii imperiej, Drevnejshie istochniki po istorii narodov SSSR, (pp. 291–332) Moscow: Nauka. Mošin, V.A. (1931) ‘Varjago-russkij vopros’, Slavia, 10: 109–36, 343–79, 501–37. Müller, G. F. (1749) De origine gentis et nominis Russiae, Petropolis: Typis Academiae scientiarum. Nastenko, I. A. (ed.) (2003) Sbornik Russkogo istoricheskogo obshchestva: Antinormanism, vol. 8 (156), Moscow: Russkaja Panorama. Nielsen, J.-P. (1981) ‘Boris Grekov and the Norman question’, Scando-Slavica, 27: 69–92. Pchelov, E. V. (2010) Rurik, Moscow: Molodaja Gvardiya.

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52  Elena Melnikova Petrov, A. E. (2004) ‘Perevernutaja istorija: Lzhenauchnye modeli proshlogo’, Novaja i novejshaja istorija, 3: 36–59. Petrukhin, V. J. (1995) Nachalo etnokulturnoj istorii Rusi IX–XI vekov, Smolensk: Gnozis. Petrukhin, V. J. (2008) ‘Skazanie o prizvanii varjagov v srednevekovoj knizhnosti i diplomatii’, in Drevnejshie gosudarstva Vostochnoj Evropy. 2005 god. Rjurikovichi i rossijskaja gosudarstvennost’ (pp. 76–93),Moscow: Indrik. Petukhov, J. D. (2007) Rusy Evrasii, Moscow: Veche. Sakharov, A. N. (2002) ‘Rurik i sud’by rossijskoj gosudarstvennosti’, Rossijskaja gazeta, 183(3051) (27 Sept.): 8. Thomsen, V. (1877) The Relations between Ancient Russia and Scandinavia and the Origin of the Russian State: Three Lectures Delivered at the Taylor Institution, Oxford, in May 1876, Oxford and London; tr. into Russian: V. Tomsen, Nachalo Russkogo gosudarstva, Moscow: Universitet, 1891. Tikhomirov, M. N. (1948) ‘Proiskhozhdenie nazvanija “Rus’” i “Russkaja zemlja”’, Sovetskaja etnografija, 6–7: 60–80. Volodikhin, D., Jeliseeva, O., and Oleinikov, D. (1998) Istorija Rossii v melkij goroshek, Moscow: Jedinstvo.

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Aleksander V. Golubev Stereotypes in the study of Russia’s international politics It is generally accepted that in crisis situations when there is insufficient time to absorb and make sense of a stream of new information, decision-making elites – to say nothing of average citizens – resort to the use of long-held stereotypes. As events in the Caucasus region in 2008 illustrated, when the crisis concerns Russia’s foreign policy behavior, stereotypes in the West that are applied to the situation are mostly negative. But in Russian popular consciousness, too, and sometimes even in the consciousness of political elites, stereotypes of the West can revert quickly back to cold war days – and even to earlier periods. It is not the whole gamut of images of the external world – ethnic, geographical, cultural, and other stereotypes – that automatically become reproduced but only foreign policy stereotypes. These images are of the policies of particular states; more precisely, they are representations of those states rather than their people or culture. To understand international politics better, then, it seems important to explain the existence over time of negative foreign policy stereotypes about the West in Russia and, conversely, about Russia in the West. These are not products of complex political plots or of purposeful propaganda but have developed over a lengthy period. Since the turn of the new century, studies of foreign policy stereotypes have become a central and dynamic feature of Russian historiography. In addition to research in political science and cultural studies, a considerable amount of mainstream historical research has been devoted to this topic. The image of Russia in the West – which in Russian consciousness usually encompasses the countries of Western and Central Europe together with North

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54  Aleksander V. Golubev America – has become the subject of extensive research. This image has been regularly redrawn over different eras and across different parts of the world. It is the constancy found in the traditional perspective which I wish to examine here in historical context. Western images of contemporary Russian foreign policy are based on the recognition that today’s Russian Federation is the successor state of not only the USSR but also the Russian empire, and even Muscovy Rus. Images of other post-Soviet republics began with a tabula rasa in 1991 – if only because the majority of them had never been independent states before or if they had experienced independence it was either a long time ago or for just a brief period. These caveats did not apply to Russia, which has in consequence inherited the sum of negative foreign policy stereotypes about its predecessors. Negative stereotypes in relations with the West The emergence of anti-Russian stereotypes can be traced back to the fifteenth century. A key factor responsible for their mainly negative character was the role played by Poland, that is, the Rech Pospolitaya – the union of the Polish Kingdom and Grand Duchy of Lithuania formed in 1569. Europe became familiar with Russia largely through the prism of Poland, even though European stereotypes of the time viewed Poland as a barbarous if nevertheless European and, what is most important, Catholic country. Poland competed with Muscovy Rus for control of the East European plain and it was determined to have the West on its side against Rus. But a more influential factor in the forming of stereotypes was the ‘opening of Russia’ to the first representatives of the West. All of them, irrespective of their motives and orientations towards Russia, were initially guided by an ‘antique matrix’ which assigned to the East the status of barbarian and corresponding hostility to Europe. As a result, from the outset the Other – Russia – was perceived as barbarian and hostile. In the era of Peter the Great Europe was disposed to treat the Russian state more sympathetically even if Russian culture continued to be viewed as barbarian. With some reservations, the West approved of Peter’s borrowings from European culture. Thus the architecture of the new city of Petersburg was praised, while its counterparts in pre-Petrine Russia were considered Asian and not artistic at all.

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Russian and European mutual perceptions  55 Russia’s growing presence in Europe, particularly after its victory over Napoleon, led to a Western backlash. Both cultural and political images of Russia became more negative. Russia was perceived not only as a backward and hostile state, but now as a state posing a direct threat to Europe. The Crimean War produced a further deterioration of Russia’s image. Before and during World War I the West’s relationship to Russia changed in tandem with tsarist Russia’s importance as an ally for the Entente. Initially, after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet Russia evoked keen interest and curiosity in the West. In the late 1920s and early 1930s the USSR offered Europe, which had been rocked by political and economic crises, a promising alternative. The USSR had entered a new phase of forced modernization that was generally viewed positively at the time by the West. Soviet cultural diplomacy also played a noteworthy part in eliciting Western support and influencing Western public opinion. The relatively benign perception of the Stalin regime dissipated, however, when the political repression of the late 1930s became known. It made the Soviet regime look weak, exemplified by the 1939 non-aggression pact signed by Germany and the USSR. Defeat of fascist Germany led to increased foreign policy leverage of the USSR. But the start of the cold war led to the reproduction of distrustful mutual foreign policy stereotypes between Russia and the West that had circulated since the sixteenth century and had never completely disappeared. It was only in the 1990s, when Russia no longer posed a threat to the West, that these traditional stereotypes faded into the background, though again they did not fully disappear. From Russia’s perspective few serious attempts were made in the West to revise the traditional image of the Russian state. Changes that took place affected the tone but not the essence of these perceptions. When Russian leaders argued for at least the partial restoration of its international status, it sparked a revival of old Western stereotypes. To be sure, Russia’s perception of the West also retained many negative stereotypes. Historically, representations of foreigners were shaped by the educational levels and social status of Russians. For the court nobility the experience of direct dialogue with foreigners and personal impressions of their trips abroad were crucial in forming images. For the general population information about the outside world

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came primarily in the form of rumors and legends. As one Russian observer put it, ‘In the protracted process of its oral transfer, an event not only acquired unreal details but quite often underwent a fundamental change in character depending on the representations, sympathies and expectations of the environment in which rumors were spread’ (Gromyko 1991: 209). Only in rare cases did eyewitnesses, typically retired soldiers, act as direct transmitters. Early historical images of Rus’ and Europe Chroniclers in ancient Russian literature tended to assume the role of ‘general’ observer without making a distinction between ‘our’ and ‘another’ ethnos. Such an approach has been termed global cultural syncretism. In its formative period Russia was viewed as part of the Universe but also part of the Christian world; the well-known chronicle ‘Travels of Abbot Daniel’ written in the twelfth century, which describes a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, stresses Russia’s indissoluble connection to the center of Christianity. But already here the reader notes the scornful treatment accorded Catholic clergy. Negative images about Catholics, derided as ‘mistaken in their belief and leading a dirty life’, were also found in Feodosiy Pechersky’s address to Grand Duke Izjaslav in the eleventh century (Monuments 1981: 471–89). Most significantly, in the majority of translated eschatological works originating in medieval Russia, paradise is located in the East and hell in the West. According to A. V. Kartashev, a leading historian of the Russian church, the main reason for negative attitudes of Russians toward the West, and to Catholicism in particular, was the influence of Byzantium. In his view, Greek Metropolitans in Russia fomented a condemnation of everything Latin (Kartashev 1993: 263–6). Regional differences affected attitudes to the West. Hostility was greater in northeastern Russia than in Kiev while the Novgorod state as well as Russian territories which were incorporated into the Rech Pospolitaya developed more interdependent relations with the West. Aleksander Nevsky’s grand strategy of union with the Great Horde and opposition to the West represented a continuation of the line of historical development pursued in the northeast. It exploited opposition to the West found here, which developed into a distinctive feature of northeast Russia that undergirded its statehood

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Russian and European mutual perceptions  57 and culture. In other regions of Russia a different combination of factors came into play, leading to development along the model of European feudalism. The strategy that eventually prevailed across Russia was that of the northeast. Over a span of eight centuries this approach appeared most effective in maintaining statehood and competing successfully for space and resources. In short, opposition to the West became an essential element of historical development. Arguments that the aversion to the West as an alien civilization had come to Russia from Byzantium are unconvincing, therefore. The Orthodox world’s aversion to its Catholic counterpart generated negative mythologization of the adversary; adherents of Catholicism felt the same way about Orthodoxy. These seemed natural descriptions of historical development (Golubev 1998: 53–67). Northeastern Russia’s alienation from the West was exacerbated by the Tatar invasion. In contrast to Khazars and Pechenegs, Tatars were regarded as a kind of divine scourge in Russian historical annals. For a long time the struggle against the Golden Horde and its successors had defined Russian historical development. Relations with neighboring countries had been cut and it was only after the middle of the fourteenth century and the defeat of the Golden Horde at the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 that cultural links with Europe – beginning with the Orthodox Balkan countries – were restored. A large number of new translations of sacred and secular texts appeared as part of this process. In 1439 a church congress in Florence proclaimed a union of eastern and western Christian churches. Russian Metropolitan Isidor, a supporter of the union, was an active participant at the conclave. In addition, travelers’ notes of other Russian participants at the congress offer the first known Russian descriptions of Western Europe. In one of them, written by the companion of Suzdal Bishop Avraamij, the reader finds a complete absence of negative attitudes about ‘Latins’. On the contrary, the anonymous author from Suzdal described the culture and lifestyles of Western countries in respectful terms and with a degree of naïve admiration. The Suzdal bishop himself wrote enthusiastically about a theatrical performance of evangelical mysteries. The authors of these works, we can conclude, were free of religious intolerance and bigotry and expressed a deep curiosity about the new world that had opened up to them (Book of ‘Khozsenia’ 1984: 334; Kazakova 1980: 42).

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In Russia itself, however, the signing of the Florentine union triggered a backlash. The Muscovy state had been asserting its political independence and, unlike Byzantium which feared a Turkish invasion, did not require help from the West. The proselytizing of the Catholic Church produced a reaction – to break from it. Isidor was forced to flee Russia and mistrust of the West increased. Russian culture was gradually cut off from the West again, this time over religious and ideological disagreements. The ‘Third Rome’ image After the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, the Greek Orthodox Church fell into decay. Moscow appeared as the spiritual successor of Byzantium – the so-called ‘Third Rome’. Its new status was enhanced by a legend current at that time about the origins of Vladimir – he was a descendant of the Roman emperor Augustus. The dynastic marriage in 1472 of Ivan III to Sofia Paleolog, niece of the last Byzantine emperor, together with the election of Isidor’s successor as Russian Metropolitan without the agreement of Constantinople, also signaled Russia’s apparent emergence as the Third Rome. From the end of the fifteenth century Russia considered itself as the one defender of Orthodoxy in the world – against both ‘infidels’ and ‘Latins’. News of the spread of the Reformation in the West elicited a negative reaction in Russia. Stories of the numerous ‘heresies’ plaguing Catholicism were treated as a sign of its weakness. AntiProtestant polemics also featured prominently in Russian discourse in the middle of the sixteenth century, with even Ivan the Terrible taking part in the campaign. In turn Catholic ecclesiastical leaders denounced Orthodoxy as a heresy which deserved obliteration. Jesuit priest Antonio Possevino held ‘conversations about faith’ with Ivan and members of the Russian clergy but they were not conducted as between equals. The result was an even wider schism. It was under these conditions that the policy of repudiating the Byzantine legacy in favor of Russian Orthodoxy appeared: ‘Russian national sentiment was directed against Byzantium, but it also encompassed the universal Orthodox heritage.’ The Russian Orthodox Church ‘cursed the West for the fact that it was the West’ (Shmeman 1985: 367–8).

Russian and European mutual perceptions  59

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Social classes and Western images In medieval Russian society interest in the external world and the ability to obtain even sketchy information about it were confined to a small part of the nobility, mainly connected with military or ambassadorial functions, with a few rich merchants who engaged in foreign trade (gosti), and with select representatives of the higher clergy. For a considerable part of the upper nobility, an overwhelming majority of the lower nobility, for nearly all clergy and merchants, as well as for the town and the rural people who made up over 90 percent of the population, the external world remained an arena of fantasy replete with myths and miracles. At the same time, it was of no interest from the point of view of everyday life other than the military conflicts that directly affected this or that region of Russia. Only with the reforms of Peter the Great was a significant part of the nobility able to get a European education and with it rational representations of the external world. The gap between the ‘educated classes’ and the ‘common people’ remained, however. Moscow society developed wider contacts with non-Orthodox Europe and from the start these interactions reflected uneasy and ambivalent relations. On the one hand, Moscow had been isolated from the West; autocracy had sought to restrict contacts with European countries as Western observers like Giles Fletcher became aware of: ‘to flee from here is a difficult task because the border is protected extremely vigilantly, and for punishment … there is a death penalty and confiscation of all property’ (Passing 1991: 71–2). On the other hand, there was an irrepressible interest in the West: the tsar received foreign ambassadors and merchants and held discussions with them. The highest social strata in Russia expressed great interest in the West and wished to learn of Western European life. It is more difficult to assess how ordinary Russians viewed the West at this time. The image of ‘Latins and Lutherans’ circulated widely in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries though it originated earlier. Commentary by foreign travelers, in particular about their contacts with Russian merchants, is illuminating. It pointed to three main attitudes: (1) an acute Russian aversion to and demonizing of the West; (2) a naïve belief noted by foreigners of Russians’ conviction of Moscow’s moral and legal superiority;

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60  Aleksander V. Golubev and (3) an unshakable confidence in Orthodoxy as the only religion of salvation, with others playing an exclusively harmful role. Knowledge about the political situation in Europe was generally poor not only among the broad masses but also among Moscow boyars (Kljuchevsky 1991: 46). This changed as contacts with the West increased and restrictions on overseas ambassadors and ‘visitors’ were eased. The narrative trying to connect the Rurik dynasty to Byzantine emperors and the pagan Roman emperor Octavius Augustus signaled how Russia wished to become a part not simply of the Orthodox community but the whole world. At the time of Boris Godunov and the early Romanovs, Russia sought to expand ties with the West. The economic and political logic undergirding the expansion of the Muscovy kingdom brought up the status of the Baltic Sea. Ivan the Terrible launched the Livonsky War of seaward expansion in the late sixteenth century which resulted in Russia’s traumatic defeat. The crisis that followed resulted in a Polish (Catholic) garrison occupying the Kremlin. The Muscovy kingdom appeared to be lost. This succession of events inflicted a terrible shock on Moscow. To many Russians it seemed that Western nations possessed vitally important knowledge, resources, and technologies that Russia did not. The struggle for the very survival of the Russian state depended on acquiring and mastering the achievements of Western civilization. Moscow’s political elite quickly drew conclusions from these setbacks. Boris Godunov ordered young Russian men to be dispatched to study in the West and taught his own son about the West. Foreigners commented with surprise on Moscow’s newfound ‘internationalism’ (see Anderson Collection). From the seventeenth century on, Russia began to open to the West. During this extended crisis the general population, too, learned more about Russia’s Western neighbors. They rejected attempts to introduce Polish values and customs during the reign of False Dmitrii I. They were dismayed by the ignorance and disrespect of foreigners towards Russian Orthodox ceremonies. They noted that these were not just foreigners but Catholics. Polish and Swedish intervention in Russia transformed the image of foreigners from enemies of the Orthodox faith to conquerors of Russian lands. At the same time state leaders realized that Russia needed to borrow from the achievements of the West. Western influence was channeled through merchants trading in major

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Russian and European mutual perceptions  61 Russian cities and competing with their local counterparts. A Russian army was assembled on the European model. An education system patterned on that of Poland, whose transmitters were natives of the recently unified Ukraine, was implemented as well. The historic turning point in relations with the West was, of course, the reign of Peter the Great. His Westernizing policies were launched with ‘the great embassy’ he himself undertook, followed by the sending of members of the nobility for training in Europe. In turn foreign experts of all backgrounds began to arrive in Russia. Change in lifestyles prompted by reform-minded imperial laws deepened the process of Westernization. The upper nobility developed new language skills and adopted European dress – the start to a stratification process that carried over into the twentieth century. Images of the West in flux The image of the West which emerged in a Westernizing society like Russia involved complex and sometimes contradictory processes. The French Revolution had extraordinary influence on early nineteenth-century America, Europe, and Russia. For a time tsarist Russia served as an ‘antidote’ to this influence; the dangerous revolutionary ideas spreading across Europe could be countered with Russian autocracy that provided a site of stability. At the same time the Napoleonic Wars, especially the war of 1812 and the Russian army’s European campaign which followed, substantially changed perceptions. The epic campaign of 1812 aroused interest in Russia among both its allies such as Britain and former adversaries such as France. During the nineteenth century Western Europe experienced gigantic industrialization which was accompanied by fundamental change in social and political life. By contrast Russia, under the reigns of Alexander I and Nicolas I, entered a period of protracted crisis of the old regime. Russia’s image of the West was shaped by the disjunction of external and domestic developments. The logic of modernization dictated the need for a rational vision. A rational mentality in which the West was seen as different, holding advantages and disadvantages, would replace a Manichaean world vision. The grandiose complex of the Third Rome was shattered. Russia reappeared as one part of a universal concert of nations and civilizations.

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62  Aleksander V. Golubev To be sure, a modernized image of the West came hard to popular culture. For starters, it was viewed as unnecessary to understand the West. Mythologization of the outside world depended on absence of information about it. Such ignorance, in turn, was the result of either lack of opportunities to gain such information or lack of interest. Historians repeatedly observed that the peasantry ‘are uninterested in the history of other people and do not like to learn about them’ (Buganov 1992: 171). In his ‘Letters from a village’ written in the 1870s, Engelgardt observed: ‘Peasants, at least in our district, are exceedingly ignorant in religious, political, economic, legal questions.’ He cited examples of humorous and simplistic representations of England and Germany employed by peasants (Engelgardt 1960: 216). Ethnographer Lur’e found that popular representations of Russia’s war with Turkey regarded the war as ‘not with Turkey but the power standing behind it’ – England. The war had occurred because England refused to recognize the Orthodox faith (Lur'e 1994: 142). In mass culture mythologization and demonization of the West remained commonplace. Russian popular culture continued to generate phobias and fears. For the peasantry in particular, to enter the world of urban culture was a pathway to death. This world was the world of werewolves and vampires, a deformed space in which good and evil, truth and lies, laws and crime were turned upside down. Even if it may have seemed self-evident, the phenomenon of popular aversion to Western culture was not acknowledged fully by historians and sociologists of the period. This central component of Russian culture remained insufficiently theorized, largely because it was an ‘inconvenient’ aspect of social reality. Consequently two cultures developed in Russian society – one focused on modernization on the Western model and the other on self-isolation. These competing images of the West were strikingly different in how they functioned and were disseminated. In a traditional society oral transfer was the guarantee of authenticity and truth. Traditional culture paid little heed to rational thought in comprehending events and instead introduced elements of fantasy. Whatever could not be experienced directly, traditional culture invoked old or new myths to explain. An illustration of how imagery of the outside world was constructed was the rumor circulating in 1839 that the heir to the Russian throne was to marry the daughter of the Sultan of Turkey.

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Russian and European mutual perceptions  63 To celebrate the event, the rumor had it, three Russian provinces were to be torched. In high culture the image of the West was formed in a very different way. Books, newspapers, magazines, Russian-language novels and translated ones, foreign editions of various publications, personal travels abroad, and conversations with foreigners living in Russia were synthesized into complex imagery. Here too oral communication had its place: rumors, stories, personal testimonies. But in high culture they supplemented and tested the image of the West. This image was a social product reflecting rational consciousness. While not altogether free of distortions and misperceptions, its rationality yielded a more accurate understanding of others and, simultaneously, an awareness of the historical and cultural alternatives Russia faced. After 1861, with the emancipation of serfs, this dualism of imagery began to change. The psychological and ideological preconditions for a rational appreciation of European – primarily urban – culture emerged across much of Russia. The end of serfdom spelled the introduction of novel, unconventional features in economic and social relations. The border separating rural life from the Westernizing world of city and manor vanished. The need for new skills, knowledge and abilities gave the peasantry opportunities to transcend the psychological inhibition on participation in what had been seen as irrational and threatening urban life. Furthermore the development of market relations made adherence to traditional culture a liability: it led to marginalization, produced impoverishment, and hindered personal development even as new lifestyles were emerging promising growth in personal incomes and upward socio-economic mobility. The West and the early Soviet state Modernization as a transition from traditional to industrial society encompasses multiple spheres: reform of the political system, greater socio-occupational mobility, urbanization, the spread of education, and the construction of a civil society. Changes in the system of values, which have deep cultural roots, also take place. In particular, ways of perceiving the outside world undergo a transformation. Typically these multiple processes have an evolutionary character: new visions of the world are formed among the intellectual and political elites, they are then gradually internalized by the middle

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64  Aleksander V. Golubev class and, finally, through policies promoting social reforms, the introduction of general education, and so on, they subsume the broad masses of the population. In the case of late nineteenth-century Russia this process had a distinctive character. Evolutionary development was slow-paced and in some spheres uneven. The development of a civil society in particular lagged behind progress in other spheres. At the turn of the twentieth century the result was revolutionary change. Traditional national stereotypes made way for views on geopolitical entities which were then converted into foreign policy stereotypes. Images of a German, Englishman, and Pole as folkloric characters were replaced by images of Germany, Great Britain, and Poland. Politicization of mass consciousness was accelerated by the political shocks of the early twentieth century. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War forced even those who had never been interested in politics to reexamine the place of Russia in the world. The revolution of 1905 and the political changes which followed, even at the village level, were transformative. Popular consciousness was affected further by the outbreak of the First World War. As the newspaper Moscow kopek observed on 19 January 1915, ‘the dim rural population has, like anybody else, become interested in the war. The newspaper that appears in the village is read and re-read several times until it gets tattered. They read it thoughtfully, working out the inner meaning of each line’ (quoted in Porshneva 2000: 110). During the war the West – divided into mortal enemies – began to arouse both interest and emotional engagement among Russians. Popular views of the war reflected largely anti-German sentiment and the formation of an enemy image was applied to Germany and its allies. By the end of the war this view had been modified by spontaneous, widespread hostility towards the Allies. World War I served as prologue to dramatic events which occurred inside Russia: the overthrow of the Romanov dynasty, the establishment of the Russian republic, the Bolshevik Revolution, civil war, foreign intervention. These events produced deep social, political, cultural, and psychological shocks. The success of the Revolution led to greater mythologization, especially evident during the existence of the totalitarian system which reached its apex between the 1930s and early 1950s. This regime was distinctive in two ways. First, it tended to exercise near total control over people’s activities and even their

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Russian and European mutual perceptions  65 thoughts and emotions. Second, while similar regime types have had the ability to mobilize mass support, its Russian variant enlisted broad sectors of society to strive for global goals having national value. As its national purpose, the Stalinist regime advanced a program to modernize the country. Its chief features were rapid industrialization, a revolutionary transformation of agriculture and land ownership, and a cultural revolution. In the long term this modernization process weakened the influence of mythological consciousness but that only became apparent later, in its terminal stages. Unlike authoritarian regimes, totalitarianism had no wish to keep people out of politics; on the contrary, politicization of social consciousness was accelerated. Already in the first years after the Revolution an unprecedented propaganda machine was set up to disseminate an ideologically biased picture of the outside world. In official mythology the world was as an arena of struggle between the forces of progress, embodied in Communist and working-class movements, and the forces of reaction. The victory of progressive forces was treated as inevitable as the second coming of Christ was for religious believers. Both the existential experience of society under this regime and the elaborate system of agitation and propaganda shaped popular perceptions of the outside world as a tangible fearful force. After the civil war and outside intervention in the country, the West acquired the image of an external ‘dark’ zone located outside of russified lands where forces hostile to humanity congregated. The world in general appeared menacing: a military threat and a threat to Russia’s political order. But for some scattered groups it also represented a potential agent of positive change. This was the position of opponents of the Soviet system who hoped that outside forces would free the country from Bolshevik oppression. But even some supporters of the Soviet system saw the West as a source of foodstuffs and technical aid for a needy Russia. In this view the West could be recruited as an ally to wage war against common enemies: hunger, disease, the forces of nature, backwardness. It was even seen as a force that could pressure the Soviet government to abandon some of its failed programs: collectivization, religious persecution, the centrally planned economy, and so on. But such hopeful interpretations of the West’s role were constantly crushed by the reality of the state propaganda machine, which made

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66  Aleksander V. Golubev skillful use of mythological consciousness. For one cultural studies scholar, ‘embedded in the nature of mythological consciousness is the symmetric model of the world/anti-world. According to it, the “other” world is understood as the modal native culture turned inside out.’ At the same time the West ‘appeared as one of the key concepts … in relation to which Soviet society was structured’ (Yakovenko 1998: 61). In other words, the West was represented as the standard with which the USSR compared itself. The image of the border developed into a vital component of social consciousness. Propaganda stereotypes of the hostile capitalist environment meant that frontiers had to be locked down – both for ‘entry’ and ‘exit’. The sacred character of the border as separating two absolutely different worlds was embedded in both elite and popular consciousness. By contrast, the ideal of technological progress on the model of the West continued to have appeal. Industrial technologies and the cultural and customary practices associated with them were assigned a sacred status. In the 1920s and early 1930s Russian newspapers listed examples of the superior organization of industry and agriculture in developed capitalist countries. However, these reports had an unintended effect on the general public. Representations of the West as apparently enjoying higher living standards were interpreted, for example by the peasantry, as indicating that the home of the average American farmer ‘is clean, has a piano and violin in it, the farmer’s family eats a lot of meat, and these peasants are richer than our richest’ (Yakovenko 1998: 63). Other unintentional effects of propaganda on popular images can be cited. For example, ideological stress on the international solidarity of the proletariat and the revolutionary mood in Europe led to expectations that world revolution was near. This was accompanied by popular bewilderment that the USSR was not taking measures to accelerate it. After hearing official reports on the economic situation in Europe many Communist Party cells concluded: ‘Taking into account the presence of crisis and the precondition to revolution, we should ask the Comintern to unite the world proletariat and overthrow the world bourgeoisie as soon as possible’ (Golubev 2009: 153). The question whether ‘public opinion’ existed in the USSR in the 1920s and 1930s is debatable. The Soviet leadership, and especially Stalin, liked to refer to it when conducting international

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Russian and European mutual perceptions  67 negotiations. A more accurate term in place of public opinion, which did not have the conditions to emerge, might be the ‘public mood’. Citizens could not help but react to events they learned were taking place in the world. At times inferences were drawn about the outside world based on information about domestic politics. In the late 1920s and early 1930s the export of bread abroad was given as the main reason for food shortages. Soviet propagandists drew the incredible conclusion that, since Russian bread was being sold to the West, there had to be plenty of it in Russia and little of it in the West. The Stalinist state and stereotypes When the Soviet Constitution was enacted in 1936 it was accompanied by a fanfare of propaganda highlighting the advantages of the Soviet way of life. As one ordinary Moscow voter once put it, ‘in no other country are there elections like in the USSR. In the capitalist countries workers don’t participate in elections, only capitalists vote and are allowed to vote. For a trifling salary workers work day and night for the capitalist. We women will actively participate in the elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, while abroad women have no right to vote or have their voice counted.’ As if in rebuttal of her comments, inhabitants of the Kaluga district declared in July 1936 how ‘The words inserted into the Constitution about freedom of speech and the press seem to be worth nothing. Abroad, for example in England and America, there really is freedom of the press, while with us there is only one party, which is the government and everything else’ (Golubev 2008: 208). Alongside official Soviet stereotypes of the West coexisted diametrically opposite, oversimplified representations of it. A dominant image in popular consciousness was the West as a world of material abundance where any problems were quickly solved. Such a positive image was embedded across different social classes. The overwhelming majority of the population of the country played a purely passive role in the construction of foreign policy stereotypes: it could only choose between different myths. Let us recall that in 1939 only 81 percent of the population was literate, just 8 percent had a secondary education, and 0.6 percent had higher education (All-Union Population Census 1992: 39, 49). Yet

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68  Aleksander V. Golubev from various accounts it was evident that, even in remote villages, people hungered for news about international events. How foreign policy stereotypes were formed at this time is an important methodological question. The Gallup group had already begun polling work in the US in 1935, in Britain in 1937, and in France in 1939. The surveys it regularly conducted touched on many issues including foreign policy. Nothing similar took place in the USSR. Reports about popular ‘moods’, compiled by the state secret police (OGPU) and Communist Party bodies, subsumed random samples. Whatever survey data were presented were of dubious quality and objectivity. Nevertheless it is possible to suggest that an incomplete and skewed picture of the external world had emerged in the consciousness of Soviet society during the 1920s and 1930s. By the end of the 1930s the majority of the population had in some measure internalized the stereotypes disseminated in official propaganda. But in their private conversations members of practically all social groups regularly expressed views at odds with official stereotypes. Significantly, young people expressed a greater degree of trust in Soviet propaganda, as data from the Harvard project show (Kodin 2003: 127). Post-war Russia The Second World War produced major changes in Russian representations of the outside world. The ‘peace idea’ expressed in the saying ‘if only there was no war’ became the equivalent of a national idea for the peoples of the USSR, above all Russians. The cooperation that developed in the anti-Nazi international coalition marked a new stage of relations between the USSR and Western powers. The experience of wartime cooperation triggered changes in official propaganda. In addition, some of the personal contacts that Soviet citizens had made with Allied forces exerted an influence on construction of images of the West. Personal impressions of Europe in 1944–5 brought back by Soviet troops contrasted sharply with Soviet reality and differed starkly from the depressing pictures of Western life painted by the official propaganda. Not for the first time in Russia’s history was a victorious foreign campaign the trigger for major changes in social consciousness at home.

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Russian and European mutual perceptions  69 In the immediate post-war years Soviet authorities sought to minimize the impact of familiarity with Western everyday life that many Soviet citizens had acquired. It was this calculation that informed the ideological campaigns of the late 1940s and early 1950s, including the ‘struggle against cosmopolitism’. But such efforts had only a limited and temporary effect. In the next stage, from the end of the 1950s up to 1985, obstacles to international dialogue were gradually removed. Many Soviet citizens formed informal contacts with foreigners, leading to growth in mutual trust. Informal public organizations multiplied and elements of a civil society were put into place. This together with the availability of alternative sources of information about the Western world led to gradual erosion of official foreign policy stereotypes. As described earlier, such stereotypes steadily gave way to ones of a cultural nature. Now, for example, Italy triggered associations not with Mussolini and fascism but with Fellini and Dante; England – not with Chamberlain or Churchill, but with Shakespeare, football and the Beatles; and so on. A better educated Soviet population partly accounted for this shift in stereotyping, but it was not only this. Soviet society was increasingly exposed to the external world in subtle and sustained ways. More films, books, and exhibitions by or about the West became available. A steadily increasing number of Soviet people traveled abroad either as tourists or on business trips. The result was, on the one hand, more accurate information about life in the West and, on the other, the substitution of an old myth – the 1930s myth of the West as an ‘anti-world’ – by an opposite one – the newly encountered West as a fantastic world where everything wasn’t just different but better than in Russia. Fear of war continued to dominate social consciousness. The illusions of pre-war times about an imminent peace dissipated. The prospective enemy was identified as the United States, NATO, or the West as a whole. A hypothetical future war was almost universally seen as catastrophic. The principal adversary was identified as the US followed by Germany, then other NATO members. These perceptions were supported in official propaganda. After 1985 a complicated, inconsistent, but seemingly irreversible process of eliminating the negative stereotypes brought about by the cold war took place in both the West and the USSR. New foreign policy priorities were hammered out, though some biased

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70  Aleksander V. Golubev tendencies remained. Mutual images of the West and Russia were shaped by the attempts to establish a balance of global and national interests. To be sure, the notion of civilized states used in the West continued to exclude the Soviet Union and after its collapse Russia. The latter viewed the West, in turn, largely in utilitarian terms: as a source of credit, investment, and humanitarian aid – in short, as the engine for swiftly raising the standard of living in Russia. Perestroika in the 1980s produced another reverse in popular perceptions. Some traditional stereotypes demonizing the West – even ones reminiscent of the Middle Ages – were revived. These were usually directed at the US, the one remaining superpower of the 1990s, which was accused of triumphalism and unilateralism. However an examination of numerous sociological polls from the 1990s–2000s leads to an important finding. The reverse applied only to certain issues linked primarily to control over post-Soviet space. They produced foreign policy stereotypes while leaving aside cultural ones, which were left to the individual to compose. The explanatory power of construction of stereotypes The study of images of the West in the twentieth century in Soviet and Russian society leads to the following conclusions. At the beginning of the century the educated elite often knew foreign languages, had access to Western cultural production, and travelled abroad. It adopted primarily cultural stereotypes of the West. Among those who had limited cultural contacts or interests, foreign policy stereotypes were most popular. Among the rest of the population ethnic stereotypes prevailed. During the Soviet era cultural and ethnic stereotypes were replaced by foreign policy ones. On the one hand the size of the cosmopolitan elite shrunk, but on the other mass education increased and with it access to and interest in information about the outside world. In the post-Soviet period that part of the population which had an interest in and contact with the outside world shifted their frames from foreign policy stereotypes to cultural ones. While both foreign policy and ethnic stereotypes retained their influence, they were now supplemented with personal experience. On the basis of these image-shifting trends, what inferences can we draw about future stereotypes of the West? The probability is that positive images of the West will increase, but they will be shaped not

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Russian and European mutual perceptions  71 just by prevailing stereotypes but by real-world events together with a better understanding of what Russian national interests are. Most probably, in the future Russian society will be guided not by an image that, for example, America is Russia’s enemy or friend but by the calculation of the results America’s behavior will have for Russia. The availability of multiple sources of information producing manysided perspectives will leave citizens unencumbered by emotional or semantic biases. The process of dismantling old stereotypes as well as the West shedding its mythological character will accelerate as state propaganda machinery vanishes, sources of information are diversified, generational change takes place and personal contacts expand. But this does not signify that the ‘laws of perception’ of Others, with attendant stereotyping, will disappear altogether. This historical account has not provided an answer to the question to what degree it is possible to be freed from longstanding stereotypes. Not employing stereotypes in thought processes cannot be achieved. But in professional work their influence can be reduced to a minimum. As for popular consciousness, use of stereotypes is likely to persist. The process of the emergence, transformation, and reproduction of stereotypes in Russian society will continue. Representations of Others will remain differentiated, conflicted, and controversial. Bibliography All-Union Population Census of 1939 (1992) Vsesojuznaja perepis’ naselenija 1939 goda: Osnovnye itogi, Moscow: Nauka. Anderson Collection (undated) ‘Perceptions of Russia, 1525–1917’, Senate House Library, University of London, http://www.ull.ac.uk/specialcollections/ anderson/andersondisplay.shtml. Book of ‘Khozsenia’ (1984) ‘Notes of Russian travelers XI–XV centuries’, Monuments of the literature of ancient Russia, Pamjatniki literatury Drevnej Rusi: XIV–seredina XV, Moscow: Hudojestvena Literatura. Buganov, A. V. (1992) Russkaja istorija v pamjati krest’jan XIX veka i nacional’noe samosoznanie, Moscow: Institute of Ethnography and Anthropology. Engelgardt, A. H. (1960) Iz derevni: 12 pisem. 1872–1887. Moscow: Selhozizdat. Golubev, A. V. (ed.) (1998) Rossija i Zapad: Formirovanie vneshnepoliticheskih stereotipov v soznanii rossijskogo obshhestva pervoj poloviny XX veka, Moscow: Institute of Russian History. Golubev, A. V. (2008) ‘Jetalon, antimir, al’ternativa? Zapad v predstavlenijah sovetskogo obshhestva’, Istorik i hudozhnik, 1–2, pp. 191-220.

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72  Aleksander V. Golubev Golubev, A. V. (2009) Revoljucija v inokul’turnyh predstavlenijah rossijskogo obshhestva: Grazhdanogenez v Rossii (vol. 1), Bryansk: Kursiv. Gromyko, M. M. (1991) Mir russkoj derevni, Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya. Kartashev, A. V. (1993) Ocherki po istorii russkoj cerkvi (vol. 1), Moscow: TERRA. Kazakova, H. A. (1980) Zapadnaya evropa v russkoi pismennosti XV-XVI stoletia: iz istorii mezsdunarodnych kulturnych sviazei rossii. Leningrad: Nauka. Kljuchevsky, V. O. (1991) Skazanija inostrantsev o moskovskom gosudarstve, Moscow: Promety. Kodin, E. (1993) Garvardskij proekt, Moscow: Rosspen. Lur’e S. (1994) Metamorfozy tradicionnogo soznanija, St Petersburg: Tipografiia Imeni Kotliakova. Monuments of the Literature of Ancient Russia (1980) Pamjatniki literatury Drevnej Rusi: XII vek, Moscow: Hudozsestvennaya Literatura. Monuments of the Literature of Ancient Russia (1981) Pamjatniki literatury Drevnej Rusi: XIV–seredina XV, Moscow: Hudozsestvennaya Literatura . Rogosszin, N. M. (ed.) Passing across Moscow (1991) Proezzhaja po Moskovii: Rossija XVI-XVII vekov glazami diplomatov, Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye Otnoshenia. Porshneva, O. S. (2000) Mentalitet i social’noe povedenie rabochih, krest’jan i soldat Rossii v period pervoj mirovoj vojny (1914–mart 1918 g.), Ekaterinburg: UrO RAN. Shmeman, A. (1985) Istoricheskij put’ pravoslavija, Paris: IMCA-Press. Yakovenko, I. G. et al (1998) Rossija i Zapad. Formirovanie vneshnepoliticheskih stereotipov v soznanii rossijskogo obshhestva pervoj poloviny XX veka, Moscow: Institute of Russian History.

6 Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s Redefining Russian identity in official political discourse Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 20:40 14 March 2017

Olga Malinova One of the many problems that Russia had to confront with the collapse of the USSR and subsequent economic and political transformation was a ‘crisis of identity’. The dramatic changes in both external environment and internal social structure entailed social and mental shifts. Russia appeared as a new state with altered borders and transformed institutions and value orientations that had to redefine its status in world politics and identify its friends and foes. Debates over appropriate national strategies to pursue in this unstable context were converted into a fierce discursive struggle. The ‘crisis of identity’ might be interpreted as a result not only of the new circumstances that made the question ‘who are we?’ urgent, but also of the bitter conflict over different conceptualizations of the new collective identity (Malinova 2009b). Between 2000 and 2007, spanning the first two presidential terms of Vladimir Putin, the ruling elite made efforts to come to ‘a consensus about common aims’ (Putin 2000) in order to consolidate Russian society and make its collective self-conceptualization more functional. Some scholars of Russian politics argue that these efforts have brought noteworthy results (Godzimirski 2008; Casula 2010), while others focus on unresolved problems (Kaspe 2009; Zvereva 2009; Malinova 2010). What is certain is that Putin left his successor with a richer legacy in collective identity construction than had his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin. This achievement was recorded by using a variety of political means, among which ‘symbolic policy’ aiming at the construction and promotion of a particular model of collective identity played a significant part. This chapter focuses on this aspect of Russian politics in the 2000s and addresses the issue of discursive construction of a macro-political community that constitutes the new Russian state.

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74  Olga Malinova In Russian political discourse this community is conceptualized by different terms: ‘multi-national people’, ‘nation’, ‘citizens of Russia’, rossijane or russkie (civic or ethnic/cultural versions of Russianness respectively), and so on. This terminological controversy reveals the cognitive and ideological conflict that has contributed to the ‘crisis of identity’. The long-established practice of construction of Russian identity vis-à-vis ‘the West’ in some ways has enabled unresolved issues to be evaded: a focus on the external Other not only assumes that the community that ‘stands behind’ the Russian state has already emerged as a ‘normal nation’, but it also makes it possible to ‘overlook’ its own inner cultural, social, ethnic and religious heterogeneity. Since it is central to Russia’s search for its place in the world, discourse about collective self-identification visà-vis ‘the West’ also becomes an integral part of the broader process of redefinition of the macro-political community that took place with post-Soviet transformation. In this chapter I analyze the practices of discursive construction of the collective identity of the community constituting the new Russian state by relating it to the Other that is commonly described as ‘the West’. The term might have different connotations if connected to a different cultural and geopolitical notion – that of Europe. The latter may be used either as a synonym for ‘the West’ or as designating its integrative role which can be contrasted to the other constituting element – the US. This distinction is also important given that Russia is usually seen as forming a part of Europe, though in varying ways; perceiving it as being part of the West has been more problematic. The tradition of Russian collective identity For a long time the Europe and ‘the West’ dyad has been an important reference point for self-identification of Russia. Generations of Russian intellectuals were involved in long-running debates about ‘our’ relation to Europe. These debates constituted a continuing discourse that influenced the development of Russian culture in many ways: it was a cradle for Russian philosophy, a laboratory for analysis of Russian social and political institutions, a school for the maturing of the Russian intelligentsia. Above all, it was a discourse about collective identity in which different interpretations of political and cultural community that constituted the Russian state competed

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Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s  75 with each other. Of course, Europe or ‘the West’ represented not only Other for Russia; but as a result of a relatively stable set of geopolitical, cultural and economic factors, this juxtaposition was largely fixed and pivotal. From the middle of the nineteenth century the structure of discourse about collective identity was determined by the opposition between two competing interpretations of Russia: either as a relatively ‘backward’ but quickly developing part of Europe, or as a society that is fundamentally different from ‘the West’ and destined to follow ‘its own way’, supposedly allowing it to get over problems intrinsic to the European path of development. This binary opposition took shape in the controversy between Westernizers and Slavophiles in the 1840s, and was reproduced under different labels until the 1890s. Then it ceased to be central to public debate but it never totally disappeared: it represented a constant frame of reference in the discourse about Russian/Soviet collective identity. At the end of the twentieth century the dichotomous approach to collective identity became salient again and served as one of the major ideological watersheds in discussions about post-Soviet transition. This dichotomy, it should be emphasized, never exhausted the whole range of interpretations contained in this discourse; there always were middle-ground positions. But the problem of collective selfidentification and Europe was generally perceived through the lens of an opposition of two camps. These competing camps have had different historical labels, but in characterizing the contemporary oppositions I use the terms ‘Westernism’ (zapadnichestvo) and ‘Nativism’ (pochvennichestvo). Collective identity signifies a set of frames, that is, established cognitive models of representation and perception of social reality that shape the concept of ‘Us’, usually in correspondence with some ‘Others’. The collective identity proposed by Putin and his administrative staff and further developed by Dmitri Medvedev in his single term as president has brought innovations to this long tradition. I analyze different representations of Russia and the West/ Europe/the US by considering key speeches of Putin and Medvedev. Then I suggest how they fit into contemporary public debates about identity. Speeches, declarations, press conferences, interviews, and published articles by Putin and Medvedev form a large body of texts in which the topic of ‘Russia and the other world’ is approached from

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76  Olga Malinova numerous perspectives. While it is not possible to examine all the topics raised in these texts, I identify the most prominent frames of representation of the images of Russia and ‘the West’ in the rhetoric of these two Russian presidents. As the basis for analysis I consider eleven presidential addresses they delivered to the Federal Assembly (all listed in the references section at the end of the chapter). These programmatic documents capture different stages in political development and usually become a matter of public discussion. They have a relatively permanent structure, cover the major aspects of current political direction, and are well suited for quantitative and qualitative analysis. The results of my analysis of presidential addresses are complemented by observations about other seminal texts. The analysis focuses on those fragments of the presidential addresses that include direct or indirect references to ‘Us’ and ‘the Others’ which fall under the rubric of ‘the West’. I describe the frames used for representation of ‘Us’ and ‘the Other’ and subsequently compare them with competing models of collective identity that structured the long discourse about Russia and ‘the West’ in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Malinova 2008a, 2009a). Perceptions of the Other have a complex structure and perform different functions. It is useful, then, to apply German Diligensky’s distinction between foreign policy-related and ‘existential’ aspects of images of the West in Russian discourse. The first aspect reflects the relationship to ‘the West’ viewed as the most important part of the environment. It is closely related to the current situation in the international system. The second aspect is connected with problems of ‘civilizational’ identification of Russia and an assessment of the measure of suitability of Western models for Russian society. According to Diligensky, these two aspects are interrelated but also relatively autonomous insofar as they are in different measure dependent on a Weltanschauung or on pragmatic considerations. For this reason the dynamics of their development differ (Diligensky 2002: 87–8). I am more interested in ‘existential’ aspects of representation of ‘the West’ as well as in shifts in the balance between Weltanschauung and pragmatic approaches. Two models of the West After several decades in which official Soviet discourse was dominated by a perceived relationship with ‘the West’ anchored in class struggle,

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Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s  77 the perestroika years returned to a focus on the opposition between ‘Westernism’ and ‘anti-Westernism’ (or various versions of national fundamentalism) and again served as one of the major ideological watersheds. The camp of contemporary ‘Westernizers’ consists mainly of liberal politicians and public intellectuals. The ranks of modern ‘anti-Westernizers’ are more diverse: among them are representatives of both the left and the right; Russian nationalists and advocates of imperial projects; critics of the Soviet regime and those who feel nostalgia for the USSR; faithful Orthodox Christians and those who use religious ideals pragmatically. The differences between these segments of the political spectrum are so significant that they can only be construed as a single ‘camp’ because of their ‘anti-Westernist’ tendency – which includes both opposition to the ‘Westernist’ political course of the early 1990s and critical attitudes towards ‘the West’. During the 1990s discourse about collective self-identification of Russia was dominated by two opposing models of representation of ‘the West’. The essence of the ‘Westernist’ representation of the Significant Other is captured in the formula: ‘The West is the Other that is worth taking as an example’. In ‘Westernist’ eyes, ‘the West’ appeared as an embodiment of the ideals of liberty and democracy, as a highly developed society, the experience of which should be taken into consideration, if only for pragmatic reasons. Of course, the ‘Westernizers’ of the 1990s were aware of the particularities of Russian culture and history and they argued for a selective approach to ‘the Western’ experience, though their opponents preferred to ignore this qualified approach to the ‘West’. The dominant trait in the portrait of ‘the West’ rendered by ‘anti-Westernists’ may be summed up by the phrase: ‘The West is the inimical Other’. According to this representation by ‘antiWesternists’, ‘the West’ strives to impose its system of values on Russia in order to weaken it. ‘The West’ shamelessly uses double standards to further its own interests. To be sure, ‘the West’ was recognized as the technological leader and the symbol of high living standards, but these traits had negative connotations: the prosperity of ‘the West’ was declared to be a result of harsh exploitation of the rest of mankind by ‘the golden milliard’ (Malinova 2009a: ch. 4). The frames of representation of the Significant Other by ‘Westernizers’ and ‘anti-Westernizers’ were obviously mirror images of each other.

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78  Olga Malinova The image of ‘the West’ constructed in Putin’s speeches between 2000 and 2007 does not correspond to either of these models. Instead it contains elements that are taken from both of them. The rhetoric of Putin’s presidential addresses is explicitly pragmatic and avoids clichés typical of ‘Westernist’/‘anti-Westernist’ discourses. It is remarkable that Putin practically never uses the term ‘the West’ as a collective name; even the term ‘Western Europe’ was used just once in his addresses, in a strictly geographical sense, in the context of a comparison of life expectancies in Russia and other countries. When referring to Russia’s place in the world Putin defines the countries traditionally perceived as ‘the West’ in descriptive terms such as ‘the community of the most developed states’, ‘countries with highly developed economies’, ‘strong, economically advanced and powerful states of the world’, and so on. This terminological choice is not random: it appears to reflect the desire of Putin and his speechwriters to avoid use of words with negative connotations, thus demonstrating an unbiased and open-minded approach to assessing the Other and getting away from the ‘old’ repertoire of meanings. This method has brought noteworthy results. In Putin’s addresses the Other is endowed with concrete positive traits: it is represented as ‘powerful’, ‘economically advanced’, and ‘influential’. Since they are deprived of geographical attributes these characteristics are not exclusive to ‘the West’. Russia can also acquire them either in the future (in the logic of the frame that is typical for the ‘Westernist’ model) or even today – if it has not done so in the past (the frame salient to the model of collective self-identification that was constructed and promoted by Putin and his ideologues). The new terminology allows Putin to replace the traditional bipolar model (Russia versus the West) with a continuum. The border between ‘Us’ and ‘the Other’ becomes contingent. In certain aspects Russia might be simultaneously ‘the same’ as its Other (potentially or already); in other areas it may differ significantly. The measure of similarity or difference depends on the choice of which scale to use and how concrete the factors included are. No less important is how the Other is criticized. Negative assessments in Putin’s addresses usually take the form of impersonal sentences: ‘our efforts to rid Russia of dangers sometimes are interpreted in a biased way’ (2000), ‘strengthening of our statehood is sometimes consciously interpreted as authoritarianism’ (2004), ‘not everybody likes the stable advancing development of our

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Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s  79 country’ (Putin 2007b). Criticism is based on observable behavior and not supposedly constant and ‘natural’ characteristics of the Other. As a result, ‘our’ discontent with the Other does not preclude the opportunity for dialogue. In Putin’s presidential addresses the Other is regularly represented as partner in a competitive game. He often emphasizes that Russia should comply with rules of the game: ‘strict competition is a norm in the international community’, ‘nobody is going to quarrel with us in the modern world but nobody is particularly expecting anything from us’ (nikto nas osobenno i ne zhdiot) (Putin 2002); we should ‘stand behind our economic interests as all other countries in the world do and we should use our competitive advantages’ (Putin 2007b). In this context disagreement is natural and cannot be interpreted as hostility. From 2003, however, irritation with what was seen as unfair behavior by the Other became more salient in Putin’s addresses: our partners are not ashamed to use their ‘obvious economic advantages’ to ‘increase their geopolitical ambitions’ (Putin 2003); they do not like ‘to deal with an independent, strong and self-confident Russia’ (Putin 2004); they use negotiations over Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization as ‘a tool for bargaining about issues that have nothing to do with this organization’ (Putin 2006); they ‘forget about the struggle for human rights and democracy whenever their own interests are at stake’ (Putin 2006); they ‘use pseudodemocratic ideology … to return to the recent past’ (Putin 2007b). When this critical tone enters official discourse, the image of the Partner acquires the traits of a non-amicable, even hostile, Other. On the other hand, discontent about the Other’s behavior in Putin’s addresses is often moderated by references to the circumstances that caused it to emerge: ‘it is difficult to find common language’ because of ‘the difficult consequences of the cold war’ (Putin 2000); ‘not everybody in the world was able to get away from stereotypes of bloc thinking and biases that we have inherited from that period of global confrontation’ (Putin 2006). Finally, ‘the unexploded shells’ of the cold war (Putin 2007b) are a shared problem that Russia is ready to solve together with its partners. Besides direct critique, Putin’s addresses include references to the ‘objective’ difficulties of improvement in international relations. They identify the principles of international relations that Russia considers appropriate today. These references could be interpreted

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80  Olga Malinova as indirect critique of the Other: they point out the need to discuss principles when they are not complied with or when there are divergent interpretations. In psychological terms, such a way of representing our resentment is opportune: instead of criticizing the shortcomings of the Other, the emphasis is on differing views of problems and solutions, thereby demonstrating not purely negative emotions about a partner’s behavior but also a readiness for constructive dialogue. To sum up, Putin constantly emphasizes that Russia and the members of ‘the community of the most advanced countries’ play the same game. But as soon as he returns to direct or indirect critique of their behavior (especially after 2003), the stereotypical image of ‘the West’ as the Other which refuses to view Russia as ‘similar’ and to engage it on an equal footing becomes more palpable. Putin’s innovations on collective identity In Putin’s addresses representation of Russia as similar and equal to other ‘powerful, economically advanced and influential states of the world’ is the major frame for collective self-identification vis-àvis ‘the West’. It constitutes his major innovation when compared to the models of collective identity that dominated Russian public discourse in the 1990s. The idea of Russia’s similarity to its Significant Other traditionally employed the metaphor of pupilhood: multiple variants of ‘Westernism’ explained the differences between Russia and ‘the other Europe’ by invoking its supposed backwardness. They tended to represent it as a ‘young’ and ‘talented pupil’ who succeeds quickly. This metaphor allows Russia to be fixed not only in terms of similarity (its ‘success’), but also differences (its ‘backwardness’). It is significant that Putin’s addresses refer to both aspects of this metaphor. On the one hand, he records the fact that the distance between Us and the Other has been cut: progress in integration into the world economy (Putin 2001, 2002), status of ‘full-fledged member of the Club of Eight made up of the most advanced states in the world’ (Putin 2003), and so on. On the other hand, Putin critically acknowledges differences that do not yet allow Russia to be equated with the ‘advanced states’: the existence of an economic lag that ‘pushes Russia down to the level of third world countries’ (Putin 2000), and the need to overcome this lag (Putin 2002). Though such statements are uncommon, the descriptive terms

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Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s  81 used for comparisons between Russia and its Other emphasize the relative character of these differences. Still, the metaphor of ‘pupilhood’ implies a hidden trap. As Iver Neumann has argued, the notion of Russia as pupil supposes that it increasingly becomes more similar to Us and simultaneously develops into less ‘other’ (Neumann 1999: 107). If that is the case, then the question arises how long distinctions may continue to be viewed as constitutive traits. As Neumann persuasively demonstrates, the discourse of European identity holds differences between Europe and Russia to be temporal rather than spatial. That is, Russia is seen as a country that is always at a certain stage of Europeanization (Neumann 1999: 111). When needed, discourse redefines the context in order to maintain this image of Russia. It is important to ask, then, whether such an approach fits the strategy of Russia itself? The model of collective self-identification constructed in the speeches of Putin suggests a categorically negative answer to this question. Its central aspect is the claim for actual (not only potential) similarity between Russia and ‘the most advanced states in the world’. In Putin’s addresses this claim was substantiated not only by referring to recent achievements – membership in the G-8, significant economic development, etc. – and cooperation in an antiterrorist coalition. He also iterated the European identity of Russia (Putin 2005), recognition of ‘our contribution to the development of an all-European and world culture’ (Putin 2007b), and emphasis on the ‘civilizational mission’ of Russia ‘on the Euro-Asian continent’ (Putin 2005). Furthermore, Putin highlighted how the problems that Russia faces today are familiar to other countries (Putin 2000, 2006). Finally, ‘our responsibility for countermeasures against global threats is on a par with those of the leading world powers’ (Putin 2006). Putin has emphasized not only the similarity between Russia and its Significant Other but also its distinctiveness and self-dependence in the realization of its interests and the development of common ideals with the other ‘advanced and democratic states’. The outline of the idea that subsequently was developed into the concept of sovereign democracy was included in Putin’s very first address to the Federal Assembly. He stated: ‘Democratic arrangements of the country and openness of the new Russia to the world do not contradict our originality (samobytnost’ [a key term found in the nineteenth century vocabulary of the Slavophiles]) and patriotism, and they do not preclude the search for our own answers to the

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82  Olga Malinova problems of spirituality and morality’ (Putin 2000). It is significant that in the official transcript of the address this phrase was italicized. Its weight becomes clearer in the context of continuous debates about collective self-identification vis-à-vis ‘the West’. Historically, ‘democratic arrangements’ and ‘openness to the world’ were elements of a ‘Westernist’ model of collective selfidentification that asserted similarity between Russia and the Other, Europe. It included acknowledgement of Russia’s originality, though this was interpreted in ways different from ‘Nativist’ models. The ‘Westernist’ one suggests that sooner or later Russia will catch up with ‘the West’ and will move along ‘the same path’ though in a manner of its own. In addition, ‘originality’ as well as ‘a search for our own answers’ were attributes of the ‘Nativist’ model that emphasized the principal differences between Russia and Western Europe. This model insisted that the ‘Western way of development’ is completely inappropriate for Russia and that it should progress in ‘its own way’. In the logic of this discourse, to accept the values associated with ‘the West’ means to accept the goal of overtaking it and not merely becoming its equal: ‘The assertion of our originality and self-dependence is possible only by switching to a different scale of values in which our distinctions become evident advantages’ (Malinova 2005). Putin’s innovation has consisted in an attempt to combine frames that seemed incompatible: on the one hand, adherence to the ideals that are declared by ‘the community of the most advanced countries’ and that are a central element of the collective auto-stereotype of ‘the West’; on the other, insistence on the ‘originality’ of Russia that could be the basis for claims about ‘our own way’, which reflect common aims and assessment of results employing a scale not imposed from outside. The success of this model obviously depends not only on overcoming inertia found in stereotypes but also on the model’s fit with mass perceptions of social reality. In particular, the model should correspond with actual political practice which, unfortunately, is not the case: Putin’s political reforms have moved Russia in an authoritarian direction. Sovereign democracy and its relevance to identity discourse The frames outlining the ‘self-dependence’ of Russia and ‘our own way’ to democracy have been elaborated in the concept of

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Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s  83 sovereign democracy, announced in the 2005 presidential address and developed by other members of the Russian political class (PRO 2007). The thesis that ‘Russia is a country that has chosen democracy by the will of its own people’ (Putin 2005) was used to legitimize its ‘peculiar’ forms of transition and Putin’s political reforms in particular. Putin claimed that ‘as a sovereign country Russia is able to and will determine the terms and conditions of its movement in this direction [of building democracy]’ (Putin 2005). This thesis meant that democracy is ‘our own’ and not imposed from the outside. It therefore refuted the interpretation of the end of the cold war as a victory of ‘the West’ and the defeat of ‘totalitarianism’/the USSR/Russia. At the same time it questioned the claim that authoritarianism was an attribute of Russia. To demonstrate the notion that Russia is a ‘sovereign country’ that shares the ideals of ‘the community of the most advanced states’ but is able to develop them in ‘its own way’, Putin and his ideologues needed to show that ‘democracy’ is an organic value for Russia. The main argument here rested on the moment of ‘choice’, which was connected to a particular interpretation of the reforms of the 1990s. From the very beginning Putin’s domestic policy was contrasted with Boris Yeltsin’s period in office: ‘strengthening of the state’ that was weakened, if not destroyed, by the Yeltsin reforms of the 1990s became its main mantra. In Putin’s speeches many critical remarks were made about the practices of the 1990s. In the 2001 address he indirectly criticized his predecessors for a ‘not quite civilized approach’ to the problem of foreign debt. In 2002 he dismissed the ‘illusionary belief that “the end of the period of military and political confrontation will automatically open to Russia entrance into the world economic system”’. In 2003 he complained about the need to ‘restore’ the statehood that was weakened in the 1990s. In 2006 he stated that neither political authorities nor business lived up to the expectations that millions of people associated with the changes. At the same time Putin consistently emphasized the continuity of his political course with Yeltsin’s commitment to ‘democratic choice’ in the 1990s. This idea became especially prevalent in addresses during Putin’s second term, that is, in the context of developing the concept of ‘sovereign democracy’. In 2005 Putin opposed those who held that ‘our young democracy is not the continuation of Russian statehood but its final collapse’ (Putin 2005). In 2007 he contended

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84  Olga Malinova that in spite of all the problems and failures of the 1990s, ‘it was during this uneasy period that the basis of future changes was laid’ (Putin 2007b). In the assessment of recent political history, then, Putin and his administration tended to hold to ‘the middle ground’, seeking to satisfy both critics of the reforms of the 1990s as well as ‘liberals’ who justified the principal line of Yeltsin’s political course. In the decade of the 2000s the tendency to set aside the metaphor of ‘pupilhood’ and to represent Russia as ‘an equal member’ of ‘the community of the most advanced countries’ was underscored by the frame depicting how Russia shares ‘common values’ and can even provide standards for other countries. Thus, in 2002 Putin set before his countrymen the task ‘not just to meet the best world standards’, but also to help create them like all ‘rich and powerful’ countries do (Putin 2002). The next year he emphasized the significance of Russia’s experience in dealing with terrorism for the anti-terrorist coalition (Putin 2003). In 2005 he stated that ‘Russia was, is and of course will be the greatest European nation’, supporting this thesis with a list of cultural and political achievements. In conclusion Putin stated: ‘all these things we’ve done together, sometimes falling behind European standards, and other times surpassing them’ (Putin 2005). Analyzing the list of achievements we can suggest that ‘surpassing European standards’ could apply solely to the case of improving on Soviet practices in the field of human rights. Other accomplishments – ‘Enlightenment reforms’, ‘development of parliamentarianism, municipal and judicial power’, etc. – could hardly be viewed as surpassing European practices. In his seminal speech on 10 February 2007 at the Munich conference on security issues, Putin expounded on the idea of Russia as standard setter by arguing that ‘the choice the people of Russia took at the turn of the 1990s did not just increase the space of freedom on the continent but in fact influenced the path of further European integration’ (Putin 2007a). Putin represented Russia’s experience of successful non-coercive struggle with ‘authoritarian regimes’ as an instructive example for adherents of the concept of a unipolar world. To sum up, frames of representation of Russia vis-à-vis ‘the West’ in the presidential addresses of Vladimir Putin differ from both ‘Westernist’ and ‘Nativist’ models that dominated discourse about collective self-identification of Russia for extended periods during the past two centuries. The new model of Russian identity combines the ‘Westernist’ idea of commonality of values and aims

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Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s  85 with ‘Nativist’ emphasis on an original, ‘our own’ way narrative and seeks to represent Russia as actually (not just potentially) similar and equal to the Significant Other and even able to set standards of realization of common values and aims. It is particularly significant that in Putin’s speeches the Other has no geographic attributes and is described through the use of specific, non-exclusive attributes. As a result, instead of opposing poles that dominated discourse about Russia and ‘the West’ for long periods of time, a continuum is introduced along which, depending on context, similarity or difference can be highlighted. Russia’s identity in Medvedev’s discourses With some modifications Putin’s identity model was pursued by Dmitri Medvedev in his presidential addresses. He also shunned talk about ‘the West’, preferring terms like ‘our foreign partners’, ‘advanced countries’, and ‘progressive (peredovye) countries’; he did at times refer to ‘Western civilization’ and ‘Western democracies’ (Medvedev 2009a). More significantly, Medvedev less frequently than Putin correlated Russian identity with the Other associated with ‘the West’. A distinguishing trope in Medvedev’s discourses is the repeated distinction between Europe and the US. This was especially evident in his 2008 address around the time of the war with Georgia and the outbreak of the global financial crisis. His critical remarks were addressed either to Washington or to NATO. Thus he accused American leaders of ‘self-conceit’ and ‘reluctance to consider the opinions of other actors in the world market’ that led them ‘to great errors in the economic sphere’. He also attacked ‘those who sponsored the present ruling regime in Georgia’ (Medvedev 2008). Medvedev’s addresses also contained reprimands to ‘our partners’ who endorse ‘double standards’ – seeking the secession of Kosovo from Serbia but criticizing Russia for its support of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. They ‘test the resilience of Russia’, surrounding it with military bases and trying to induce it into an arms race (Medvedev 2008). Nevertheless the main target of Medvedev’s critical attacks was the US. He diplomatically observed that ‘we have no problems with the American people, we do not harbor any inherent antiAmericanism’ (Medvedev 2008), and Russia’s desire to conclude a

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86  Olga Malinova European security pact was not aimed ‘against NATO’ (Medvedev 2009b). He repeatedly praised European countries for their sense of cooperation: ‘Resolving the crisis in South Ossetia demonstrated an opportunity for taking effective European decisions’ (Medvedev 2008), and ‘modernization partnerships’ with Germany and France serve as a model of international cooperation (Medvedev 2010b). Thus, as part of legitimizing his policy priorities, Medvedev deals less with ‘the West’ as a unified whole and instead makes clear the distinction between the US (that is, presidential administrations) and the rest of ‘the West’. In addition, he consistently underscores the importance of pragmatic politics. As he observed in the article ‘Russia, forward’ published in September 2009, ‘naïve ideas about the infallible and contented West and eternally underdeveloped Russia are inappropriate, insulting and dangerous. Nevertheless more dangerous is the way of confrontation, self-isolation, mutual objections and recriminations’ (Medvedev 2009a). Consequently the image Medvedev paints of ‘the West’ is varied, which in part is the result of the prevalence, in Diligensky’s framework, of ‘pragmatic’ values over ‘existential’ ones. A second distinctive emphasis in Medvedev’s discourses is regular reference to ‘other quickly developing countries’ (Medvedev 2008), with China as an example (Medvedev 2009b). This accentuates the need for diversification of foreign policy (Medvedev 2010b). ‘The West’, therefore, appears as an important but not the sole Significant Other. Third, relatively more attention in Medvedev’s addresses is devoted to ‘our own ideas about ourselves, our history and our future’ (Medvedev 2009a). Numerous declarations about Russian identity are made that are not correlated to judgments about Others. Of course, he made statements which fit the frame of acknowledging our differences: a developmental lag and a claim to similarity and equality with ‘the most advanced countries’. But much more numerous are declarations about ‘our values’ (Medvedev 2008) and our peculiar features: our ‘ability to defend our national interests’ (Medvedev 2008), our responsible attitude to world affairs (Medvedev 2008, 2009b), our openness (Medvedev 2009b). In discussing a modernization program Medvedev contrasts contemporary Russia less with the ‘advanced countries’ and more with its own past and future. The temporal dimension of ‘our identity’ becomes as important as the spatial one.

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Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s  87 Generally the main frames of representation of Russia and ‘the West’ contained in Putin’s speeches are present in Medvedev’s rhetoric. He, too, describes Russia as actually ‘similar and equal’ to ‘the most advanced countries’. The ‘similarity and equality’ frame is supported with two basic arguments. First, Medvedev develops Putin’s idea about common democratic values that ‘might have different historical roots’ but ‘still unite us’ (Medvedev 2010a). He repeatedly argues that the problem of democratic choice has been resolved (Medvedev 2008) and that Russia not only is going to become a democracy but ‘undoubtedly is a democracy … Maybe young, immature, imperfect, inexperienced, but still it is a democracy’ (Medvedev 2010a). Second, from 2008 he put forward a series of initiatives aimed at reshaping the existing world order which was becoming dangerous. In various contexts he repeats the need for democratization of the world order, thereby representing Russia as an active player which insists on compliance with the principles that are declaratively shared by ‘advanced countries’. Medvedev’s skepticism about the term ‘sovereign democracy’ (Medvedev 2007: 501–2) does not prevent him from using the frame ‘our own way’ of realizing common values and aims. A passage in his programmatic article ‘Russia, forward!’ is devoted to our selfdependence on the road to democracy: Russian democracy will not mechanistically replicate foreign patterns. A civic society cannot be bought with foreign grants. Political culture cannot be changed by simple imitation of the political traditions of the advanced societies … Only our own experience of building democracy will give us the right to assert: ‘we are free, we are responsible, we are successful’. (Medvedev 2009a) The Russian president also criticizes those ‘who argue that there is no democracy in Russia, that authoritarian traditions dominate it’ (Medvedev 2010a). The frame of Russia as the setter of standards for realizing common values and aims also has a place in the rhetoric of Russia’s third president. For example, in his lecture at the plenary session of the World Political Forum in Yaroslav Medvedev called attention to ‘the universal standards of democracy’ that follow ‘from the unique

88  Olga Malinova democratic experience of many nations’. It can be concluded, then, that the model of collective self-identification vis-à-vis ‘the West’ proposed by Putin and ideologues in his administration was developed further in Medvedev’s rhetoric by highlighting diversified ‘scales’ and more ‘pragmatic’/less ‘existential’ attitudes towards the Significant Other.

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Challenges to the new identity model I have argued that the model developed by Presidents Putin and Medvedev brings interesting innovations to the established structure of identity discourse. It seeks to bridge the gap between opposing approaches to collective self-identification with ‘the West’ by combining and transforming the frames that had typified ‘Westernist’ and ‘Nativist’ models. These innovations have led to a diversification of the image of the Significant Other. Further, in place of the bipolar ‘either/or’ approach to defining Russian identity, multiple specific scales are introduced in order to capture our differences/similarities with the Significant Other dependent upon context. Use of such scales opens the way for less ideological, more pragmatic national strategies in the field of domestic and foreign policy. But the adoption of the new model is complicated by three issues. First, it collides with both auto-stereotypes engrained in the Russian cultural tradition and the dominant frames of representation of Russia by Others. The promotion of the new model therefore requires unrelenting discursive struggle. Second, the arguments used to support the claim of actual similarity/equality – as well as the pretention to be an international standard setter – seem implausible. National surveys indicate that Russians are dissatisfied with the performance of democratic institutions. They have even fewer grounds, therefore, to view them as exemplary for others. This feature of official discourse is widely perceived as being only weakly supported by practice. By contrast, my analysis of correspondence between Putin’s discourse and mass perceptions suggested that the probability that ‘Nativist’ elements of the model, which emphasize our ‘originality’, will be accepted is much higher (Malinova 2008b). Official statements taking ‘middle ground’ positions are interpreted as acknowledgement of the existence of a bipolar opposition. Not surprisingly, then, in the mid-2000s both ‘Westernizers’ and ‘anti-Westernizers’ saw Putin as their ally (Malinova 2009a: 188–90).

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Russia and ‘the West’ in the 2000s  89 The third challenge for the new discursive model is that, given problems defining Russian national identity reflected in political, academic, and public discussions, a section of the Russian political class continues to find it expedient to mobilize the solidarity of the community ‘constituting’ the Russian state by appealing to the alleged opposition between Us and ‘the West’. As a result, the new official model of collective self-identification does not eliminate older models from contemporary Russian political discourse but instead sets new rules for their interfacing. Whether attempts to change established discourse about collective identity will prove successful will only become clear some time from now. Bibliography Casula, P. (2010) ‘“Primacy in your face”: changing discourses of national identity and national interests in the United States and Russia after the cold war’, Ab Imperio, 3: 245–71. Diligensky, G. (2002) ‘Hochet li Rossia Druzhit’ s Zapadom?’, in V. Pantin (ed.), Zapad i Zapadnye Tzennosti v Rossijskom Obschestvennom Soznanii, Moscow: IMEMO. Godzimirski, J. M. (2008) ‘Putin and post-Soviet identity: building blocks and buzz words’, Problems of Post-Communism, 55(5): 14–27. Kaspe, S. (2009) ‘Politicheskaia natsia i tsennostnyi vybor: obschie polozhenia, rossijskij sluchai’, Politia, 2: 5–26. Malinova, O. (2005) ‘Obrazy “Zapada” i modeli russkoi identichnosti v diskussiakh serediny XIX veka’, Kosmopolis, 2(12): 38–59. Malinova, O. (2008a) ‘Creating meanings and traps: competing interpretations of the idea of nation in the debates of the Russian Slavophiles and Westernizers in the 1840s’, European Review of History/Revue Européenne d’Histoire, 15(1): 41–54. Malinova, O. (2008b), ‘Tema Rossi i “Zapada” v ritorike prezidenta V. V. Putina: Popytka pereopredelenija kollektivnoi identichnosti’, in N. Lapina (ed.), Dva presidentskikh sroka V.V.Putina: Dinamika peremen (pp. 292–315), Moscow: INION RAN. Malinova, O. (2009a) Rossia i ‘Zapad’ v XX veke: Transformatcia diskursa o kollektivnoi identichnosti, Moscow: ROSSPEN. Malinova, O. (2009b) ‘Russian political discourse in the 1990s: crisis of identity and conflicting pluralism of ideas’, in P. Casula and J. Perovic (eds), Identities and Politics during the Putin Presidency: The Discursive Foundations of Russia’s Stability (pp. 94–111), Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag. Malinova, O. (2010) ‘Simvolicheskaia politika i konstruirovanie makropoliticheskoi identichnosti v postsovetskoi Rossii’, Polis, 2: 90–105. Medvedev, D. (2007) ‘O democratii’, in L. Poliakov (ed.), Fragment stenogrammy vstrechi Predsedatelia Pravitel’stva RF D. Medvedeva s predstaviteliami volodezhnykh organizatsij, PRO suverennuju democratiju, Moscow: Europa.

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90  Olga Malinova Medvedev, D. (2008) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (5 Nov.), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2008/11/05/1349_type63372type63374 type63381type82634_208749.shtml . Medvedev, D. (2009a) ‘Rossija, vperiod!’, http://gazeta.ru/comments/2009/09/10_a_ 3258568.shtml. Medvedev, D. (2009b) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (12 Nov.), http://www.kremlin.ru/transcripts/5979. Medvedev, D. (2010a) ‘Sovremennoe gosudarstvo: standarty democratii i kriterii effectivnosti’, Vystuplenie na plenarnom zasedanii Mirovogo politicheskogo foruma (10 Sept.), http://news.kremlin.ru/transcripts/8887. Medvedev, D. (2010b) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (30 Nov.), http://www.kremlin.ru/transcripts/9637/work. Neumann, I. (1999) Uses of the Other: ‘The East’ in European Identity Formation, Manchester: Manchester University Press. PRO suverennuju democratiju (2007) Compiled by L. Poliakov, Moscow: Europa. Putin, V. (2000) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (8 July), http:// www.kremlin.ru/appears/2000/07/08/0000_type63372type63374_28782. shtml. Putin, V. (2001) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (3 April), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2001/04/03/0000_type63372type63374_ 28514.shtml. Putin, V. (2002) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (18 April), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2002/04/18/0000_type63372type63374_ 28876.shtml. Putin, V. (2003) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (16 May), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2003/05/16/1259_type63372type63374_ 44623.shtml. Putin, V. (2004) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (26 May), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2004/05/26/2003_type63372type63374_ 71501.shtml. Putin, V. (2005) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (25 April), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2005/04/25/1223_type63372type63374type 82634_87049.shtml. Putin, V. (2006) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (10 May), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2006/05/10/1357_type63372type63374 type82634_105546.shtml. Putin, V. (2007a) ‘Vystuplenie i diskussia na Mjunhenskoi konferencii po voprosam bezopasnosti’ (10 Feb.), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2007/02/10/1737_ type63374type63376type63377type63381type82634_118097.shtml. Putin, V. (2007b) ‘Poslanie Federal’nomu Sobraniju Rossijskoi Federatcii’ (26 April), http://www.kremlin.ru/appears/2007/04/26/1156_type63372type63374 type82634_125339.shtml. Zvereva, G. I. (2009) ‘Uchrezhdenie rossiiskoi natsii: god 2008’, in M. G. Pugachev and V. S. Vakhshtain (eds), Puti Rossii: Sovremennoe intellectual’noe prostranstvo. Shkoly, napravlenia, pokolenia (pp. 409–28), Moscow: Universitetskaia kniga.

7 Constructing Russophobia

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Valentina Feklyunina

Introduction ‘The more I read, the clearer I see that the West is not interested at all in Russia’s economic development’: these words from a readers’ forum on the InoSMI webpage (an online project of the Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti) touch upon a fascinating aspect of Russian politics and Russia’s relations with Western countries – the problem of Russophobia. As argued by the same reader, regardless of changes in Russia’s circumstances in the postSoviet period, the ‘West has always treated Russia in the same way’ – a pattern that can be explained by Western ‘wild Russophobia and selfish interest’ (InoSMI 2009). The topic of Russophobia is not new. Over the past 170 years it has been raised by Russia’s prominent poets and writers, including Fyodor Tyutchev and Fyodor Dostoevsky; addressed in academic works by both Russian and Western scholars (see Lieven 2000; Tsygankov 2009); and routinely mentioned in the Russian (and occasionally Western) mass media. What is interesting, however, is how this topic has become significantly more pressing in the second term of Vladimir Putin’s presidency, stretches into Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency, and shows every sign of remaining salient as Putin becomes head of state again. As suggested in the academic literature, Moscow has reanimated the propaganda trope of Russia’s ‘encirclement’ – a set of ideas about foreign threats to the regime that played a crucial role in the Soviet Union’s politics in the 1920s but was more or less abandoned after World War II (Shlapentokh 2009: 305). Yet the prominence of the Russophobia theme in Russian public debate over the past decade suggests that there is something about the narrative that makes it stand out.

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92  Valentina Feklyunina One can argue that describing the West – or any international or domestic actor – as not simply critical of or hostile toward Russia but Russophobic implies a distinct interpretation of this actor’s actions, specific expectations of its future behavior, and a particular vision of what should be done in response. This chapter focuses on discourses of Russophobia as they have been articulated by various elite groups in contemporary Russia and, to a significant extent, reinforced by the Russian authorities. It also explores their functions in Russian domestic politics. The question whether Russophobia actually exists as a phenomenon – although extremely important – is beyond the scope of this study; examinations of Russophobia have generally been pitched at the level of political elites and public opinion (Gleason 1972; Lieven 2000; Luostarinen 1989; Tsygankov 2009). This chapter is interested instead in an analysis of the social construction of Russophobia. Of course, not everyone in contemporary Russia shares a view of the West as Russophobic, and even those who do may articulate different positions regarding Russophobia, its sources, and its manifestations. One can argue that the vision of the West as Russophobic draws on a particular identity of Russia, that is, on a particular interpretation of ‘us’ as opposed to ‘them’. If we accept identity as a social and relational concept – as constantly produced and reproduced through ‘juxtapositions between selves and others’ (Waever 2001: 24) – then describing the Other as Russophobic can tell us a great deal about how ‘we’ see ‘ourselves’. In contemporary Russia as in many other countries there is a considerable variation in articulations of national identity and in representations of the Other, as chapters in this volume document. However understanding identity as a social concept implies that even if there may be significant differences between individual perceptions, they all draw on what Lene Hansen has referred to as ‘a set of collectively articulated codes’. As Hansen persuasively sets out, it is possible to differentiate between several basic discourses that articulate a particular degree of Otherness ranging from fundamental difference to ‘less than radical difference’ (Hansen 2006: 6–7). Social constructivist and post-structuralist studies of Russia’s identity have tended to differentiate between several basic discourses with their roots going back to the nineteenth-century debate between Slavophiles and Westernizers (see Neumann 1996;

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Constructing Russophobia  93 Hopf 2002; Tsygankov 2006). In this tradition I consider three basic discourses of Russian identity employing well-established labels: ‘Liberal Westernizers’, ‘Pragmatic Nationalists’, and ‘Fundamentalist Nationalists’ (Allison et al. 2006; White 2007). In the Liberal Westernizing discourse, Russia has been imagined as a European country whose natural allies are in the West. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Fundamentalist Nationalist discourse has relied on the vision of Russia as fundamentally different from the West. Disagreement exists on what exactly constitutes this difference: it extends from presenting Russia as truly European – as opposed to a Europe that has lost its moral authority – to seeing Russia as Eurasian and as a unique civilization. Between these two extremes, the Pragmatic Nationalist discourse has portrayed Russia as ‘mostly but not entirely European’ and it has tended to be more cautious in its assessments of the West (White 2007: 163). As suggested by Stephen White (2007), these three discourses have distinct if fluid constituencies. The Liberal Westernizing discourse, for instance, has been articulated by more liberal members of the Russian elite and political parties (such as Yabloko and the now non-existent Union of the Right Forces). The Fundamentalist Nationalist discourse has been adopted by more nationalist parties, including Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party and Gennady Zyuganov’s Communist Party. In recent years, the Pragmatic Nationalist discourse has navigated a mainstream position and has been adopted, inter alia, by the dominant United Russia party. More significantly, official discourse, as articulated by Russia’s President, Prime Minister, and other high-ranking officials, has tended to follow the Pragmatic Nationalist discourse; on occasions it has also drawn on key elements of the other two discourses (Feklyunina 2012). Russophobia as an ‘irrational hatred towards Russia’ (Kiselev 2008) implies a radical degree of hostility by the Other. One can argue that a discourse that applies the notion of Russophobia to particular actions of the Other performs what Barry Buzan has referred to a securitizing move – it presents these actions as constituting ‘an existential threat requiring emergency measures’ (1998: 24–5). If the audience accepts such representation of these actions, one can speak of a successful securitization of the problem that legitimizes a particular style of addressing it.

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94  Valentina Feklyunina My study seeks to gauge whether and to what extent criticism of Russia’s regime or its policies has been constructed as a manifestation of Russophobia. I investigate the way in which official discourse has engaged with the notion of Russophobia, and whether/to what extent this notion has been accepted in the three basic discourses. This study is based on discourse analysis of a wide range of texts – public statements, interviews, and opinion articles that can be seen as articulating the official and basic discourses. Although an analysis of this kind cannot claim to be representative, it nonetheless strives to cover the most salient themes that have structured the public debate over the past decade. I begin the analysis by examining the way in which the problem of Western criticism has been addressed in official discourse: I draw primarily on Vladimir Putin’s and Dmitry Medvedev’s statements. This is followed by an examination of how this issue has been tackled in state-sponsored propaganda. The chapter then proceeds to look at the ways in which the notion of Russophobia has been invoked in a wider discursive field. It concludes by discussing the impact of Russophobia as a socially constructed threat on contemporary Russian politics. Western criticism and official discourse Russia’s official discourse on Western criticism has changed significantly over the past decade. In the early days of Putin’s presidency, as Russia’s relations with the West seemed to be improving after a period of deterioration in the late 1990s, Russian official rhetoric took a cautious note. On the war in Chechnya, for instance, Putin stressed that, although some criticism voiced by Western countries was geopolitically motivated, most blame for Russia’s negative image was to be laid on Chechen terrorists. In an interview in January 2000, he suggested that ‘a significant part of the international community [did] not understand what [was] going on there and [was] influenced by superficial information and terrorist propaganda’ (Putin 2000). Following the events of 9/11, when Moscow allied with the USA in the subsequent ‘war on terror’, Putin’s stance on Western criticism became even softer. As he put it in his address to the Federal Assembly in April 2002, ‘after 11 September … many, many people in the world realized that the “Cold War” was over’ (Putin 2002).

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Constructing Russophobia  95 However, in the years that followed official discourse became noticeably more confrontational. Already in late 2002 and early 2003, Russian authorities were exposed to a new wave of criticism from elites and mass media in Western countries. Among reasons for this criticism were Moscow’s negative view of the US-led war in Iraq, the Yukos affair involving the arrest of its head Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and perceptions of general anti-democratic tendencies in Russian domestic politics. This criticism intensified following Putin’s re-election as President in March 2004. In response, Putin (2004b) accused his Western critics of deliberate misinterpretation of the processes taking place in Russia. He underscored the ‘considerable success’ of Russian democracy and argued that ‘those people who [did] not notice this success, or who [did] not want to notice it, [were] not quite honest’. Moreover, he linked Russia’s deteriorating image in the West to anti-Russian propaganda. In July 2004, while addressing Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives, Putin (2004a) referred to ‘frequent planned campaigns’ that aimed ‘to discredit’ Russia and that were ‘damaging both for the state and for national business’. From that time on, the idea of some kind of anti-Russian plot has been a key element of official discourse. It became even more discernible in 2006 following the murder in Moscow of a prominent critic of the Kremlin, journalist Anna Politkovskaya. In his speech on 10 October 2006, Putin (2006) referred to ‘reliable, consistent information that many people who [were] hiding from Russian justice [had] been harboring the idea that they [would] use somebody as a victim to create a wave of anti-Russian sentiment in the world’. In Putin’s vision, these were forces that represented a threat to Russia’s integrity and its political regime. As Western criticism of Russia’s regime became more pronounced during Putin’s second presidential term, official discourse began to put more emphasis on its political causes. Although the Russian President refrained from making openly anti-Western comments and did not even use the term Russophobia, the idea that Western countries (meaning first of all the US) were making efforts to interfere in Russian affairs and represented a threat to Russia was at the heart of his vision. At his meeting with foreign journalists and academics in September 2007, Putin (2007b) spoke of ‘attempts to use the lexicon of democracy to influence [Russia’s] domestic and foreign policy’ which, in his view, ‘only undermine[d] trust

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96  Valentina Feklyunina in the very institutions and principles of democracy’. Thus, any democratization efforts by Western actors were interpreted as stemming from an intention to prevent Russia’s recovery – rather than a genuine wish to facilitate Russia’s democratization. According to another variant of this narrative, Western criticism could be explained by domestic objectives in the West itself (again, primarily in the US). On a number of occasions Putin suggested that Russia’s negative image was employed by Washington as an instrument to solve American domestic problems and to secure increased defence spending. This argument became particularly salient in official discourse in 2006–7 in connection with plans by the Bush administration to deploy interceptor missiles and a radar tracking system in Poland and the Czech Republic. During his visit to Jordan in February 2007, for instance, Putin mentioned attempts to use ‘the non-existent Russian threat to get more money from the US Congress for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the expensive missile defence project’ (RIA Novosti 2007). Moreover, as Putin argued, the image of Russia as a threat was deliberately promoted by Western political elites: ‘anti-Russian sentiment [had] been fuelled intentionally to create a moral and political situation conducive to deploying the [missile defence] systems’ (RIA Novosti 2008). In short, Putin repeatedly interpreted any criticism of Russian democracy as an attempt to limit Russia’s sovereignty, to pressure the Kremlin into acting against the country’s national interests in the international arena or even to change the political regime. These views were summarized in his address to the Federal Assembly in April 2007 when he referred to ‘skilful use of pseudo-democratic rhetoric’ by those who ‘would like to return [Russia] to the recent past’ – a clear allusion to Russia’s perceived weakness in the early years of Boris Yeltsin’s presidency. According to Putin (2007a), some resorted to such criticisms of the system in order to ‘plunder the nation’s resources with impunity and rob the people and the state’; others’ hostility aimed ‘to deprive [Russia] of its economic and political independence’. These ‘counterattacks’ on critics of Russia were reiterated in numerous statements by high-ranking officials. Russia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov (2005), for instance, suggested that increasing Western negativism towards Russia was caused by Russia’s improving position since not everyone ‘like[d] that Russia

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Constructing Russophobia  97 [was] strengthening’ and ‘becoming more independent politically and financially’. He spoke of a ‘simply amazing’ number of negative and ‘non fact-based articles abroad’ (Lavrov 2007a). He went further by blaming some members of the European Union (implying primarily Poland and the Baltic States) for conducting a ‘propaganda campaign aimed at constructing a negative image of Moscow’, the goal of which was ‘to formulate a negative common policy of the EU towards Russia’ (Lavrov 2007b). According to Mikhail Kamynin, head of the Information and Press Department of the Foreign Ministry, the West increased its information pressure on Russia around the time of the 2007 parliamentary elections in order to ‘force the Russian authorities into making decisions which would be contradictory to the interests of the Russian people’ (Kamynin 2008). Russia’s short war with Georgia in August 2008 led to a new discursive peak in flagging what was seen as Western governments’ double standards in their approach toward Russia. In his first address to the Federal Assembly, President Medvedev openly blamed the US by arguing that the conflict with Georgia ‘[had been] made possible in part by the conceit of an American administration that closed its ears to criticism and preferred the road of unilateral decisions’. Moreover, Western criticisms of Russia’s actions in the conflict were constructed as totally unjustified and, in Medvedev’s words, ‘obviously biased’. While defending Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, he noted that Western governments themselves had ‘made every effort to circumvent international law to achieve the secession of Kosovo’ (Medvedev 2008). From this analysis of official discourse, it is clear that the problem of Western criticism has acquired greater urgency over the past decade. Discourse articulated by Putin and Medvedev may not have openly employed the notion of Russophobia, but it has consistently presented Western criticism as constituting a serious threat to Russia’s survival – its sovereignty and territorial integrity. This securitization move has been carried out by employing several discursive strategies. First, any Western criticism has been presented as biased and unfair. Second, official discourse has sought not merely to disconnect Western criticism (constructed as a false opinion) from Russia’s policies (constructed as a fact) but to create a reverse link: the better Russia is doing, the more criticism it is

98  Valentina Feklyunina

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subjected to. Third, criticism of the Russian authorities, policies or particular actions has been constructed as criticism of Russia as a whole. Thus, being critical of Russia’s regime or policies would imply being anti-Russian. Finally, official discourse has linked what was described as ‘anti-Russian sentiments’ to the idea of agency behind these sentiments by presenting them as a product of deliberate attempts to damage Russia’s image. Promoting the narrative of Russophobia? If official discourse has avoided explicit references to Russophobia, the narrative of Western Russophobia has been employed by various channels of Russian state-controlled propaganda. An illustrative case worth exploring is InoSMI, the Novosti online site which publishes translations of media texts about Russia and world affairs. Making foreign articles accessible to Russian speakers is not a new technique: it was previously widely used in Soviet propaganda (Fateev 1999). In post-Soviet Russia the idea of using Western publications to promote propaganda was first picked up by MediaMost – the media empire of the oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky – whose internet project InoPressa was launched in 1999. The idea apparently originated with current Chief Editor of RIA Novosti Svetlana Mironyuk, who was then working for Gusinsky (InoSMI 2007). In 2000 Russian authorities made an attempt to employ this method for their own propaganda campaign. The national information service Strana.Ru – a large-scale internet project created by the pro-Kremlin Effective Politics Foundation headed by Gleb Pavlovsky – planned to launch a project, InoStrana, which would publish translated articles. The idea was abandoned but Strana.ru launched a project ‘Foreign press about Russia’ (Zarubezhnaya Pressa o Rossii) which was then transformed into InoSMI (Foreign Media). In 2002 InoSMI changed its owner: among other internet projects that belonged to Pavlovsky’s Strana.Ru it was handed over to the Internet Directorate of the state media corporation VGTRK – Russian State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company (Rossiiskaya gazeta, 11 July 2002). In 2004 it was taken over by RIA Novosti which was also part of that media corporation (InoSMI 2007). Since 2004 the project has succeeded in attracting a growing number of

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Constructing Russophobia  99 readers. According to then main editor Yaroslav Ognev, in 2009 about 150,000 people visited the webpage daily (Rossiiskie vesti, 4 March 2009). The project achieved unprecedented popularity in Russia, and its success was recognized not only by readers, but by the professional community as well: Ognev was awarded the title of ‘editor of the year’ and ‘producer of the year’ on two occasions. InoSMI plays a unique role on the Russian internet. On the one hand, it appears that the project contributes to democracy promotion as it provides access to critical publications about Russia. On the other hand, it feeds into the narrative of Russophobia. The availability of a large number of critical publications has been interpreted by many of the project’s readers as constituting objective evidence of widespread Western Russophobia. As one of the readers noted in the InoSMI forum after having read a series of translated articles, ‘I have the impression that Russia … is encircled by implacable enemies and there will be no end to this confrontation’ (InoSMI 2005). Predictably, the project became exceptionally popular during Russia’s conflict with Georgia in 2008 when, according to Ognev, it enabled Russian readers ‘to assess the quality and characteristic features of how the Western mass media covered the conflict in South Ossetia’ (Rossiiskie vesti, 4 March 2009). In 2009 the policy line endorsed by the project changed subtly with the appointment of a new editor-in-chief, Marina Pustilnik. She voiced her intention to adopt a more balanced approach in selecting publications, a move which coincided with general softening of official discourse in relation to the West (Nezavisimaya gazeta, 9 June 2009: 2). Although the number of InoSMI readers appears to be very small when compared to the size of the Russian electorate, the impact of the project exceeds by far the size of its audience. A way this occurs is through dissemination of materials published on the webpage to other Russian media. A number of Russian national and local newspapers, including Nezavisimaya gazeta, Trud, Novye izvestiya, Sovetskaya Rossiya, Rossiiskaya gazeta, Moskovskii komsomolets, and Sankt-Peterburgskie vedomosti, occasionally publish complete articles or extracts from the InoSMI webpage. Many Russian mass media have also engaged with the narrative of Russophobia. After Russia’s conflict with Georgia, some newspapers even published what they described as ‘ratings of Russophobia’ among foreign countries (see Izvestiya, 2 September

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100  Valentina Feklyunina 2008). A transparent use of this narrative was the TV programme Vesti+, with prominent journalist Dmitrii Kiselev as host, which in August 2008 devoted one of its broadcasts to the discussion of Russophobia. The transcript of this program provides a valuable insight into the way in which the narrative of Russophobia has been promoted in state-controlled propaganda. Several points are particularly significant. First, Russophobia is presented as having a long history in the West and as a ‘well established phenomenon of Europe’s life’. Second, through the use of examples that imply the existence of Russophobia in different countries at different times in history (with Hitler’s Germany as one of the most commonplace examples), Russophobia is constructed as being a consistent feature of the way in which the West (united in its ‘irrational hatred toward Russia’) has viewed Russia. Third, similar to official discourse, the link between Western Russophobia and reality is interpreted as being reversed: according to Kiselev, ‘the extent of the hostility does not depend on [Russia’s] political regime, but it increases whenever Russia gains more strength’. Similar to official discourse, it also emphasizes agency: ‘Russophobia is turning into a job, and like every job it can be carried out at someone’s orders’. Finally, this narrative constructs domestic criticism of the regime as a manifestation of an internal Russophobia – a phenomenon that is presented as equally threatening to Russia’s survival (Kiselev 2008). Russophobia in a wider discursive field: hegemonic narrative? To what extent has official discourse succeeded in stabilizing the link between criticism of the regime and Russophobia? To answer this question, let me examine whether the narrative of Russophobia, as implicitly invoked in official discourse and explicitly promoted in state-controlled propaganda, has been accepted in the three basic discourses of Russia’s identity identified at the beginning of this chapter. As one might expect, Liberal Westernizers – a group in the Russian elite that has dramatically diminished in size and influence over the past decade – have consistently rejected the vision of the West as Russophobic. In their discourse, Russia’s increasingly negative image in the West is not a result of irrational hatred of Russia but rather an unavoidable consequence of developments in

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Constructing Russophobia  101 the country itself. According to former diplomat and prominent Russian journalist Alexander Bovin (2001), ‘the most powerful generator of Russia’s negative image is Russian reality’. His opinion was shared by liberal politician and former presidential candidate Irina Khakamada (2005) who argued that ‘if our situation is bad, there is no point in taking offence with the neighbors who do not like us’. In this interpretation, the only legitimate way to address Western (and domestic) criticism of Russia is to change the reality, that is, to overcome the flaws that are emphasized by Russia’s critics. This benign view of the West has been vehemently challenged by Fundamentalist Nationalists who have articulated a vision of Russia as radically different from – and to a large extent superior to – Europe and the West. Although this elite group has diverse views of Russia’s position in the world and its preferable political, economic, and foreign policy strategies, it is distinctive in the unconditional acceptance of the Russophobia narrative. Moreover, despite variation in its interpretations of Russophobia, it shares a number of assumptions. One of these is that Russophobia is not limited to certain elite groups or individuals in the West but is instead a characteristic of the West as a whole: it is its most rudimentary and recurring feature. As suggested by pro-Kremlin commentator Alexei Pushkov, ‘a culture of a negative attitude towards Russia’ emerged to a large extent as a consequence of Russia’s choice of Orthodox Christianity (InoSMI 2008). Western Russophobia, as perceived by Fundamentalist Nationalists, has not disappeared with the end of the cold war. It has remained influential regardless of any political or economic transformations that have taken place in Russia in the last twenty years. According to academic Sergo Mikoyan (2006), Russophobia continues to be ‘a real phenomenon of political thought in the main political think tanks in the West’. In turn Communist leader Gennadii Zyuganov (2008) has repeatedly complained about the ‘malicious Russophobia’ of Russia’s neighbors, particularly the Baltic states. A second shared approach in Fundamentalist Nationalist discourse is reversing the link between Western criticism of Russia and its ‘objective reality’ – a discursive move discussed in the analysis of both official discourse and the Russophobia narrative promoted by state-controlled propaganda. As set out by Nikolai

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102  Valentina Feklyunina Leonov, a member of the Rodina (Motherland) faction of the state Duma, Russia’s negative image is primarily the result of an antiRussian propaganda campaign (RIA Novosti 2006b). Another member of Rodina, Alexander Krutov, authored an instruction to the Information Policy Committee of the State Duma requesting information from state bodies on the ‘anti-Russian campaign in the Western media’ (RIA Novosti 2006a). Perceived intensification of Western Russophobia in recent years has been explained by Russia’s improved position. In the words of Alexander Dugin, prominent right-wing ideologue and leader of the Eurasia Movement, ‘the stronger and more prosperous Russia is, the more the West hates it, fears it and throws mud at it’ (Tribuna, 29 December 2006). The group of Fundamentalist Nationalists has been particularly consistent in linking domestic criticism of the regime with the notion of internal Russophobia. Those members of the Russian elite who express agreement with Western criticism have often been portrayed as traitors. Mikoyan (2006), for instance, has condemned those ‘Russian readers who view Russophobia as one of the ways in struggling for democracy, for human values and for Russia becoming part of Europe’. This idea of an internal West – a selfloathing Russophobic section of the Russian elite which has rejected its Russian heritage in an attempt to Westernize the country against its cultural gene – has a tradition in Fundamentalist Nationalist discourse going back to the nineteenth-century debate between Slavophiles and Westernizers. It gained particular prominence in the 1980s following the controversial publication (initially via samizdat) of Igorʹ Shafarevich’s essay on ‘Russophobia’. This essay blamed a so-called ‘small nation’ within the Russian elite for selling out Russian culture and undermining the traditional values of Russian society (Shafarevich 2005). While the acceptance of the Russophobia narrative by Fundamentalist Nationalists is hardly surprising, its acceptance by Pragmatic Nationalists who have tended to view the West in a more positive light indicates a significant shift in the structure of public debate which occurred during Putin’s second term in office. From 2004–5 on, references to Western Russophobia in the Pragmatic Nationalist discourse have been increasingly frequent. Moreover most of these references have treated Russophobia as an established objective fact without questioning its existence. Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee

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Constructing Russophobia  103 of the Federation Council, for instance, has routinely referred to ‘Strasbourg Russophobia’ while speaking of attitudes to Russia in the Council of Europe (Margelov 2008). According to pro-Kremlin commentator and director of the Moscow-based Political Studies Institute Sergei Markov (2006), ‘Russophobia has almost become an official ideology for many in the West.’ Many Pragmatic Nationalists have also accepted the idea of a reversed link between the intensity of Western criticism and Russia’s reality. According to Konstantin Kosachev (2008), a member of United Russia and head of the State Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee, few among Western countries ‘need a strong and stable Russia despite all their statements and even despite common sense’. As argued by Vyacheslav Nikonov, a ‘political technologist’ with close ties to the Kremlin, Russia’s image in the West can be positive only when Russia is weak, humiliated, and dependent on the West (2006). To be sure, while the narrative of Russophobia has become increasingly salient in Pragmatic Nationalist discourse, it has not been universally accepted (see Karaganov in Literaturnaya gazeta, 7 April 2010). At the beginning of the 2010s the narrative of Russophobia has become dominant in public debates on Russia’s image and Western criticisms of the regime. Only Liberal Westernizers have consistently rejected the link between criticism of the regime and Russophobia. However their rejection of the existence of Western Russophobia has been inserted into a competing discourse, particularly discernible among Fundamentalist Nationalists, which speaks of manifestations of internal Russophobia. The narrative of Russophobia and Russian politics To what extent has the narrative of Western Russophobia been accepted in Russia’s public opinion? To answer this, let me examine the results of a series of public opinion surveys that were conducted by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VCIOM) and later by Levada Center in 1994–2008. Respondents were asked if they ‘agree[d] that other countries have always felt hostility towards Russia, and that today no one wishes us good’. Predictably, most participants agreed with the statement. However, while at the time of Yeltsin’s presidency in 1994 this view was shared by only 42 percent of respondents (against 38 percent

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104  Valentina Feklyunina of those who disagreed with it), this number rose to 66 percent in 2000 and amounted to 65 percent of respondents in 2008 (Levada Center 2008). The similarity between the share of those who agreed with the vision of other countries as hostile towards Russia in 2000 (that is, following NATO intervention in the former Yugoslavia) and 2008 (following Russia’s conflict with Georgia over South Ossetia) is striking. Although this question did not specify individual countries that might be hostile towards Russia, the high proportion of respondents who imagined being surrounded by hostile forces in 2008 suggests, at least indirectly, that the idea of deep-rooted hostility of the West towards Russia has been largely accepted in public opinion. Results of a different survey conducted by Levada Center in 2007 provide additional insight into public perceptions of Western criticism. When asked whether Western accusations of violations of democracy in Russia had any objective basis, only 29 percent of respondents said yes; by contrast, 46 percent believed that such accusations had no basis at all (Levada Center 2007). This indicates that the central idea in the Russophobia narrative which constructs the West as always inimical toward Russia regardless of any changes that have taken place has also in large measure been accepted. An even larger share of respondents in the same survey agreed with the statement that Western accusations of Russian violations of democracy were caused by an ‘intention to discredit Russia and gain some advantages over it’ (Levada Center 2007). More importantly, Western criticism has been perceived by many as itself constituting a threat to Russia’s sovereignty. A majority of respondents (51 percent) in yet another survey conducted by the Levada Center, in March 2008, admitted that they considered ‘the criticism by Western politicians of the state of democracy and human rights in Russia as interference in Russia’s internal affairs’; only 27 percent disagreed. The proportion who agreed with this statement was similar across supporters of United Russia (52 percent), the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (51 percent), and Just Russia (52 percent); it was markedly lower among supporters of Yabloko and the Union of Right Forces (34 percent). Residents of Moscow were more sceptical than the average Russian (42 percent). The survey revealed a broad consensus about perceived Western interference across much of the political spectrum (Sedov 2008).

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Constructing Russophobia  105 Not only that; all the main points in the Russophobia narrative, as articulated in state-controlled propaganda, have to a large extent been accepted in Russian public opinion. This acceptance can be explained by a variety of factors. First, public perceptions of the West have clearly been affected by domestic propaganda. Some scholars have argued that this is by far the most significant cause. As suggested by Vladimir Shlapentokh, for instance, anti-Americanism that has become particularly prominent in Russian public opinion in recent years is fairly superficial. It is the elite, according to Shlapentokh, that ‘has the power to either foster or stifle xenophobia’ through propagating anti-American views (2011: 878). We can agree with Shlapentokh’s verdict on the influential role played by propaganda while acknowledging the significance of cultural factors as well. A deep-rooted distrust of the West has been widespread among parts of Russian intellectual and political elites for centuries and was most vividly manifested in the nineteenth-century debate between Slavophiles and Westernizers (Neumann 1996). It was consolidated in the twentieth century by Soviet propaganda (Fateev 1999). As we know, enemy images are remarkably persistent. Their traditional salience in Russian political culture makes public opinion particularly susceptible to the influence of anti-Western propaganda. The suggestion that Russia’s negative image in the West is the product of an orchestrated propaganda campaign corresponds to the belief, shared by many in Russia, that the mass media cannot ever be independent. This view may be attributable to the Soviet and post-Soviet legacy. In the Soviet era the mass media served first and foremost as an instrument of Soviet propaganda. Then, in the late 1990s, they were largely perceived as tools employed by oligarchs in information wars against each other and the authorities. Under Putin, the most influential mass media were again brought under the direct or indirect control of the state. As a consequence, as Sarah Oates (2007: 1285) has argued, many Russians ‘reject the idea of “objectivity” or even “balance” in their mass media’, and believe that no media system in the world can be free from the influence of political or financial patrons. Following this logic, since the mass media are not independent, they must be carrying out political instructions. In the West this means that they are used by political and business elites as a propaganda instrument in an anti-Russian campaign. This interpretation can

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106  Valentina Feklyunina be found in an InoSMI reader’s alarm that ‘the unanimity and the striking similarity’ of Western articles about Russia is ‘suspicious’. The reader suggested that ‘someone [had] simply given an order to the editorial boards not to accept articles of a different type’ (InoSMI 2005). Finally, perceptions of Western Russophobia – both at the level of the elite and in public opinion – have been significantly affected by the dynamics of Russia’s relations with Western countries and organizations. Although this chapter has not addressed the crucial question whether Russophobia actually exists, some scholars have argued that some elite groups in the West have indeed articulated attitudes toward Russia that can be conceptualized as Russophobic (Lieven 2000; Tsygankov 2009). These attitudes and the policies they undergird constitute a factor not to be underestimated in analysis of anti-Western narratives in Russia. There are good reasons why Russophobia, as practiced on the one hand by some elite groups in the West, and its idea, on the other hand, as articulated in Russian elite discourses, expressed in public opinion, and promoted by state-controlled mass media, should be treated differently. In the first place, the narrative of Russophobia has been projected from a group of individuals and elite members in Western countries onto the West as a whole. Having expanded Russophobia in this way, this narrative has significantly dramatized the problem and given it a sense of urgency. Secondly, this narrative has increasingly equated Russophobia with criticism of Russia’s regime or individual policies. Having established a linkage between criticizing and hating Russia – its people, government, regime – the narrative has come to define Russophobia as any critical remarks about Russia. The logic ‘if someone hates Russia, they will always criticize it’ has been substituted with the logic ‘if someone criticizes Russia, they do it because they hate it’. Conversely, this logic implies ‘if you love Russia you cannot be critical of it’. This interpretation of any criticism as a manifestation of Russophobia is, as I have pointed out, an example of a securitizing move. It logically follows that accepting this narrative signifies viewing any criticism of Russian authorities as a threat to Russia’s survival. The securitization move has in large measure proved successful. As demonstrated in this chapter, the narrative of Russophobia has been unconditionally accepted in the Fundamentalist Nationalist discourse and largely accepted in the Pragmatic Nationalist discourse

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Constructing Russophobia  107 that has dominated public debate on Russia’s identity over the past decade. By the end of Putin’s second term in office, this narrative had achieved a near-hegemonic position in the public discursive field. This was particularly evident during and after Russia’s conflict with Georgia in August 2008. This ‘securitization of criticism’ has contributed to a further marginalization of the liberal opposition in Russia. Having presented any criticism of the regime or its policies as stemming from Russophobia, this process has symbolically undermined the legitimacy of the liberal position. At the same time, having securitized criticism the narrative of Russophobia has legitimized a tougher approach to dealing with critics of the regime. By implicitly engaging with the narrative of Russophobia in official discourse and explicitly promoting it in state-controlled mass media, Russian authorities have succeeded in imposing a discursive consensus in Russian society on the strategy of Russia’s development and its position in the world. Only time will tell how stable this imposed consensus will prove to be. Bibliography Allison, R., Light, M., and White, S. (2006) Putin’s Russia and the Enlarged Europe, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Bovin, A. (2001) ‘Myach v svoi vorota: polemika s Leonidom Slutskim’, Nezavisimaia gazeta, 19 May, p. 8. Buzan, B. (1998) Security: A New Framework for Analysis, Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Fateev, A. (1999) Obraz vraga v sovetskoi propagande: 1945–1954, Moscow: Institut rossiiskoi istorii RAN. Feklyunina, V. (2012) ‘Image and reality: Russia’s relations with the West’, in R. E. Kanet and M. R. Freire (eds), Russia and European Security (pp. 79–103), Dordrecht: Republic of Letters Press. Gleason, J. H. (1972) The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, New York: Octagon Books. Hansen, L. (2006) Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War, London: Routledge. Hopf, T. (2002) Social Construction of International Politics, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. InoSMI (2005) ‘Boris Reitschuster: ranshe prislove Rossiia dumali o Pushkine’, Online questions and answers session with Boris Reitschuster, Focus (Germany, 26 August), http://www.inosmi.ru/press/222333.html. InoSMI (2007) ‘Iaroslav Ognev: dobro pozhalovat’ v mir InoSMI’ (28 November), http://www.inosmi.ru/stories/02/07/18/3106/238074.html.

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108  Valentina Feklyunina InoSMI (2008) ‘Alexei Pushkov: Rossiya – eto takoi plokhoi rebenok Evropy’ (28 April), http://www.inosmi.ru/press/241044.html. InoSMI (2009) ‘Pragmaticheskaya economicheskaya politika Rossii – obnadezhivayushchii priznak’: Readers’ comments on ‘Russia’s skilful handling of economy raises hopes for summit with US’, The Times (7 July), http://forum. inosmi.ru/showthread.php?t=53763&highlight=%D1%80%D1%83%D1%8 1%D0%BE%D1%84%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%B8%D1%8F. Kamynin, M. (2008) ‘Russia’s Image: The Information Service of the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs Turns 90’, International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations, 54(2): 113–18. Khakamada, I. (2005) ‘Imidzh Rossii: Pravda i vymysel’ (19 Oct.), http://www. hakamada.ru/1321/Folder.2004.12.06.3035/895. Kiselev, D. (2008) ‘Rusofobiya: istoriya i sovremennost’, http://www.vesti.ru/doc. html?id=205437&cid=1. Kosachev, K. (2008) ‘A strong diplomacy for a strong country’, International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations, 54(2): 105–12. Lavrov, S. (2005) ‘Speech at the press-conference on foreign policy results of the year 2004 in the press-centre of the Russian Foreign Ministry’ (19 January), http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/2fee282eb6df40e643256999005e6e8c/7642679 94d17333bc3256f8e007329a8?OpenDocument. Lavrov, S. (2007a) ‘Interview’ in Vorob’ev, V. ‘Voina i MID: Sergey Lavrov otvergaet silovoe reshenie lyubogo krizisa’, Rossiiskaya gazeta, 28 February, p. 1. Lavrov, S. (2007b) ‘Nastoiashchee i budushchee evropeiskoi politiki’, Izvestiia, 3 July, p. 4. Levada Center (2007) ‘Rossiya i Evropa’ (3 September), http://www.levada.ru/ press/2007090303(1).htm. Levada Center (2008) ‘Rossiya i mir’, http://www.levada.ru/interrelations.html. Lieven, A. (2000) ‘Against Russophobia’, World Policy Journal, 4(17): 25–32. Luostarinen, H. (1989) ‘Finnish Russophobia: the story of an enemy image’, Journal of Peace Research, 26(2): 123–37. Margelov, M. (2008) ‘Tsena voprosa’, Kommersant, 30 September, p. 9. Markov, S. (2006) ‘Delo Litvinenko i zastarelyi kompleks rusofobii’, Izvestiia, 6 December. Medvedev, D. (2008) ‘Poslanie Federalnomu Sobraniyu Rossiiskoi Federatsii’, Rossiiskaya gazeta, 6 November, p. 2. Mikoyan, S. (2006) ‘Russophobia, a protracted political ailment’, International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations, 52(5): 31–40. Neumann, I. B. (1996) Russia and the Idea of Europe: A Study in Identity and International Relations, London: Routledge. Nikonov, V. (2006) ‘Pena u rta. S chego by eto?’, Trud, 9 December. Oates, S. (2007) ‘The neo-Soviet model of the media’, Europe-Asia Studies, 59(8): 1279–97. Putin, V. (2000) ‘Interview with the RTR TV Channel’ (23 January) http://www. kremlin.ru/eng/speeches/2000/01/23/0000_type82912type82916_122612. shtml.

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Constructing Russophobia  109 Putin, V. (2002) ‘Rossii nado byt silnoi i konkurentnosposobnoi’ (Annual Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation), Rossiiskaia gazeta, 19 April. Putin, V. (2004a) ‘Address at the Plenary Session of the Russian Federation Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives Meeting’ (12 July), http://www.kremlin.ru/eng/ speeches/2004/07/12/1323_type82912type82913type8477974425.shtml. Putin, V. (2004b) ‘Poslanie Federalnomu Sobraniyu Rossiiskoi Federatsii’ (Annual Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation), Rossiiskaia gazeta, 27 May, p. 4. Putin, V. (2006) ‘Speech at the St Petersburg Dialogue Social Forum’ (10 Oct.), http://www.kremlin.ru/eng/text/speeches/2006/10/10/2138_type82914type 84779_112411.shtml. Putin, V. (2007a) ‘Poslanie Federalnomu Sobraniyu Rossiiskoi Federatsii Prezidenta Rossii Vladimira Putina’ (Annual Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation) Rossiiskaia gazeta, 27 April, p. 3. Putin, V. (2007b) ‘Speech at the Meeting with Members of the Valdai International Discussion Club’ (14 Sept.), http://www.kremlin.ru/eng/ speeches/2007/09/14/1801_type82917type84779_144106.shtml. RIA Novosti (2006a) ‘Duma orders probe into “anti-Russian campaign” in Western media’ (30 June), http://en.rian.ru/russia/20060630/50740473.html. RIA Novosti (2006b) ‘What the Russian papers say: West sees Kremlin’s hand in poisoning of former KGB officer’ (22 November), http://en.rian.ru/ analysis/20061122/55909504.html. RIA Novosti (2007) ‘U.S. plays “anti-Russian card” to raise defence spending – Putin’ (13 February), http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070213/60681925.html. RIA Novosti (2008) ‘Economic tensions with Poland linked to missile plans – Putin’ (14 February), http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080214/99237121.html. Sedov, L. A. (2008) ‘Kritika Rossii Zapadom’, Levada Center (1 April), http://www. levada.ru/press/2008040101.html. Shafarevich, I. (2005) Rusofobiya, Moscow: Eksmo. Shlapentokh, V. (2009) ‘Perceptions of foreign threats to the regime: from Lenin to Putin’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 42: 305–24. Shlapentokh, V. (2011) ‘The puzzle of Russian anti-Americanism: from below or from above’, Europe–Asia Studies, 63(5): 875–89. Tsygankov, A. P. (2006) Russia’s Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Tsygankov, A. P. (2009) Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Waever, O. (2001) ‘Identity, communities and foreign policy: discourse analysis as foreign policy theory’, in L. Hansen and O. Waever (eds), European Integration and National Identity: The Challenge of Nordic States (pp. 20–49), London: Routledge. White, S. (2007) ‘Elite opinion and foreign policy in post-Communist Russia’, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 8(2): 147–67. Zyuganov, G. (2008) ‘Ostanovit pozornoe presledovanie zashchitnikov “bronzovogo soldata”’, Sovetskaya Rossiya, 16 January, p. 1.

8 Images, metaphors, and power Reinventing the grammar of Russian trans-border regionalism

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Andrey S. Makarychev

Theoretical introduction Metaphors as figures of speech conceal power relations. They embed power in various contexts and with different degrees of conceptualization. This view reflects assumptions found in the school known as Critical Discourse Analysis, which focuses on how discursive practices help produce and reproduce power relations (Sikka 2006: 101). One of the most innovative specialists on the role of metaphors, metonymies, and synecdoche in discursive structures of hegemonic relations was Ernesto Laclau. For him, metaphor is a type of ‘rhetorical displacement’ when ‘a literal term is substituted by a figural one’, an operation which establishes ‘relation of substitution between terms on the basis of the principle of analogy’ (Laclau 2005: 19). The proliferation of metaphors could be ‘linked to a constitutive blockage in language which requires naming something which is essentially unnamable as a condition of language functioning’ (Laclau 2005: 71). ‘The power of names’ boils down to the fact that ‘naming … means a settled position in the culture’s identity matrix’ (Paasi 1995: 48). Accordingly, ‘the identity and unity of the object result from the very operation of naming … The name becomes the ground of the thing’ (Laclau 2005: 104) and, subsequently, turns into ‘a pure signifier’ – ‘not expressing any conceptual unity that precedes it (as would be the case if we had adopted a descriptive perspective)’. In other words, ‘the unity of the object is a retroactive effect of naming it’ (Laclau 2005: 108). It is in this sense that one may assume that ‘metaphors create reality. They constitute the object they signify’ (Hulsse 2006: 403). This chapter makes the assumption that metaphors are the most important discursive tools that regions in the Russian Federation use

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Images, metaphors, and power  111 for constructing and projecting their international identities, and the images that sustain them. This process can be conceptualized by introducing the distinction between the two logics of identity-building described by Laclau. First there is a logic of difference based upon the existence of an ensemble of ‘differential identities’. Within this framework, subnational units develop their images differentially, that is, on an individual basis. In fact, this logic describes the specificity of particular regional identities which are not directly linked to each other and do not necessarily reflect or appeal to something that reaches beyond their borders. The second logic is that of equivalence. It suggests that there might be situations when some ‘differences are equivalential to each other’ in their common position vis-à-vis a certain external identity. Then, Laclau argues, ‘there is a possibility that one difference, without ceasing to be a particular difference, assumes the representation of an incommensurable totality. In that way, its body is split between the particularity which it still is and the more universal signification of which it is the bearer’ (Laclau 2005: 70). What is discernible in these broadly formulated arguments is a methodological framework available for use in analyzing the roles of metaphors in the process of regions’ image-making. In particular, the analytical distinction between the two logics constitutes a solid basis for identifying two different patterns of trans-border imagery of Russia’s subnational units and their metaphorical representations. I wish to complement Laclau’s theory with an understanding of the metaphor as a figure of discourse that performs a sometimes overlooked function – one of translation of a non-political type of discourse into a political one, and vice versa. In other words, each time discursive politicization and depoliticization occur, they require metaphoric representations. This functioning of metaphors will be described in cases taken from the practices of Russian subnational regionalism. In each of the cases, conceptualization of a distinctive combination of politicizing and depoliticizing effects is taken a stage further. Depoliticized metaphors: two discursive strategies I wish to focus on two logics that underpin the depoliticized type of metaphor-based imagery. The first one approaches the regions through the lens of their geographical location, the second puts the accent on regions’ individuality.

112  Andrey S. Makarychev

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The logic of geographic essentialism

Metaphors can be instrumental to perceptions of regions’ international self-assertion as a fundamentally apolitical process. This is mainly the product of references to what is dubbed ‘natural rights’, ‘primordial grounds’ – something presented as ‘organic’, that is, what is destined to happen anyway and cannot be avoided (Hulsse 2006: 411). In fact, the images of many border-straddling regions, tagging them as near the Baltic Sea, for example, are marked by the conviction that their very geographical location turns them automatically and inevitably into full-fledged international actors. The reference to geography suggests that regions adjacent to the European Union are predestined and predetermined to obtain international legitimation and recognition. This causes regional images to become depoliticized. ‘Organic’ metaphors are well represented, for instance, in the documents produced by ‘Visions and Strategies around the Baltic’ (VASAB) in 2010. VASAB visions are technical and functional with minimal political subtext and have global, even pan-European ambitions. Adhering to the school of spatial planning, VASAB experts perceive Baltic region-building through the prism of such metaphors as ‘pearls’ (major international cities) that have to be connected to each other by way of ‘strings’ (communication corridors). These interconnections are knowledgebased and designed to enhance the competitiveness of major centers of urban networks in the area: Gdansk–Kaliningrad–Klaipeda– Karlskrona; or Stockholm–Riga–Tallinn–St Petersburg–Helsinki; or Petrozavodsk–Joensuu–Oulu (VASAB 2010). Another vision of Baltic regionalism is found in the concept of Growth Triangles which projects the experience of Asian economic regionalization onto the Baltic Sea region, especially around the Gulf of Finland (southern Finland, Estonia, and St Petersburg). The Growth Triangle concept is aimed at capitalizing on the parties’ economic complementarities, their geographic proximity, and their common infrastructural needs (Kivikari 2001: 13, 17). Geographically influenced metaphors are discernible in the labeling of transportation routes: ‘Northern ray’ (St Petersburg–Helsinki– Stockholm); ‘Southern ray’ (St Petersburg–Ukraine–Moldova– Romania–Bulgaria–Greece); ‘Southeastern ray’ (St Petersburg– Novorossiysk–Astrakhan’); ‘Asian ray’ (St Petersburg–Central Asia–China); ‘Far Eastern ray’ (Trans-Siberian railroad: Tkachov

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Images, metaphors, and power  113 2000); the modern version of ‘The Pathway from Varangians to Greeks and Khazars’, for tourism purposes; ‘The King’s road’ from Norway to St Petersburg through Sweden (Manual 2000: 42); ‘Murmansk corridor’ (from Kirkenes to the Kola isthmus (Smirnov 1998); ‘Arkhangelsk corridor’ connecting German industrial centers, ports in the Gulf of Bothnia, and Russia’s Northeast; the ‘Blue Road’, a highway and tourist route crossing Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Karelia (Shlyamin 1998: 95); and ‘South Baltic Arc’ (Lubeck– Rostock–Szczecin–Gdansk–Kaliningrad–Klaipeda–Liepaja). Of particular significance is Kaliningrad oblast (KO) with its ‘pilot region’ status, which furnishes a vivid example of a depoliticized approach to trans-border regionalism. This is manifested in a variety of ‘technical’ metaphors: this region is frequently described as a ‘gateway’ (a ‘clean gateway’: TASIS 2000: 9) between Russia and the EU – a technical metaphor denoting host areas for direct investment and ‘new forms of organizing commodity flows and penetrating a hinterland’ (Nijkamp and Rodenburg 1998). Similar signifiers are ‘transportation knot’ (Information 2002), ‘chain’ metaphors applicable to the KO, ‘free customs reserve on a global scale’ (Izvestia, 31 Aug. 2000), ‘five-star-hotel’ (a city comfortable for business and tourism), ‘international business center’, ‘meeting place’ (Joenniemi 2000: 2) of Russia and Europe, a ‘bridge’ between the two, and even ‘a ski-jump to Europe’ (Revzin 2007). The depoliticized approach to trans-border regionalism is grounded in the search for a neutral field that purportedly reflects objectivity and can reconcile ideological differences by technically (re)solving issues otherwise entangled in political discussions. The ‘technological’ language is probably best exemplified by the metaphor of ‘laboratory’, which can be understood as a space ‘lifted out’ from normal life and producing ‘symbolic prototypes’ (Lash 2001: 114). A number of Euro-region projects involving Russian participation indicate how depoliticized communication among actors can be achieved. The logic of difference: regions as ‘partial objects’

The second of the two depoliticized logics – that of difference – presupposes regions’ self-positioning to become autonomous units enjoying a great deal of freedom of individual action. This is a decentralized, fragmented, and, concomitantly, inherently

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114  Andrey S. Makarychev asymmetric model of regionalism that can be portrayed as ‘the Russian archipelago’. This credible metaphor points to a fragmented space dominated by centrifugal forces and dotted with heterogeneous regional ‘islands’ that lack strong mutual ties (Rodin 2004: 95). In this type of discourse regions are compared to ‘islands’ – a metaphor highlighting ostensible singularity and a ‘sealed world’ (Miller 2007: 265), a sort of ‘gated community’ that semantically is juxtaposed to the ‘bridge’ metaphor. This pattern of spatial organization bears resemblance to what Slavoj Žižek figuratively called ‘organs without bodies’. By this unusual intellectually provocative metaphor he understood a set of presumably autonomous ‘partial objects’, ‘shadows deprived of their life-substance’, that form parts of the realm of ‘the virtual’. Allegorically speaking, ‘part of reality was (mis)perceived’ as an apparition that, nevertheless, could be ‘more real than reality itself ’ (Žižek 2004: 170). This conceptualization provides an interesting frame to explore Russian trans-border regionalism, especially in the 1990s, a decade famous in Russia for regional self-assertion as ‘partial objects’ eager to produce their own identity discourses, sometimes in dissociation from the federal center and in conflict with other regions that supposedly constituted a single body of Russia as a nation. Many of these attempts were indeed ‘virtual’ in the sense that they resembled regions’ public relations campaigns, yet it is precisely these ‘partial discourses’ that substantiated regions’ performances and identifications. Applying creative imagination, then, it can be said that in the 1990s Russian subnational regions became ‘subjectless partial objects’ while the Russian federal system developed into a ‘vaguely coordinated agglomerate of partial objects’ that ‘seemed to lead their own particular lives’. An agglomeration of ‘partial objects’ can be a formula to capture the ruptures and disconnections within the fabric of ‘region-centered asymmetric’ federalism in Russia (Rodin 2006). The individualistic (‘island-type’) imagery of regions in a transborder ambit is reflected in the discursive battles between regions. For instance, Pskov’s identity-building efforts consist of an attempt at ‘cultural rivalry’ with St Petersburg, which sometimes is presented as an ‘infant’ (‘junior brother’) when compared to Pskov (Navigator 1995). This metaphoric interpretation assigns Pskov historical

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Images, metaphors, and power  115 centrality in the context of Russian–European relations. It was supposedly undermined by the appearance of St Petersburg, a city which arguably bears symbolic guilt for Pskov’s marginalization and the flow of its resources into the new Russian capital (Shlosberg 2002). Tacit competition also characterized relations between Pskov and Novgorod, a city that had earned the pejorative ‘elder brother’ reputation (Nekrasov 2003). Even the small town of Ivangorod has entered the identity-constructing battlefield by arguing that it managed to turn into ‘Russia’s window to Europe’ much earlier than St Petersburg (Krasnaya undated). The two logics compared

These two versions of depoliticized image-making discourse – based on ‘geographic essentialism’ and the ‘logic of difference’ – constitute two sides of the same coin. Indeed, geographical references are the best way to underscore a region’s specificity and uniqueness. The converse is also true: the accentuation of a region’s differences usually stresses its locational peculiarity. The exceptionalism embedded in both types of depoliticized metaphors is open to politicizing effects. This transformation occurs when regions claim exceptional characteristics and have to fill them with general content. The effect – a universalization of exceptional cases – marks the shift toward politicization. Metaphors of discursive politicization: two strategies Purely technical discourse has its functional limitations: as soon as technical projects demonstrate their success, they either start displaying political ambitions (a strategy of promoting local interests under the guise of the ‘pilot region’ concept), or they encounter a political reaction from those whose interests are affected. In conceptual terms, since depoliticization presupposes the erasing of differences between the ‘self ’ and ‘others’, this discursive operation becomes unsustainable when articulation of the border problematic emerges as its core. Some individual images of regions are aimed at external targets beyond the Russian system of center–periphery relations. An alternative logic is also plausible, one grounded in border regions’

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116  Andrey S. Makarychev abilities to reify their subjectivity through collective actions based on the principle of equivalence. In this context, metaphors are meant to ‘sustain politics … to define friend and foe, same and other … [metaphors] slip into politics. [They] are ontopolitical scripts meant to anchor conventional assumptions about who are political agents, where they are based, what is political, and how they behave where they are political actors’ (Luke 1999). An alternative perspective may provide a different understanding of trans-border imaginary landscapes. This logic comes in at least two different yet interconnected versions – one related to the concept of signification, the other to hegemonic representation. The concept of signification.

In the first variant regions are perceived as ‘signs’ used by state actors (in particular, by the Russian Federation and the European Union) in communicating with each other. The idea of the sign is derived from the concept of representation: for Michel Foucault the sign emerges whenever a particular object is treated as representing another object. Signs manifest a specific type of interrelation that links one idea or identity to another. In other words, it is not enough to establish the linkage between the signifier and the signified; one has to ascertain that the very idea of representation is seen as legitimate, shared by both signifier and signified, and thus embedded in the very fabric of the process of signification. Signs, according to Foucault, must resemble the signified, on the one hand, yet simultaneously have to differ from them, on the other. Signs could be instruments of analysis since, once established and specified, they may be related to new experiences and serve as reference points for explaining them (Foucault 1966). In Russia, a similar approach was developed, among others, by Vladimir Kaganskii who treats regions as ‘analogs of texts’ transforming regional studies into ‘a journey to the world of contexts’ (Kaganskii undated) and images. Applying this framework, Kaliningrad’s ‘pilotness’ may be interpreted as this region’s transformation into a ‘sign’ of the readiness of both Russia and the EU to cooperate as strategic partners. St Petersburg, in turn, is a ‘sign’ of Russia belonging to European culture and, simultaneously, Russia’s expansion to the West. In turn in the 1990s Novgorod earned an international

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Images, metaphors, and power  117 reputation as an ‘outspoken champion of liberal, market-oriented economic reform’ and even ‘the model of present Western economic theory and business’ (Ruble and Popson 1998: 433–45). Regions have a number of ways to reinvent, rearticulate, and reactualize the sign-based metaphorical foundations of their transborder images. First, constitutive ambiguities are inscribed into some of the key metaphors. Thus ‘gates’, ‘doors’, or ‘windows’ can be read differently: either positively as something which provides better communication between neighboring parties, or negatively as something which is fragile or might be shut down under certain conditions (Lubianskii 2002). A different kind of uncertainty appears upon a double reading of certain metaphors. For instance, ‘window’ can signify either a region’s openness towards Europe or, vice versa, Europe’s wish for a pathway into Russia (Russia–EU Summit 2004). ‘Window’ also has a logical connection to a wall and, consequently, conceals allusions to borders (Poliakov 2007). The bordering–debordering dichotomy was captured by Hiski Haukkala in referring to the Northern Dimension as a ‘market place where the European Union and Russia can meet on more equal grounds than would perhaps otherwise be the case’. He notes that ‘the existence of a marketplace requires that there is a gate, or a hole, in the wall that separates the two’ (Haukkala 2003: 16). This imagined wall has a joint legacy: in Iver Neumann’s view, ‘the bricks which go into Russian wallbuilding vis-à-vis Europe are burnished locally, but they are often made of material imported from Europe’ (Neumann 1996: 28). Second, a region may invoke a number of different metaphors that split its cultural identity. Svetlana Boym speaks about the discursive ‘duel between the two cities – Leningrad and Petersburg’ (Boym 2001: 129). The same constitutive split can apply to the city’s founder: ‘Peter the Great, cherished and cursed by generations of tsars and party leaders, seems to be an all-purpose hero, a modernizer and an Antichrist, a democrat and an autocrat’ (Boym 2001: 165). This duality explains the multiplicity of metaphors undergirding this city’s geocultural image: ‘a seaside margin’, a ‘place for cosmopolitan intrigue’, an ‘internal analog of an external center’ (Koroliov 1997: 67), and even ‘an alien, a stranger, imposed upon Russia’ (Morozov 2004). In many cases metaphors contain strong allusions to the exceptionality of the region. A case in point is the variety of metaphors illustrating the stark specificity

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118  Andrey S. Makarychev of St Petersburg, dubbed ‘a vampire of Russia’, an ‘immigrant in its own motherland’, ‘a foreigner in its own land’, or a ‘rootless cosmopolitan’. It is commonplace to treat St Petersburg as a ‘foreign body’ marked by domestic enmity and alienation. Yet it is exactly these exceptional images that are constitutive for the region turning into an emblematic and, in a way, ‘stylish’ unit having the potential to evolve into an indispensable component of national identity (Anisimov 2002: 37). Arguably, some of these metaphors conflict with each other. The status of ‘Russia’s northern capital’ versus ‘the capital of a Russian province’ juxtaposes the identity of a bearer of the idea of statehood with one of lacking the attributes of centrality and forced to struggle for recognition as the most important voice among second-rate cities. The image of being ‘Russia’s crime capital’ – contract killing, rampant crime, and corruption—further complicates the discursive battlefield. Similar conflicted metaphors can be found about Kaliningrad. Few regions of Russia can boast such an impressive collection of geocultural images: as a ‘sleeping beauty’, ‘trading/transit agent’, ‘learning region’ (Asheim 2001). But it is also imagined as a ‘garrison’, ‘floating fortress’, ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ (Holtom 2001) typically employed by Russian hardliners advocating that Kaliningrad should retrieve its status as military outpost of Russia and abandon serving as ‘window onto Europe’ (Lurie 2003: 11). Metaphors evoking colors figure in descriptions of Kaliningrad. It is a part of a ‘gray zone’, lying somewhere in between the ‘white’ (which in a figurative sense signifies Western democracy) and ‘black’ zone (an area of non-Western despotism and illegal activity) (Kazin 2002). This ‘gray zone’ is regarded as an ‘interim space saturated with crisis and doubts’ (Schlogel 2003). It has certain parallels with the ‘gray’ (‘shadow’) economy metaphor widely applied to the KO. Another meaning embedded in the ‘gray zone’ metaphor is uncertainty: countries that belong to it identify themselves as buffer states located ‘in-between’ the core powers. In its most negative interpretation, this means they are neither accepted nor rejected by the EU. Accordingly Kaliningrad can be dubbed a replication of East Prussian culture and associated with old Konigsberg-style traditions in architecture and mentality. The best metaphor expressing this ‘cultural marker’ is ‘Kalininsberg’ (Itogi 2001: 21), which alludes to possible re-Germanization of this city.

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Images, metaphors, and power  119 The discursive landscapes centering on the ‘pilot region’ metaphor are inhabited by numerous alternative images. One is liberal and reformist, asserting that the KO – due to its need for accelerated development – might become a ‘pilot’ case testing the feasibility of liberal economic reform. A second reading is that the ‘pilot region’ metaphor is but a tool to secure additional privileges for the Kaliningrad oblast from both Moscow and the EU. A third view sees the ‘pilot region’ as part of the EU–Russia great power dynamic. A fourth, reflecting mainly EU discourse, is that the region’s pilotness must be understood in terms of the benefits that enlargement might bring to ‘outsiders’, regardless whether agreement with Russia has been reached on Kaliningrad. Finally the most apposite reading is arguably that of placing the KO in a trans-national environment because of its advanced engagement with European neighbors and potential for smooth adaptation to EU standards. On the one hand, then, this multiplicity of interpretations can lead to a devalorization of the pilot region idea. On the other, it opens new discursive opportunities for all parties involved in the social construction of the KO. Playing with divergent meanings constitutes a fertile terrain for intersubjective communication. Discursive ambiguity also furnishes hothouse conditions for the appearance – both in Russia and the EU – of metaphors with negative connotations. These include ‘stepson’ of Europe–Russia cooperation, a ‘double periphery’, ‘an infrastructural black hole’, ‘poor neighbor’, ‘honeypot for smugglers’, Russia’s ‘Soviet hellhole’ (Patten 2001), ‘troublespot’, ‘civilizationally bankrupt’, ‘adapting outsider’, ‘bone of contention’, ‘besieged fortress’, ‘imperial bastion’, ‘reservation’ inside Europe, ‘island of bad luck’ (Sychiova 2002), ‘remote appendix’ to Russia (Holtom 2003), ‘colony’ and even ‘hostage’. European attitudes to Kaliningrad are reflected, in turn, in such metaphors as ‘Russian Trojan Horse’ in the EU, and ‘pistol to Europe’s head’. It is sometimes argued that Kaliningrad ‘is located on an economic fault-line: it is neither a gateway nor a crossroads … it is a dead end’ (Huisman 2002: 35). A third aspect of regions’ quests for reinventing and reactualizing their trans-border images concerns ‘the battle for the story’. It unfolds whenever one metaphor is applied to several regions. The ‘gateway’ metaphor is a case in point and is used about Kaliningrad (Kortunov 2004), St Petersburg (Yakovlev 1998), and Murmansk. The ‘window’ metaphor is inscribed in the narratives of both St

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120  Andrey S. Makarychev Petersburg and Kaliningrad: both are called ‘icons’ of Russia’s new openness to the West. Metaphors are essential aspects of the ‘battle for centrality’. For example, a tourist flyer claims that Novgorod is ‘the true heart of Russia’, while St Petersburg wishes to be known as ‘the heart of the Baltic region’ (Yagya 1992: 22, 24). A ‘battle for scope’ is enjoined as well. While the Baltic Sea Region may be termed ‘a laboratory of powers’ (Antola 2003: 1–2), Kaliningrad claims its mission is as a ‘security laboratory’ (Reut 2000: 51), and ‘the Baltic laboratory of Larger Europe’ (Yurgens 2004). The ‘window to Europe’ metaphor is used by some Russian regions which neighbor countries like Estonia (Kolosov and Borodulina 2007: 44). Here we have simultaneous usage and discursive conflation of one metaphor at different levels and by different actors. These examples show how regions both share and compete for metaphors with each other. A fourth dimension to Russian trans-border imagery relates to the new–old dichotomy. An essential characteristic of metaphor is its temporal dynamics and ability to manifest something new as opposed to something old, outdated, and obsolete. Thus, metaphors project a cultural experience onto new spaces (Uspenskii 2004). A salient example is the ‘New Hansa’ discourse observed in certain Russian regions, Novgorod in particular. The revival of the Hanseatic legacy may provide a blueprint for forging a peculiar type of image grounded in the idea of ‘overlapping and linking space … that will belong to both and neither at the same time, that will be beyond sovereignty’ (Browning and Joenniemi 2004: 699–730). Murmansk oblast was labeled as a ‘New Ruhr’ or, alternatively, as the ‘Northern Near East’, for its vast natural resources (Smirnov 1998). A strong metaphorical content informs the renaming of Russian cities. The best known example is St Petersburg which, in Pertti Joenniemi’s interpretation, should really be understood as ‘the new St Petersburg’. For Dmitry Zamiatin, St Petersburg is especially prolific in catalyzing new geocultural metaphors, forming a constellation of images associated with Kiev, London, and Moscow (Zamiatin 2006: 35). A number of toponymic metaphors inscribed into the city’s landscape, like ‘New Holland’, confirm this (Prokhorov 2007: 52). The old–new debate has political implications since it invokes features either of Russian imperial revival or, conversely, of debordering and bridging the gap between Russia and Europe.

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Images, metaphors, and power  121 Thus, the ‘new Venice’ idea about St Petersburg contains strong associations with skillful diplomacy, world-class culture, and well-developed trade relations, while the ‘new Rome’ metaphor makes imperial and geopolitical allusions (Joenniemi 2003: 590). The city has even been termed a ‘new Jerusalem’, suggesting that due to clever reactualization of images derived from other cities’ geographies, St Petersburg has taken on significant resemblance to Western civilization (Kaganov 2002: 46, 48). A twist to the ‘old–new’ debate is that the adjective ‘new’ may be coterminous with ‘Russian’. This logic applies, for instance, to the ‘Russian Hong Kong’ metaphor (Chichkin undated) for Kaliningrad, which signifies a ‘zone of export production’ economically and administratively unencumbered by central authorities. Three alternative scenarios for St Petersburg charted by the ‘Peterburg 2015’ Club reflect this discursive trend: ‘Russian Venice’ – an option prioritizing St Petersburg as cultural capital (Travin undated); ‘Russian Amsterdam’, a scenario transforming St Petersburg into a transportation hub and communication center for East–West transfers (Shelin undated); and ‘Russian Boston’, an idea that lays the ground for making St Petersburg the leading center for Russian higher education (Schiolkin undated). The concept of hegemonic representation Apart from the logic of signification that shapes trans-border imaginary landscapes, a second type of logic – that of equivalence – can be conceptualized through the prism of the twin concepts of representation and hegemony. As developed by Laclau, ‘the means of representation are … only the existing particularities. So one of them has to assume the representation of the chain as a whole. This is a strictly hegemonic move: the body of one particularity assumes a function of universal representation’ (Laclau 2000: 302–3). The so-called ‘partial objects’ I introduced earlier not only pursue their individual goals and clash with each other. They also are an organ/element ‘that resist inclusion within the Whole of a body’ (Laclau 2000: 171) – an ‘island’ eager to distance itself from the totality of the mainland. Jean Baudrillard, another influential theorist, suggested that any system (including, presumably, one made up of center–region relations) inevitably contains elements that undermine its coherence and structuration. He pointed to

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122  Andrey S. Makarychev objects that challenge the uniformity of the system they formally belong to; therefore, by virtue of their existence they dislocate the existing hierarchy of established relations. He specifically referred to ‘marginal’, ‘unique’, ‘odd’, ‘exotic’, ‘eccentric’ objects that deny their inclusion/inscription into the structure on conditions equal to others. These objects, formally being parts of a system, break out into other spaces – for example, those related with historic memories or the culture of the past (Baudrillard 1991: 61–3). Baudrillard’s logic can be enriched by invoking the idea of ‘the surplus of an element’ addressed, in particular, by Žižek. Accordingly ‘an excessive element lacking its place would still sustain the fantasy of an as yet unknown place waiting for it’. This element is ‘thoroughly out of place’, a sort of ‘leftover’ (Žižek 2000: 27), something which cannot be easily accommodated and domesticated by the system, and tends to move in search of alternative spatial or territorial affiliations. These arguments can be projected onto such regions as St Petersburg. Its alleged ‘eccentricity’ makes ‘the Northern capital’ a kind of ‘internal analog of an external center’ (Koroliov 1997: 67), a city irreducible to ‘Russia’s average’ and, in a certain sense, dissimilar to surrounding territories. Emblematically, its former governor Vladimir Yakovlev claimed that ‘theoretically St. Petersburg could have gained associate membership in the EU, and could have been economically supported’ by Europeans. But this scenario might have produced Russia’s disintegration. Kaliningrad furnishes another example. This enclave could be, metaphorically speaking, approached as an analog of a ‘unique’ and ‘marginal’ object, a sort of ‘war trophy’ seeking to reach beyond the framework imposed by the Russian federal system. Symptomatically, in order to fit into the ‘pilot region’ concept, Kaliningrad oblast has to be a different kind of region, showing its capacity to behave as an actor ‘not like others’. The spectrum of ideas shaping the region’s specificity since the mid-1990s included an arrangement to control all the region’s tax revenue; being represented in EU institutions; and providing all Kaliningrad residents with one-year renewable Schengen visas allowing travel to and/through Baltic countries (Strana undated). What these cases tell us is that certain Russian regions may develop closer cultural and institutional ties to the EU than to inland territories. Pursuing such a strategy would be predicated on border

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Images, metaphors, and power  123 territories’ balancing behavior between Moscow and Brussels in order to take advantage of the resources of both. They would take on this role when an alternative (external) center of political activity became available. Conflicts are also possible since the federal center constrains the autonomy of border-located regions, especially those anxious to Europeanize themselves faster than Russia can as a whole. Metaphors, therefore, must be viewed as images that constitute the backdrop for relations of representation and hegemony. Giorgio Agamben’s metaphor is salient here: a fragment that ‘pretends to be more than itself, hints to a more general, infinite dimension’. Each time we use a certain region as an example of something, we see that it ‘shows its belongingness to a class, but for this very reason it steps out of this class at the very moment in which it exhibits and defines it’ (Agamben 2002). This approach encompasses an imaginary chain of equivalence formed by Russian subnational regions bordering on the EU. Some Northwest regions may even consider playing the part of Russia’s informal representatives in Europe, as St Petersburg does. Kaliningrad may also promote the image of a region representing Northwestern Russia tied into the Baltic Sea region. Simultaneously it may think of itself as the foundation stone for cooperation that could later be exported to other Russian regions, for example, as an ‘investment conveyer’ (Zverev 2007: 23). For the time being Kaliningrad oblast is treated by Moscow as a pilot case gauging the extent to which the EU takes Russia’s strategic interests into account. Many authors have acknowledged regions’ ability to perform the function of representation. Yurii Lotman asserted that in Dostoevsky’s writings St Petersburg secured the right to ‘embody Russia’s illness, its fears and horrors’ (Lotman 1997). Sergey Kortunov argued that Kaliningrad is a model for Russia’s integration into Europe – at a minimum, exercising the function of a ‘show window’ that can be expanded to the entire Russian North West (Kortunov 2004). The claim by other authors that ‘Kaliningrad has lost some of its capacity to symbolize Russia’s interests’ (Aalto 2004: 33) does not undermine my argument. On the contrary, this statement shares the assumption that Kaliningrad oblast has the ability to perform the functions of representation. Metaphors like ‘Russia’s cultural outpost’ (Klemeshev and Fiodorov 2002: 6) and ‘training institution for Russia’s periphery’ (Ustiugov 2002) are applied to Kaliningrad and serve as examples of

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124  Andrey S. Makarychev hegemonic images; St Petersburg’s self-proclaimed role of ‘forger of personnel’ for the Russian public service is another example (‘Peterburg’ 2002). In Laclau’s terms, one fragment/element might disclose ‘the whole scene’. It is in this sense that ‘the partial object ceases to be a partiality evoking a totality, and becomes … the name of that totality’ (Laclau 2005: 114). The applicability of Laclau’s conception of equivalences depends on the existence of an external Other, an outside center which legitimizes the process of imaginary association within the chain of equivalence and leads to the appearance of a hegemonic representative. The regions I have considered display strategies of putting into practice their competitive advantages by developing the most effective and attractive models of trans-border cooperation. It is within this semantic context that we may discover the potentially hegemonic content in such metaphors as ‘pilot region’ (pertinent to Kaliningrad), ‘Europe’s doorstep’ (for the Pskov political environment), and so on. The question arises whether a region seeking to perform a representative function needs to be a typical one (‘like dozens of others’). Or, alternatively, should it possess original, distinctive features embedded in local traditions of its own irreducible to the ‘average’? On the one hand, the pilot strategy of Kaliningrad is individualistic and operates in a competitive environment. On the other, it produces strong universalizing effects that boost the region’s claims for greater status within the federation – as an ‘example’, a ‘model’, whose experience is applicable to other regions nationwide. Corresponding metaphors include ‘a demonstration ground’, a ‘contact territory’, a ‘vanguard’ of Russia’s rapprochement with Europe, an ‘indicator’ and an ‘interface’ of EU–Russian relations, a ‘linking space’, an ‘experimental zone’, an ‘outpost’ of strategic partnership, Russia’s ‘business card’, a ‘nodal link’, and ‘a litmus test’ (Silva 2001). Kaliningrad can also be called ‘a strategic resource of the EU’ in negotiating with Russia (ES 2002), ‘a passed pawn’ in a complex geopolitical game between the EU and Russia (Lopata 2005: 147), or ‘a wicket-gate that some Nordic countries may use to get access to resources in Russia’s Northwest’ (Itogi 2002). Conversely, Kaliningrad may be a ‘bargaining card for Russia in its aspiration for centrality’ (Joenniemi 2003). In this context, Kaliningrad tests EU intentions to deal with Russia as a strategic partner. Pilotness may

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Images, metaphors, and power  125 reflect a strategy of self-reinforcement and presupposes a hierarchy of territories and decision-making centers competing for centrality. The same goes for St Petersburg. It is said that this unique city ‘is the whole Universe where everything can be found’, ‘a living chronicle of the Russian empire, Soviet Union and today’s Russia’ (Alkor undated). Not surprisingly, some believe that ‘in the future, it will be St. Petersburg and its elite which will influence and perhaps determine … Russian policy towards Estonia and Latvia’ (Nyberg 1994: 533). Such universalist discourse is tinged with hegemonic representation in its purest form. It is in this sense, perhaps, that one has to understand Žižek’s idea that a particular unit ‘is not an exception to the Universal but is the Universal; it does not reveal the failure or impossibility of the Universal, but precisely invokes the Universal’ (Žižek 2006: 329). Given the ‘difference–equivalence’ dichotomy, the idea of ‘partial objects’ can play a role: ‘the partial object is not a part of a whole but a part which is the whole’ (Laclau 2005: 113). This assertion offers a radical reading of the conflation of two logics: it is through a detail (a region-as-a-segment) that the political character of the country can be disclosed and expressed. This is what happens when a region wishes to represent something beyond its particular identity: Kaliningrad is not just an individual region within Russia but a ‘little Russia’, symbolizing Russia’s strategic interests in Europe (Aalto 2000: 33); St Petersburg is not just a particular city but an incarnation of Russia’s European quest, and so forth. Regionalizing and universalizing discourses, therefore, intermingle and mold regional identities. A converse side of the narrative of difference needs to be flagged: ‘the particularized element does not simply remain as purely particular, but enters into a different set of equivalences (those constituting the identity of the dominant powers). So, strictly speaking, the moment of universality is never entirely absent’ (Laclau 2000: 304). Extrapolating this onto Russian trans-border regions significantly diversifies cultural and political landscapes since it implies that the external environment always contains imaginary ‘chains’ that Russian regions can join. Thus, for Novgorod and Kaliningrad, this ‘chain’ takes the shape of a contemporary version of the Hanseatic League; the informal title of St Petersburg as Russia’s ‘Northern capital’ alludes to its multiple associations with its Nordic and Scandinavian partners (for example, St Petersburg is part of the ‘Baltic Palette’, a group of cities

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126  Andrey S. Makarychev consisting of Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, and Stockholm); the revival of Karelian identity places this republic in a group with FinnoUgrian territories dispersed across both Europe and Russia (Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Republic of Komi, etc.); and a radical version of Kaliningrad’s autonomy articulated the notion of the ‘Fourth Baltic Republic’. These illustrations demonstrate how a border-located region may become part of international and transnational chains linking territories. By the same token, Kaliningrad and St Petersburg may be described as ‘symptoms’ consistent with Žižek’s assertion that ‘an element … must remain an exception, that is, the point of suspension of the universal principle: if the universal principle were to apply also to this point, the universal system itself would disintegrate’ (Žižek 2006: 173). Each of these regions embodies ‘the universal in the exception’ and bears strong political connotations. Conclusions I have offered an analysis of two different discursive strategies embedded in the trans-border activities of Russian regions adjacent to the European Union. I propose three tentative conclusions. First, the two strategies of politicization and depoliticization seem to be in conflict with each other. Yet they require each other as conditions necessary for the construction of regional images. This is so because ‘all social (that is, discursive) identity is constituted at the meeting point of difference and equivalence’ (Žižek 2006: 80), that is, at the crossroads of politicization and depoliticization. The two strategies, along with the logics that underpin them, intermingle and shape the image-building process of border-located regions in Russia’s Northwest. The logics of difference and equivalence represent two extreme points in the spectrum of regional identity policies. Efforts to fix border-located regions’ identities involve meshing together a fluid combination of different images that ultimately are derivatives of both of these logics. The closer a region moves to the difference pole, the more likely it enters transnational ‘chains of equivalences’. The closer it gets to the equivalence pole, the more likely it acquires the image of a hegemonic representative. A second finding is that these distinct approaches share common ground in their recourse to metaphors when discussing norms and

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Images, metaphors, and power  127 rules. The ‘project’ metaphor is salient because if it is successful it will generate a norm. Similarly the ‘pilot’ metaphor in its most literal sense is an effort to project norms/principles/values onto a wider terrain, whether social or territorial. The potentially hegemonic nature of the ‘project’ metaphor is explained by regarding regions performing the pilot function as norm-setters. For example, it was argued that Kaliningrad’s pilotness may be interpreted as this region’s transformation into a linchpin enhancing Russian–EU partnership. The increasing density of Kaliningrad’s transnational contacts may in turn boost the region’s claims for higher status within the federation (Birchenback 2002). Third, the interrelatedness of metaphor, metonymy and synecdoche is an important issue. A case of passage from metaphors to metonymies is imagery of regions as ‘bigger’ and ‘larger’. This includes the idea of a ‘Larger Petersburg’ absorbing adjacent parts of neighboring Karelia which are dubbed a ‘big dacha’, ‘forest hotel’, ‘St Petersburg’s lungs’, and ‘St Petersburg’s oxygen’. These metonymic images constitute a central part of St Petersburg’s identity and underline the northern capital’s longing for territorial expansion and even hegemony (Isachenko 2003: 196). There is also support for St Petersburg’s cultural expansion into other Northwest provinces and for it becoming their ‘genuine leader’ (Shinkunas 1999). For Laclau the strategy of discursive hegemony does not end with its metaphorical stage since it contains the potential to turn into synecdoche: metaphors are a preliminary step in the process of hegemonic politicization that leads to synecdoche. This occurs when metaphors employed by one region receive broad recognition as representing its ‘real’ essence, that is, when that region obtains a quasi-monopoly over the articulation of this metaphor as a discursive tool. For example, several regions lay claim to being a ‘laboratory’ of EU–Russian relations, to serving as a ‘threshold to Europe’. However, if one of them succeeds in appropriating this metaphor, it can affect a wider ‘chain of equivalence’. This discursive operation associates a metaphor with one of its possible bearers/promoters, one that fills it with a distinctive regional content. How does this analysis of Russian regions’ identities expressed by means of metaphors help us understand Russia’s domestic politics? On the one hand, since the concept of sovereign democracy has

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128  Andrey S. Makarychev dominated recent political thinking, it is unlikely that center–region relations will be free of conflicts in the foreseeable future. The ‘vertical of power’ policy deprives subnational units of their autonomy in relation to the federal center. The Kremlin’s ‘decisionism’ leaves little room for accepting claims for hegemony of a particular region as the representative of a wider regional group. On the other hand, Russia’s federal leaders have to deal with increasing regional diversity manifested primarily in the sphere of identity. Under certain circumstances claims for greater diversification and autonomy may be formulated in political categories, namely, linked to the way power resources are distributed between the federal center and regions. The Kremlin has extended recognition to regional identities across Russia by holding recent Russia–EU summits in places like Samara, KhantyMansiisk, Rostov-on-Don, Khabarovsk, and Nizhny Novgorod. In addition it has endorsed the participation of Russia’s regions in the Northern Dimension initiative as well as Finno-Ugrian networking projects. Therefore, the external environment does matter for Russian subnational units in their effort to gain greater powers from Moscow. As our examples have shown, the logic of equivalences offers attractive external poles of gravitation which evoke, perhaps unintentionally, processes of association and identification. Regions’ metaphorical representations often anticipate future trends for all of Russia. In particular, regions with strong identities cannot be totally subordinated to the vertical-of-power-based federal system. In this respect they show the impossibility of governing the country from just the center. They also illustrate the limits of the re-centralization project launched by Putin over a decade ago. The role of EU member states as peripheral, indirect influences on Russia’s politics becomes evident. The ongoing process of strengthening regional identities, especially in trans-border areas, challenges Putin’s efforts to recentralize Russia. Acknowledgement The author is researcher at OstEuropa Institut, Frei Universitat Berlin. He expresses his gratitude to the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung for supporting this research.

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130  Andrey S. Makarychev Joenniemi, P. (2000) ‘The European Union’s northern dimension: on the introduction of a new signifier’, paper presented at the International Studies Association meeting, Los Angeles (14–18 March). Joenniemi, P. (2003) ‘The new Saint Petersburg: trapped in time’, Alternatives, 28, 196. Kaganov, G. (2002) ‘Sankt Peterburg kak “ikona” zapadnoi tsivilizatsii’, Vestnik Instituta Kennana v Rossii, 2, 46–48. Kaganskii, V. (undated) ‘Metodologicheskie osnovaniya regional’nogo analiza kak kul’turnoi praktiki’, http://www.inme.ru/previous/Kagansky/Regiony.html. Kasianov, M. (2002) ‘Visit to the Kaliningrad oblast’ (5 March), http://mid.ru. Kazin, F. (2002) Zakat tranzitologii, ili seraia zona Evropy? St Petersburg: Center for Integration Research and Projects, www.cirp.ru/publications/kazin/ transition_cont.htm. Kivikari, U. (2001) A Growth Triangle as an Application of the Northern Dimension Policy in the Baltic Sea Region, Moscow: Russian-European Centre for Economic Policy, Policy Paper (May). Klemeshev, A., and Fiodorov, G. (2002) ‘Perspektivy formirovaniya Kaliningradskogo sotsiuma’, in A. Klemeshev (ed.), Kaliningradskiy sotsium v evropeiskom kontekste, Kaliningrad: Kaliningrad State University Press. Kolosov, V., and Borodulina, N. (2007) ‘Rossiysko-estonskaya granitsa: bariery vospriyatiya i prigranichnoe sotrudnichestvo’, Vestnik Instituta Kennana v Rossii, 11, 44. Koroliov, S. A. (1997) Beskonechnoe prostranstvo. Geo- i sotsiograficheskie obrazy vlasti v Rossii, Moscow: Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences. Kortunov, S. V. (2004) ‘Kaliningrad kak vorota v Bol’shuyu Evropu’, Rossiya v Globalnoi Politike, 6 (Nov.), 84. Krasnaya kniga krepostei (undated) www.rusfort.ru/encyclopedia/fort. php?name=ivangorod&part=events. Laclau, E. (2000) ‘Constructing universality’, in J. Butler, E. Laclau, and S. Žižek, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (pp. 281–307), London and New York: Verso. Laclau, E. (2005) On Populist Reason, London and New York: Verso. Lash, S. (2001) ‘Technological forms of life’, Theory, Culture and Society, 18(1), 114. Lopata, R. (2005) ‘Kaliningrad anniversary: the first steps of Georgy Boos’, Lithuanian Foreign Policy Review, 1–2, 147. Lotman, Y. (1997) ‘Sovremenost’ mezhdu Vostokom i Zapadom’, Znamya, 9, 83. Lubianskii, N. (2002) ‘Okno v Evropu mozhet zakrytsia’, Nezavisimoe voennoe obozrenie (26 July), 5. Luke, T. W. (1999) ‘MegaMetaphorics: re-reading globalization, sustainability, and virtualization as rhetorics of world politics’, paper presented at the Symposium on Politics and Metaphors, International Society for Political Psychology (18– 19 July), http://www.cddc.vt.edu/tim/tims/Tim684.htm. Lurie, S. (2003) ‘Prusskaya krepost’, Konservator, 15(31) (25 April–1 May), 11. Manual for Entrepreneurs (2000) How to Establish a Russian-Finnish Joint Venture, St Petersburg: Phare/Tacis Cross Border Co-operation Small Project Facility. Miller, J. H. (2007) ‘Derrida Enisled’, Critical Inquiry, 33(2) (Winter), 265.

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Images, metaphors, and power  131 Morozov, V. (2004) Sankt-Peterburg mezhdu territoriei i prostranstvom: Metodologicheskie voprosy vzaimosviazi teorii i praktiki, Megaregion–Network Confederation, http://megaregion.narod.ru/stenogr_103002.html. Navigator (1995) Political Information Agency, www.navigator.pskovregion. org/?1&code=53&subcode=54. Nekrasov, S. (2003) ‘Feodal’naya respublika Pskov’, Nezavisimaya gazeta (23 April), 4. Neumann, I. B. (1996) ‘Russia and Europe’, in J. Godzimirski (ed.), Russia and Europe, NUPI Report 210, Oslo: Center for Russian Studies, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Nijkamp, P., and Rodenburg, C. (1998) Mainports and Gateways in Europe: A Comparative Contrast Analysis in the Nordic Area, Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit. Nyberg, R. (1994) ‘The Baltic Countries and the Northwest of Russia: a European challenge’, European Security, 3(3) (Autumn). Paasi, A. (1995) ‘Constructing territories, boundaries and regional identities’, in T. Forsberg (ed.), Contested Territory: Border Disputes at the Edge of the Former Soviet Union, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Patten, C. (2001) ‘Russia’s hell-hole enclave’, Guardian (7 April), 3. ‘Peterburg’ (2002) ‘Peterburg kak investitsionnaya laboratoriya’, Center for Strategic Design–North West (27 Aug.), http://www.csr-nw.ru/content/library/ print.asp?ids=46&ida=675. Prokhorov, V. (2007) ‘New-Peterburg – zhertva bolshoi stroiki’, Profil (15 Jan.), 590. Reut, O. (2000) The Baltic and Barents Regions in Changing Europe: New Priorities for Security, EFP Working Papers 2, Groningen: Centre for European Security Studies. Revzin, G. (2007) ‘Tramplin v Evropu’, Kommersant, 148 (18 Aug.), 3. Rodin, J. (2004) ‘The Russian archipelago’, in E. Rindzeviciute (ed.), Contemporary Change in Russia: In from the Margins? Södertörns Högskola: Baltic and East European Graduate School Studies, 3. Rodin, J. (2006) Rethinking Russian Federalism: The Politics of Intergovernmental Relations and Federal Reforms at the Turn of the Millenium, Stockholm: Stockholm University. Ruble, B., and Popson, N. (1998) ‘The Westernization of Russian provinces: the case of Novgorod’, Post-Soviet Geography, 39(8), 433–445. Russia–EU Summit (2004) Press release no. 31/04, Moscow: Mission of the Russian Federation to the European Commission, (21 May), http://www.russiaeu.org/ pr31-04.htm. Schiolkin, A. (undated) ‘Peterburg v XXI veke: bostonskii scenariy’, http://www. csr-nw.ru/publications.php?code=147. Schlogel, C. (2003) ‘Evropa – pogranichnaya strana’, Vestnik Evropy, no. 9. Shelin, S. (undated) ‘Peterburg v XXI veke: amsterdamskii scenariy’, http://www. csr-nw.ru/publications.php?code=145. Shinkunas, V. (1999) ‘Rossiiskii Severo-zapad dolzhen stat’ bufernoi zonoi’, http:// www.geocities.com/west_west_99/shinkunas.htm. Shlosberg, L. (2002) ‘O chom prazdnik’, Pskovskaya gubernia (17–24 July), 1.

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132  Andrey S. Makarychev Shlyamin, V. (1998) ‘Economic problems of regional politics in the North-West of Russia: Karelian view’, in St Petersburg, the Baltic Sea and European Security, Helsinki: Nordic Forum for Security Policy and the Finnish Committee for European Security. Sikka, T. (2006) ‘The new imperialism: using critical discourse analysis and articulation theory to study George W. Bush’s freedom doctrine’, Global Change, Peace and Security, 18(2) (June), 101. Silva, C. (2001) ‘Russia and the EU: how can the process of rapprochement be furthered?’, Report from the EU–Russia Forum for Foreign and Security Policy, Moscow (15 Feb.). Smirnov, A. (1998) ‘Vozmozhnosti regionov Severa-97’, Kitogam mezhdunarodnoi investitsionnoi konferentsii, http://www.ln.mid.ru. Strana (undated) http://www.strana.ru/print/983534045.html. Sychiova, V. (2002) ’Ostrov Kaliningrad’, Itogi (17 May), 30. TASIS (2000) Kaliningrad 2000–2010: Diagnosis, Concepts and Proposals for Future Development, Grenoble: TASIS. Tkachov, G. I., Makarov, B. I, and Churov, V. E. (2000) ‘Mezhdunarodnie i vneshneekonomicheskie sviazi Sankt-Peterburga v 1999 godu’, http://www. ln.mid.ru. Travin, D. (undated) ‘Peterburg v XXI veke: venetsianskii scenariy’, http://www. csr-nw.ru/publications.php?code=144. Uspenskii, B.A. (2004) ‘Evropa kak metafora i kak metonimiya’, http://www.logic. ru/Russian/vf/Papers2004/Uspenskii62004.htm. Ustiugov, V. (2002) ‘Interview’ (28 June) http://www.strana.ru/print/151054.html. Visions and Strategies around the Baltic (2010) An Agenda 21 for the Baltic Sea Region, Baltic 21 Series, 1/98, http://www.ee/baltic/publicat/R1.htm. Yagya, V. (1992) ‘St Petersburg – at the heart of the Baltic region?’ in Co-operation in the Baltic Sea Area, The Second Parliamentary Conference on Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Area, report from a conference arranged by the Nordic Council at Stortinget, Oslo, Norway (22–4 April). Yakovlev, V. (1998) ‘Speech at the Eighth Session of the Consultative Council of the Subjects of Federation on the International and Foreign Economic Issues at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (3 June), http://www.ln.mid.ru. Yurgens, I. (2004) ‘Baltiiskaya laboratoriya Bolshoi Evropy’, Rossiya v globalnoi politike, 3 (May–June), 63. Zamiatin, D. (2006) Kul’tura i prostranstvo: Modelirovanie geograficheskikh obrazov, Moscow: Znak Publishers. Žižek, S. (2000) The Fragile Absolute, London and New York: Verso. Žižek, S. (2004) Organs without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences, New York and London: Routledge. Žižek, S. (2006) The Universal Exception: Selected Writings (vol. 2), ed. R. Butler and S. Stephens, London and New York: Continuum. Zverev, Y. (2007) ‘Kaliningrad: problems and paths of development’, Problems of Post-Communism (March–April), 23.

9 The embarrassing Russian connection Selective memory of the Russian heritage in contemporary Poland Downloaded by [Hacettepe University] at 20:40 14 March 2017

Tomasz Zarycki Introduction Russia’s nineteenth-century heritage in contemporary Poland is a contested matter. I shall examine the patterns of marginalization and depreciation of this legacy and how they are shaped by the political and cultural logic used in Poland today. While the positive elements of the Russian heritage are identified as primarily economic, it is paradoxically in the economic sphere that Poland records little historical continuity. What factors explain the adoption of an image of Russia’s past influence that seems at odds with reality? The roles that Russia as a symbolic Other has played in the construction of modern Polish national identity have been assessed elsewhere (Zarycki 2004). I described its roles as a negative point of reference, a significant inferior Other which compensates for Poland’s inferiority complex in relation to the West. Referring to Edward Said’s influential notion of Orientalism (Said 1978), I identified elements of orientalization of Russia in Polish national identity discourse. Russia is often presented as a barbarian, dangerous country, a constant, unified threat to Poland. Many Polish writers imbue Russia with an entrenched imperial character and an innate disposition to conduct aggressive behavior toward other nations and states. Poland is typically depicted as its eternal victim. At the same time, Russia is often seen as mystical, inscrutable, and yet, oddly, a country about which Poland claims the role of expert. Several elements of this specific orientalizing imagery are used in Poland not only in reference to Russia but also to other eastern European countries – as well as to eastern regions in Poland itself (Zarycki 2010). In order to interpret the symbolic role of Russia in contemporary Polish discourses, I highlight the external context

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134  Tomasz Zarycki of Russia’s uses. Polish symbolic politics is directed primarily at a Western audience. Poles focus on competing for recognition of their Europeaness/Westernness with other nations of Central and Eastern Europe. Earning the status of ‘true Westerner’ is a central stake in modern Polish symbolic politics. Accordingly any connection with Russia is usually perceived as disadvantageous. Uses of the Russian heritage in Poland, then, may be seen as a function of the general hierarchies of prestige existing in the Western world, which are in turn reproduced in Poland. They reflect the relatively low international prestige of both Poland, which searches for compensation strategies, and Russia, which to many Poles seems a useful underdog in Poles’ efforts to prove their Westernness. Thus Polish discursive uses of Russia are dependent on the external context. It can also be argued that the Polish pattern of invoking the specter of Russian threat and its inferiority resembles that found elsewhere in the West (Neumann, 1996) and in other Central and Eastern Europe states (Kuus, 2007; Melegh, 2006; Wise, 2011). The silenced economic history of the Russian sector in Poland Rather than focusing on Polish perceptions and uses of contemporary Russia and its previous embodiment as the Soviet Union, I consider the heritage of the nineteenth-century Russian presence on Polish territories during the ‘partition period’ from 1795 to 1915. A paradoxical inversion of hierarchies has marked the Russian sector: although it clearly represented the most dynamically developing part of Poland, today it carries the reputation of having been the most economically backward part. The Russian empire is cast as one which left neither democratic traditions nor technological successes, an impression at odds with historical facts. Economic historians note that one of the key factors behind industrialization in the Russian-governed Congress Kingdom was its easy access to Russia’s enormous markets. This connection stimulated economic growth that was unmatched in other parts of Poland. As Jacek Kochanowicz argued, ‘for a time, in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the Polish Kingdom was one of the most industrially developed regions of the Russian Empire’ (Kochanowicz 2006). The city of Łódź furnishes an illuminating example. A large industrial city and important center of the textile industry, Łódź

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The embarrassing Russian connection  135 was famous across Europe as a boom town in the second half of the nineteenth century. Its rapid growth was largely explained by its location near the Prussian border. This allowed investors from Prussia to build factories close to home while, at the same time, gaining easy access to the vast Russian market. The sudden emergence of Łódź as an industrial center was made possible, then, by the division (partition) of Poland together with the tariff policies of the Russian empire. Most economic historians agree that the Russian sector of Poland experienced the most prominent industrialization of any other in the nineteenth century. To be sure, it was restricted to a few centers – Warsaw, Łódź, and the Dąbrowskie Basin – and it was much dependent on the influx of foreign capital. What is often forgotten in Poland is that up to 1917 Russia was highly integrated into the global economic system. The cultural and academic institutions of pre-revolutionary Russia were also strongly linked to their Western counterparts. At the turn of the twentieth century the Russian sector represented the fastest growing part of Polish lands and was one of the main economic hubs of the Russian empire. Urban centers in the Russian partition zone were ahead of towns on other Polish lands not only in terms of economic growth but in social, cultural, and intellectual dynamism. It is often overlooked today that Russian economic, political, and cultural achievements were duly recognized by Poles at the turn of the century. I would go further to suggest that much of the Polish elite recognized Russian cultural and economic superiority. Max Weber’s observation in Economy and Society about the impressive development of Russian Poland is striking. After describing Germany’s unnatural, economically impractical transportation routes between east and west, he contended that eastern Germany should be the economic location for strong industries, an economicallydetermined market and hinterland for which would be the whole of Western Russia. Such industries are now cut off by Russian custom barriers and have been moved to Poland, directly behind the Russian custom frontier. Through this development, as is known, the political Anschluss of the Russian Poles to the Russian imperial idea, which seemed to be politically out of the question, has been brought into the realm of possibility. (Weber 1968: 913)

136  Tomasz Zarycki

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Around the same time, just before the First World War, a Polish conservative literary scholar, Marian Zdziechowski, wrote an essay titled ‘Russian influences on the Polish soul’ (Zdziechowski 1920). An expert on Russian culture who had befriended many Russian writers and philosophers, he nevertheless felt it his duty to criticize what he considered excessive admiration for Russian culture among Polish students. The pervasiveness of positive perceptions of Russia in Poland at the start of the twentieth century is studiously ignored today. Patterns of remembering the nineteenth-century Russian heritage A useful way of looking at the functioning of memory of the Russian heritage in contemporary Poland is to compare uses of the nineteenthcentury imperial heritage in the three partition zones of Poland: the former Austrian, Prussian, and Russian areas. Understandings of the imperial heritage are reflected today in Poland’s electoral geography and differences in regional development (Zarycki 2007). Here let me summarize the images which the three regions are given in mainstream discourses. The former Austrian zone (Galicja or Małopolska – ‘Little Poland’) enjoys a relatively positive image. This zone is said to reflect an appreciation of the multinational modernity of the Habsburg empire and has even been advanced as a model for post-national Europe. Its economic backwardness is rarely discussed today. The former Prussian zone (Wielkopolska – Greater Poland) has a relatively positive image, too. Recurring motives include an appreciation of the modernity of Prussia, its rule of law, and its efficiency. Criticism of Germanization policies in the zone do appear, however. In contrast, the former Russian zone (Kongresówka or Congress Kingdom) has a largely negative image. It is caricatured as having been an authoritarian, even barbarian and backward, state. Contemporary images of the former Russian zone underscore its autocratic nature, acute economic and cultural backwardness, and isolation from mainstream Western civilization. The Russian heritage is considered a burden, something to overcome and altogether shed. Most historical accounts of the Polish elite of the region marginalize their importance in the Russian empire. While the positive role of Russia in the development of social and cultural structures in the former Congress Kingdom is currently acknowledged,

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The embarrassing Russian connection  137 the main emphasis has been placed on aspects of Polish culture which developed under Russian administration in opposition to it. Furthermore the economic legacy left in the Russian partition zone is marginalized and belittled. What is not recognized is that the Russian sector was economically the most developed part of Poland in the late nineteenth century. In no other part of divided Poland did a comparable affluent and numerous Polish capitalist elite emerge (Jasiecki 2002). These positive aspects of economic development in the region are overshadowed by the memory of negative elements of repressive Russian policies: brutal reprisals against Poles who participated in political resistance to Russian rule (including exile and confiscation of estates); suppression of Polish culture and education; high levels of corruption; relatively minor democratization of the political system; uneven economic development; and limited infrastructural development outside of the major urban centers. Such negative images of the Russian heritage shape the conclusions drawn by conservative Polish sociologist Zdzisław Krasnodębski. Referring to Poland of the partitions he wrote: ‘the choice of the West was the choice of a higher civilization – a modern developed one – while the choice of the East most often meant the choice of backwardness’ (Krasnodębski 2011). In a similar spirit liberal prime minister Donald Tusk called the choice in the 2007 election that brought him to power ‘a choice between the civilization of the West and eastern political disorder’ (Jg 2007). Differences can also be identified in uses of the imperial heritage outside political and academic spheres. For example, they appear in contemporary advertising and branding strategies. Thus positive references to the Austro-Hungarian empire and its last idealized emperor Franz-Josef are ubiquitous in former Galicja (Bialasiewicz 2005; Kubicki 2008). British sociologist Gerard Delanty argues that this phenomenon may be seen as part of a wider international trend: the revival of the Habsburg Mitteleuropa myth (Delanty 1996). Uses of the Prussian imperial past in the Wielkopolska region are less ambivalent. Prussian and German influences still convey an ambiguous meaning since German culture in the region is usually considered to have been imposed during occupation periods. However the cultural superiority of Germany over Poland is widely acknowledged in Poland itself. In some narratives about Wielkopolska the motif of the ‘civilizing’ heritage of Prussia and

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138  Tomasz Zarycki Germany is present. It is present also in German narratives. It may be that certain Polish images of relations between Polish and German cultures are influenced by Western stereotypes (Orłowski 1996). A recent example of recognition of the Prussian imperial past in Wielkopolska was the official opening of the so-called ‘Royal– Imperial Route’ in Poznań. As the city’s website (Poznan 2010) explains, ‘Royal’ refers to the residency in Poznań of Polish king Mieszko I. ‘Imperial’ refers to visits of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, Napoleon, and two Russian tsars (Peter I and Alexander I), as well as attempts to take the city over by Henry II, Frederick I (Barbarossa) and John of Luxembourg. It was German Kaiser Wilhelm II who awarded Poznań the status of ‘imperial-residence city’ and erected a castle for himself in 1910 – the last imperial residence built in Europe. Positive references to the imperial past are absent in the Russian zone. Napoleon, invader of Russia, is memorialized in numerous commercial references (for example, names of hotels, restaurants, routes, and landmarks) and in monuments on the territory of the former Congress Kingdom. His monument, destroyed in World War II, has been restored in Warsaw. None of the Russian tsars is remembered in this way and any references to them are extremely rare. One novel case of direct reference to Russian tsars is an establishment in Białowieża, in a borderland national park, called the ‘The tsars’ restaurant’. Located in the building of the former private railway station of Nicholas II near Białowieża Forest, it has been decorated with portraits of the last Russian tsar. Another such restaurant can be found in Legionowo, site of a large Russian and later Polish garrison. More typical than tagging Russian landmarks is silencing the Russian legacy. An example is the way the University of Warsaw presents its Russian past. The period 1870–1915, in which the so-called Imperial University of Warsaw existed, is described this way: ‘A Russian language university, established in place of the Main School, was a tool to “russify” Polish society. The majority of its professors were from Russia’ (University of Warsaw, 2010). The university’s home page continues: ‘In 1905 under the slogan of “the struggle for the Polish university”, a boycott of the Russian university was announced. The enrollment of Polish students in Warsaw dropped to under ten percent and the majority of them transferred to other universities.’

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The embarrassing Russian connection  139 Historian Janusz Tazbir contended that censorship of Russian achievements was deeply rooted in Poland. Biographies of famous Poles such as poet Adam Mickiewicz and writer Bolesław Prus were purged of references which could be interpreted as any type of perceived ‘collaboration’ with Russian authorities (Tazbir 2003). If Polish scholars known for pioneering exploration of the Asiatic part of the Russian empire are recalled today, it is because contemporary Polish memory underlines their political exile to Siberia, thereby fitting the mainstream narrative of Polish suffering at the hands of Russia. Absence of a propertied class as determinant of memory My explanation for this one-sided memory of the Russian heritage in Poland lies in the origins and background of Polish elites. Their present-day identity has been shaped by two late nineteenthcentury developments: (1) the transformation of the gentry into the bourgeoisie; (2) its transformation into the intelligentsia. The first process, commonplace in Western societies (Eyal et al. 1998), was circumscribed on Polish territories, in particular under the Austrian and Russian administrations. These regions faced an overproduction of university graduates unable to find jobs in commerce and administration. In the Austrian sector the labor market was affected by underdevelopment. In the Russian sector, by contrast, political issues were more salient. After two national uprisings Polish access to posts in state administration was restricted. High school graduates with Polish as their main language had no access to the University of Warsaw, a Russian-language institution from 1870 to 1915. As a result, much of the Polish gentry, which had lost social status due both to economic modernization and land reform, leading to their pauperization, became transformed into the intelligentsia – a culture-defined class rather than a modern bourgeoisie defined by ownership of property and capital (Gella, 1976). Similar processes were taking place among the Russian intelligentsia. But if the Polish intelligentsia generally subscribed to national liberation ideas, the Russian had a more left-wing orientation with workers’ emancipation at its core (Walicki 2005). Some Poles living in the Russian empire were able to retain and even improve their socio-economic status. These were the landed gentry, some of whom were able not only to keep their estates –

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140  Tomasz Zarycki despite confiscations of property of Poles accused of supporting subversive activities – but also expand and buy new estates. Other Poles pursued successful and at times spectacular business careers. Yet others attained high posts in the imperial administration, primarily outside the Kingdom of Poland. Much the same applied to academic careers: the most successful Polish academics were those in St Petersburg, Moscow, and Dorpat/Tartu where no political restrictions were imposed on ethnic Poles (Bazylow, 1984; Chwalba, 1999; Szwarc, 1995). The Bolshevik Revolution was a blow to Poles whose careers were linked to imperial Russia. Many of them perished in the Revolution or, later, if they had stayed in Russia, in the purges, which sometimes took on an anti-Polish character. Those who reached the safety of the newly independent Second Polish Republic lost their assets and status. The ones who lost the greatest fortunes were landowners and business people. Other Poles were unable to continue their professional careers as the institutions in which they had worked disappeared. The Bolshevik Revolution was a terrible blow to the Polish elite (Wise, 2003). These misfortunes suffered by successful Poles living in Russian-administered Polish lands are at odds with mainstream interpretations of Polish history. That period is usually identified in Polish historiography with the regaining of independence in November 1918. The fall of the Russian empire is treated as a positive event. We should recall that Poland helped determine the tsarist regime’s fate. Talks with Bolsheviks held in Miklaszewicze in October–November 1919 resulted in Józef Piłsudski’s decision not to help Admiral Denikin, in this way contributing to the defeat of the White forces. Historian Józef Mackiewicz considered this as the pivotal event in twentieth-century Polish history. He criticized Piłsudski for his decision to save the Reds (Mackiewicz 2009). However in mainstream discourse today Piłsudski’s critical decision, if it is mentioned at all, is regarded as justified: Piłsudski calculated that a White-ruled Russia would be an attractive partner for Western powers, more so possibly than Poland. If the Whites had won, the logic went, Polish independence might have been put at risk. Political events that followed from the two world wars produced paradoxical consequences for Poland. On the one hand after World

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The embarrassing Russian connection  141 War I the country regained its independence, on the other much of its elite lost vast amounts of land and assets which could never be reclaimed. The second stage of this process occurred in 1939 with the outbreak of World War II. The Polish state again disappeared and Polish landowners again lost their lands, this time largely in territories which became part of the Soviet Union. Today the loss of Polish property during the World War II is embedded in collective memory deeper than the more significant losses of lands and capital that followed the World War I. This difference in remembrance is attributable to contrasting ways of imagining both wars. If the first was a war in which an independent Poland reappeared, the second was a war in which Poland temporarily lost its independence as well as permanently losing territory. The fate of Polish elites may also account for different ways of remembering. After 1918 Poles who had lost wealth and status were unable to enter the interwar political scene as a powerful group. In contrast, those displaced from power and status after the creation of Communist Polish Republic in 1944 were able gradually to coalesce into a powerful opposition to the Communist regime. In 1989 when a broad anti-Communist movement coalescing around the Solidarity trade union was organized, this opposition had already managed to impose its counternarrative of the history of Poland. In the view of the anti-Communist leadership, elites which had lost their estates in the former Kresy – the lands which were annexed by the Soviet Union during the war – are considered among the major victims of Communism. Victims of the first wave of Bolshevik nationalizations are, conversely, overlooked in contemporary mainstream discourses of Polish victimization. Bourdieu’s theory of capital and the Russian heritage Selective memory in Poland is connected to a more general phenomenon: the steady marginalization of economic capital in the Polish historical narrative. French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu distinguished between economic, cultural, and social capital and understood political capital as a special form of social capital (Bourdieu, 1986). Following this typology I argue that the logic of cultural capital plays a privileged role in the construction of modern Polish national identity. Political capital plays a secondary role while the part played by economic capital is surprisingly insignificant.

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142  Tomasz Zarycki Sociologists Gil Eyal, Ivan Szelényi and Eleanor Townsley have studied social stratification in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of Bourdieu’s theory of capital (Eyal et al. 1998). They acknowledged that cultural capital has a leading role in Polish society. Poland seemed to represent an imagined cultural community sharing a common history and high culture. Modern Polish culture is primarily a product of the intelligentsia and this is why it is strongly imbued with motives of suffering, sacrifice, and moral purity. Only secondarily is the country regarded as a political community. The diminution of the state in the contemporary Polish imagination is related to the prolonged absence of a Polish state in the nineteenth century, a formative period for modern Polish national identity. The Communist period may have also depreciated the importance of the state as it was considered alien and imposed in the anti-Communist narrative. When it does exist, the Polish state is usually weak compared to its Western counterparts. Economic capital ranks in last place in Poland in terms of influence on the construction of Polish identity. This can be explained by the fact of its very scarceness: processes of repeated expropriation of Polish wealth in the twentieth century had an impact on decreasing the importance of economic capital in Polish identity. Moreover the anti-Communist opposition did not frame its demands in the language of economic capital. Contrast this with social processes in Germany, where the memory of lost lands in the eastern regions that in 1945 became part of Poland and Russia, as Silesia and Eastern Prussia, elicits calls for German property restoration to this day. If these lost territories are remembered in German identity discourse in economic terms, the Polish kresy are mostly referred to in terms of cultural losses. Since its victory in 1989 the dominant narrative of Polish national identity has been framed in moralistic terms with emphasis on victimization, national suffering, and spiritual and cultural achievements. Economic history is largely ignored in mainstream discourses and school curricula. This way of looking at Poland’s past critically influences how the Russian heritage is remembered. The nineteenth century appears as a period of moral victories over Russia, albeit entailing lost wars and crushed uprisings. Cultural and spiritual achievements are listed alongside suffering at Russian hands. This dominant narrative reflects the strong social position held by the Polish intelligentsia which managed to convert its idealistic

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The embarrassing Russian connection  143 moral narrative into the mainstream identity discourse. For the intelligentsia cultural capital always counts more than its political or economic counterparts. For this reason political life is dominated by symbolic issues related to identity politics, the place of religion, and liberal values. With membership in the European Union in 2004 the Polish elite set out to obtain unconditional recognition of its ‘Westernness’. Links to Russia are not a useful asset in this quest. The motif of Russia as negative significant Other is framed primarily in terms of historically defined cultural capital. Russia’s current status in the global hierarchy of cultural prestige is not high so exhibiting the Russian heritage is not attractive to most Poles. We can suggest that this phenomenon is related to a Western-initiated Orientalization of Russia. Poles are conscious of prejudices towards Russia and so they feel that invoking their Russian links weakens the image of their ‘Westernness’. This awareness, even oversensitivity, to Western Orientalizing stereotypes may in part be due to Polish self-images as victims themselves. It can also be explained in terms of a complex of inferiority towards the West that Poles and Russians share. The political context for remembering the Russian heritage Let me return to the early twentieth century to examine the changing political context within which Poles have traditionally perceived Russia. Just before the World War I a highly fragmented multiple party system characterized Polish politics. Political parties adopted many different geopolitical orientations. One political camp envisaged loyalty to Austria as its fundamental foreign policy course. Another opted for close cooperation with Russia. The proRussian camp initially included National Democrats (Endecja) led by Roman Dmowski who saw Germany as Poland’s main security threat and therefore sought the backing of Russian conservatives. The pro-Russian orientation was shared by Liberals who looked for support from their Russian counterparts (Ponarski, 2003). It was the camp under the leadership of Piłsudski, head of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS), which played the pivotal role in the first years after independence. The future strongman originally favored close relations with Austria and was wary of Russia, in both its White and Red variations. It was Piłsudski who defined what Polish

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144  Tomasz Zarycki foreign policy should be in light of the Polish historical experience. He advanced the concept of equal threat from both a Soviet and White Russia. If the National Democrats had sided with tsarist Russia, they abandoned a pro-Russian orientation after its fall. Pro-Soviet Polish Communists were a radical, marginal group in the interwar period. In turn the Russian-oriented Liberal group disintegrated, along with the memory of their cooperation with Russian liberals. In such a political context where all political groupings had at one time supported a pro-Russian orientation, repressive Bolshevik rule provided them with a Hobbesian choice. The Soviet Union could only be viewed as Poland’s adversary and no further collaboration between leaders of the two countries could be imagined before 1939. After the Soviet liberation of German-occupied Polish lands in 1944, Moscow allowed its Polish Communist puppet regime to retain a phalanx of Polish national heroes. Strangely, then, the official historical narrative continued to praise Poles who had fought Russians, including military figures like Tadeusz Kościuszko and writers like Adam Mickiewicz. In this way the preceding Polish grand narrative highlighting conflict with and suffering under Russia was subtly revised. Polish revolts against the feudal tsarist empire, its elites, and capitalist system were woven into a modified narrative stressing Poles’ progressive, emancipatory values. What is the importance of this narrative shift for remembrance of the nineteenth-century Russian heritage in Poland? The modified narrative legitimized a further silencing of memories of Polish cooperation with Russia in the partition period since, in terms of Communist ideology, such cooperation had to be depicted as reactionary. This historiographical revisionism also marginalized the successes that had been recorded in the Russian partition zone. The fall of communism did not change this historiographical thrust. Although the USSR was now almost universally condemned as an evil empire, the one-sided view of the Polish experience in the Russian zone during the partition period – one of Polish suffering and resistance – remained unchanged. No interested parties would want to rediscover the silenced narratives of Poles who had prospered in this zone. Instead the official narrative of 123 years of repressive Russian occupation was supplemented by the narrative of Soviet occupation

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The embarrassing Russian connection  145 of Poland. Both narratives were mutually reinforcing as imperial Russia and the USSR were presented as similar in character. This dominant view, developed by historian Jan Kucharzewski in his magisterial From White Tsarism to Red published in 1923, represents today the principal discursive approach to Russia. The patterns of remembering the Russian heritage that I have outlined are reinforced by the logic of contemporary Polish politics. Nearly all Polish political parties today wish to be perceived as pro-Western and not pro-Eastern. The liberal party in power since 2007, Civic Platform (PO), has been strongly pro-EU and calls for liberal modernization and Westernization of Poland. In order to emphasize their European identity they depict their main opponent, the conservatives in the Law and Justice party (PiS), as parochial and favoring ‘Easternness’. Poland’s electoral geography shows that conservatives do receive greater support in eastern regions of the country. The discourse of Polish liberals sometimes links the supposed backwardness of the former Russian zone, where conservatives do well, to an ‘Eastern’ mentality, that is, Russian and Soviet. This mentality is ascribed to the purported narrow-mindedness of conservative inhabitants of the region (Zarycki 2010). In short, in their discursive practices liberals associate Russian and Soviet influences with their conservative opponents; not only that, they hold it up as a stigma suggesting their opponents’ mental and civilizational inferiority. Prospects for reevaluating the Russian heritage Given Poland’s integration into European structures, is it possible to rehabilitate the history of cordial Russian–Polish relations? Poland’s status in the global hierarchy of power and prestige will largely determine how much it will need a symbolic compensatory strategy. It will also shape the nature of its policy toward Russia. The emergence of an indigenous economic elite is of particular importance, as I have suggested above. A Polish economic elite can have the effect of changing the hierarchies of capital in the country, raising the importance of economic compared to cultural capital. This could lead to a reinterpretation of Poland’s history in which economic development would be more central. Recognition of the positive aspects of development under Russian administration might follow.

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146  Tomasz Zarycki We might also expect that this emergent economic class would be interested in finding inspiration and symbolic legitimacy in the history of endogenous Polish entrepreneurship. This class would discover that the lion’s share of successful Polish entrepreneurship in the nineteenth century was based in Russian Poland, and it frequently pursued constructive relations with the Russian administration. In the classic Polish novel The Promised Land, written by Nobel laureate Władysław Reymont, there is a roadmap for exploring such historical revisionism. The title refers to the city of Łódź and its dynamic expansion in the late nineteenth century. Reymont’s novel (and its film adaptation by director Andrzej Wajda) emphasized the spectacular growth and opportunities which appeared in this unique city of the late Russian empire. That the contemporary Polish business class finds in it a source of self-confidence suggests how similar narratives of successful Polish entrepreneurship in Russian Poland can be influential. Another positive signifier of the Russian past is the relatively recent ‘Festival of Four Cultures’ held in Łódź. Its aim is to promote the city as a multicultural and multilingual metropolis in the center of Poland. At the turn of the twentieth century Łódź was an enormous melting pot of Poles, Germans, Jews, and Russians. There is a mythical quality underlying this festival: Łódź is described as a city which grew incredibly fast. A city, in which four nations were living side by side: Polish, Jewish, German and Russian; there were four denominations: Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish and Evangelical. Despite this diversity, people were living in peace, there was no discrimination nor hostile relations. People were judged not by their religion or nationality, but by their behavior and values which they represented. (Łódź 2010) Even if it constitutes an idealized myth, what is important for our purposes is the positive assessment given to the Russian heritage. Developments in Russia will certainly be no less important in shaping patterns of use of the Russian heritage in Poland. The decisive issue here will remain the status of Russia in global hierarchies. These encompass its economic and cultural as well as political development. Such factors as Russian attitudes toward the West and toward its Soviet past will matter. Russia’s international

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politics in Central and Eastern Europe will also play a major role. In particular, Moscow’s foreign policy toward Belarus and Ukraine, where Polish and Russian interests meet, will have great significance. How Russia and its past are perceived in Poland will also be shaped by whether Russia concentrates its focus on major European countries like France and Germany, or whether it is attentive to its relationship with its immediate Western neighbor, Poland. Bibliography Bazylow, L. (1984) Polacy w Petersburgu, Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich. Bialasiewicz, L. (2005) ‘Back to Galicia Felix?’, in C. M. Hann and P. R. Magocsi (eds), Galicia: A Multicultured Land (pp. 160–84), Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Bourdieu, P. (1986) ‘The forms of capital’, in J. G. Richardson (ed.), Handbook of Theory and Research for Sociology of Education (pp. 241–58), Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Chwalba, A. (1999) Polacy w służbie Moskali, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN. Delanty, G. (1996) The resonance of Mitteleuropa: a Habsburg myth or antipolitics?’, Theory, Culture and Society, 13(4): 93–108. Eyal, G., Szelényi, I., and Townsley, E. R. (1998) Making Capitalism without Capitalists: Class Formation and Elite Struggles in Post-Communist Central Europe, London and New York: Verso. Gella, A. (1976) ‘An introduction to the sociology of the intelligentsia’, in A. Gella (ed.), The Intelligentsia and the Intellectuals: Theory, Method, and Case Study (pp. 9–34), Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Jasiecki, K. (2002) Elita biznesu w Polsce: Drugie narodziny kapitalizmu, Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Instytutu Filozofii i Socjologii PAN. Jg, P. (2007) ‘Tusk: Wybór między cywilizacją zachodu, a nieporządkiem wschodu’, Gazeta Wyborcza (16 Oct.). Kochanowicz, J. (2006) ‘Polish kingdom: periphery as a leader’, paper prepared for the XIV International Economic History Congress, Helsinki, Finland (21–5 Aug.). Krasnodębski, Z. (2011) ‘Potrzeba zbiorowej mobilizacji’, Rzeczpospolita (5 May). Kubicki, P. (2008) ‘Regionalizm galicyjski na przełomie XX i XXI wieku’, in P. Czubik and Z. Mach (eds), Tożsamość galicyjska z perspektywy Polski i Ukrainy (pp. 15–34), Bielsko-Biała: Wyższa Szkoła Administracji. Kucharzewski, J. (1923) Od białego caratu do czerwonego, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Kasy im. J. Mianowskiego. Kuus, M. (2007) Geopolitics Reframed: Security and Identity in Europe’s Eastern Enlargement, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Łódź (2010) http//www.pbw.lodz.pl/F4K.htm.

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148  Tomasz Zarycki Mackiewicz, J. (2009) The Triumph of Provocation, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Melegh, A. (2006) On the East–West Slope: Globalization, Narration, Racism and Discourses on Central and Eastern Europe, Budapest: Central European University Press. Neumann, I. B. (1996) Russia and the Idea of Europe: A Study in Identity and International Relations, London: Routledge. Orłowski, H. (1996) ‘Polnische Wirtschaft’: Zum deutschen Polendiskurs der Neuzeit, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Ponarski, Z. (2003) Wokół sprawy polskiej na Wschodzie, Toruń: Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek. Poznan (2010) http://www.poznan.pl/mim/public/trakt/pages.html?id=3162&ch= 3307&p=3406&instance=1017&lang=en&lhs=trakt (accessed June 2010). Said, E. W. (1978), Orientalism, New York: Pantheon Books. Szwarc, A. (1995) ‘How to be a Pole in Russia in 19th century?’, in M. Branch, J. Hartley, and A. Mączak (eds), Finland and Poland in the Russian Empire: A Comparative Study, London: School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London. Tazbir, J. (2003) ‘O czym się pisać nie godziło’, Gazeta Wyborcza (27 Dec.). Walicki, A. (2005) ‘Polish conception of the intelligentsia and its calling’, in F. Bjorling and A. Pereswetoff-Morath (eds), Words, Deeds and Values: The Intelligentsias in Russia and Poland during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, (pp. 1–22), Lund: Department of East and Central European Studies, Lund University. Warsaw University (2010) www.uw.edu.pl/en/page.php/about_uw/1870e.html. Weber, M. (1968) Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, New York: Bedminster Press. Wise, A. K. (2003) Aleksander Lednicki: A Pole among Russians, a Russian among Poles. Polish-Russian Reconciliation in the Revolution of 1905, Boulder, CO: East European Monographs. Wise, A. K. (2011) ‘Russia as Poland’s civilizational “Other”’, in A. Maxwell (ed.), The East–West Discourse: Symbolic Geography and its Consequences, (pp. 73– 92), Bern: Peter Lang. Zarycki, T. (2004) ‘Uses of Russia: the role of Russia in the modern Polish national identity’, East European Politics and Societies, 18(4): 595–627. Zarycki, T. (2007) ‘History and regional development: a controversy over the “right” interpretation of the role of history in the development of the Polish regions’, Geoforum, 38: 485–93. Zarycki, T. (2010) ‘Orientalism and images of Eastern Poland’, in M. Stefański (ed.), Endogenous factors in Development of the Eastern Poland (pp. 73–88), Lublin: Innovatio Press Wydawnictwo Naukowe Wyższej Szkoły Ekonomii i Innowacji. Zdziechowski, M. (1920) Wpływy rosyjskie na duszę polską , Kraków: Krakowska Spółka Wydawnicza.

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Index

Abbasids 31 Abkhazia 85, 97 Agamben, Giorgio 123 Alexander I, Tsar 61, 138 All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion 103 anti-Americanism 15, 85, 105 anti-German sentiment 64 anti-normanism 42–43, 45–46, 47–48; motives for 48–50; reappearance in 2002 42, 47–48 anti-Russian sentiment 95 anti-Semitism 46 anti-Westernism 77–78, 88, 106 Arkhangelsk corridor 113 Arne, Ture 44 Artamonov, Michail 46 Asian ray 112 Asov, A. 49

Baltic region 60, 112–113, 120, 123 Basil II, Emperor 32 Baudrillard, Jean 121 Bayer, Gottlieb Siegfried 43 Białowieża 138 Blue Road 113 Bolshevik Revolution 55, 140 Bosnian war 38 Bourdieu, Pierre 26, 28, 141; theory of capital 141–143 Bovin, Alexander 101 Boym, Svetlana 117 Bush, George W. 19 Buzan, Barry 93 Byzantines 31, 39 Byzantium 32–34, 56, 57, 58 Catholicism 56–57, 58 Chechnya 19, 94

China 17, 20, 21, 86 chronicles 56 Cimmerians 30 Civic Platform 145 civil society: development of 64; in USSR 69 Club of Eight 80 collateral seniority 34 collective identity 74; construction of 13; dichotomous approach 75; discourse about 74–75; Putin’s innovations 80–82; ‘Us’ vs. ‘Others’ 75 collectivization 65 Communist Party of the Russian Federation 104 Congress Kingdom 134, 136, 138 Constantinople 31 constructivism: challenge to realist approach 24; role of practice 24 Council of Europe 103 Crimean War 28 crisis of identity 73, 74 critical discourse analysis 110 cultural capital 141–143 Czech Republic 19; deployment of missiles 96 Dąbrowskie Basin 135 Delanty, Gerard 137 Democratic Russia movement 17 Denikin, Anton 140 Diligensky, German 76, 86 direct rule vs indirect governance 35–36 discourse: ambiguity of 119; political and non-political 111 discursive hegemony 127 discursive strategies 111–115

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Dmowski, Roman 143 Dostoevsky, Fyodor 91, 123 Dugin, Alexander 102 Durkheim, Emile 32

Eastern Prussia 142 economic capital 141–142 education: educated elite 70; levels of 67, 69; Russian exposure to European 59 Effective Politics Foundation 98 emancipation of serfs 63 encirclement 91, 99 Engelgardt, A.H. 62 Estonia 120, 126 ethnic Russians 16 Eurasia 26, 27 Eurasia Movement 102 Europe: nobility’s view of 59–60; as the Other 74, 75; peasant views of 62; relation to Russia 74–75; Russian views of 15, 57, 59–60 Europeanization of Russia 81 European Union 20 Eurozone crisis 20 existential representations of the West 76 external world, exposture to 69 Eyal, Gil 142 False Dmitrii I 60 Far Eastern ray 112 financial crisis 20 Finland 126 Finno-Ugrians 30, 31, 126, 128 Fletcher, Giles 59 foreign travel 69 Foucault, Michel 34, 116; signs 116–117 France 15, 86 Franklin, S. 33 Franz-Josef, emperor 137 Frederick I (Barbarossa) 138 French Revolution 61 Fundamentalist Nationalists 93, 101–102, 106 G-8 80, 81 Galicja 136, 137 Gallup group 68 Geanakoplos, D.J. 33 Gedeonov, S.A. 48, 49

Georgia 19, 85, 99, 104, 107; conflict with 97 Germany 15, 86; and USSR 55 global cultural syncretism 56 global financial crisis 85 Gnezdovo 46 Godunov, Boris 60 Golden Horde 28, 29, 39, 57 Golubev, A.V. 66, 67 Goths 30 governmentality 34–36, 37 Greater Europe 20 Greater Poland 136 Great Horde 56 great power: habitus 38; myth 16; Russia as 11, 25, 35, 37; status 20; tradition 12 Grekov, Boris 45 Gromyko, M.M. 56 Growth Triangles 112–113 Gusinsky, Vladimir 98 habitus 28–29; great power 38; and Russian history 25–28 Haukkala, Hiski 117 hegemonic representation 121–126 hegemons, rise of 24 Helsinki 126 historical institutionalism 24 history, as repeated patterns 24 Holy Roman Empire 25 Hungary 126 Huns 30 hysteresis 26, 34; in international relations 28–29; post-Soviet period 37 identity: and anti-normanism 49; collective 73; crisis of 73, 74; differential identities 111; great power aspirations 11; and the Other 13–15; Polish 142; political myths 13; as social concept 92; use of metaphors 111 identity construction 14, 73 identity discourse 82–85 imagery: metaphor-based 111–115; orientalizing 133; regional 127 images: effect of World War II 68; effects of propaganda on 66; of the enemy 14; of Europe 56–58; of foreigners 55; foreign policy

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76; hegemonic 123–124; high cultural 63; mirror image 14; mutual images 70; of the Other 13–15, 88–89; in presidential rhetoric 76; of Rus’ 56–58; Russian Europeanization 81; and social classes 59–61; subnational 111; ‘Third Rome’ 58; traditional cultural 62; of the West 61–63, 66, 70–71; Western 35–36, 54–56, 59–61 indirect governance vs direct rule 35–36 industrialization 61, 65 InoPressa 98 InoSMI 91, 98–100, 106 InoStrana 98 international relations: hysteresis in 28–29; repetitive patterns in 25–27; Russian ineptitude 25–28, 29, 36–38 Iraq war 95 Isidor, Metropolitan 57, 58 Islamic terrorism 19 Italy 69 Ivangorod 115 Ivan III, Tsar 58 Ivan IV, Tsar (the Terrible) 45, 58, 60 Izvolsky, Aleksandr P. 25 Japan 17 Joenniem, Pertti 120 John of Luxembourg 138 Judaism 32 Just Russia 104

Kaganskii, Vladimir 116 Kaliningrad 48–50, 113, 116, 118–119, 119–126 Kamynin, Mikhail 97 Kartashev, A.V. 56 Kelts 30 Khabarovsk 128 Khakamada, Irina 101 khanagate system 31, 39 Khanty-Mansiisk 128 Khazars 30, 31–32, 39, 45–46, 49 Kherson 32 Khodorkovsky, Mikhail 95 Kiev 30, 56, 120 King’s road 113 kinship 33

Index  151

Kiselev, Dmitrii 93, 100 Kochanowicz, Jacek 134 Kongresówka 136 Kortunov, Sergey 123 Kosachev, Konstantin 103 Kościuszko, Tadeusz 144 Kosovo 38, 85 Kostomarov, Nikolaj 45 Kozyrev, Andrei 11 Krasnodębski, Zdzisław 137 Krutov, Alexander 102 Kucharzewski, Jan 145 Kulikovo, Battle of 57 Kuzmin, Apollon 47

Laclau, Ernesto 110, 121, 124, 125, 127 Lavrov, Sergey 96–97 Law and Justice party 145 Leonov, Nikolai 101 Lestvitsa 34 Levada Center 103, 104 Liberal Democratic Party 93 Liberal Westernizers 93, 100–101 Lithuania 54 Little Poland 136 Livonsky War 60 Łódź 134–135, 146 Lomonosov, Michail 43, 44 looking-glass self 14 Lotman, Yurii 123 Lur’e, S. 62

Mackiewicz, Józef 140 Małopolska 136 Margelov, Mikhail 102 Markov, Sergei 103 mass media: independence of 105 Media-Most 98 media texts; translations 98–100 Medvedev, Dmitry 19, 75, 91, 94; and democratic choice 87; distinction between US and Europe 85; and foreign relations 18; and globalization 19–20; presidential addresses 85–88; and Russia’s indentity 85–88; and Western criticism 97 metaphors: color 118; conflicted 118–119; cultural 120; depoliticized 111–115, 126; as discursive tools 110–111; double

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152 Index

reading of 117; duality of 117; geographically based 112–113; hegemonic representation 121– 126; negative 119; politicized 115–121, 126; toponymic 120; of transport routes 112–113 Mickiewicz, Adam 139, 144 Mieszko I, King 138 Mikoyan, Sergo 101, 102 Mironyuk, Svetlana 98 modernization 61–62, 63, 65 Mongol conquest of Rus’ 30 Mongol empire 30 Morozov, V. 36 Moscow 19, 58, 59, 60, 95, 97, 104, 120, 140 Müller, Gerhard 43, 44 Murmansk 119, 120 Murmansk corridor 113 Muscovy 25 Mussolini, Benito 69 myths: Habsburg Mitteleuropa 137: political 12, 13, 16, 17, 65, 69

Napoleon 55, 138 Napoleonic Wars 27, 61 Narochnitskaya, Natalya 37 National Democrats 143, 144 national identity, see identity Nativism 82, 84, 88 neorealism 26 Neumann, Iver 14, 81, 117 Nevsky, Aleksander 56 Nicholas I, Tsar 61 Nicholas II, Tsar 138 Nikonov, Vyacheslav 103 Nizhny Novgorod 128 Noonan, T.S. 31 normanism 42–43; and Third Reich 45 norms 20 Norse assimilation 42 Northern ray 112 Novgorod 30, 56, 115, 116, 120, 125 Oates, Sarah 105 Obama, Barack 21; and ‘reset’ decision 19 official discourse: anti-Russian plot 95; and Russophobia 100–102; and Western criticism 94–98 Ognev, Yaroslav 99

opening of Russia 54, 60 Orientalism 133 Orientalization of Russia 143 Orthodox christianity 32, 57, 58, 60, 77, 101 Other, the 13; and concept of equivalences 124; and the Self 14–15; as existential threat 93; in Putin’s speeches 78; Russia as Poland’s 143; Russia’s similarity to 80; as Russophobic 92; United States as 16; and ‘Us’ 76 Otto III, Emperor 138

paganism 32 Paleolog, Sofia 58 Pan-Slavism 44 partial objects 121, 125; regions as 114–115 Pavlovsky, Gleb 98 Pechersky, Feodosiy 56 perestroika 70, 77 Peter I, Tsar (the Great) 15, 21, 25, 28, 45, 54, 59, 61, 117, 138 pilot region 113, 115, 116, 119, 122, 124, 127 Piłsudski, Józef 140, 143–144 pochvennichestvo 75 Pogodin, Michail 45 Poland 19, 54, 97; cultural capital in 141–143; deployment of missiles 96; economic history 134–136; effect of Bolsevik Revolution 140; elite classes 141, 142–143, 145; EU membership 143; fall of communism 144; images of Russian oppression 137; independence 141; industrialization 134; inferiority complex towards the West 133; national uprisings 139, 144; origin of elite classes 139–141; partition period 134–136; partition zones 136; pre-WWI 143; Russian heritage 136–139; Soviet liberation 144; as victim 133; Westernizaton 145; World War II 141 Polish Socialist Party 143 political capital 141–142 Politkovskaya, Anna 95 Possevino, Antonio 58

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post-Soviet period 16; hysteresis 37; state formation 34–38 post-Soviet republics, Western images of 54 post-Soviet Russian state formation 28 post-structuralism. and Russia’s identity 92–93 Pouliot, Vincent 29 power relations, concealed by metaphors 110 Poznań 138 Pragmatic Nationalists 93, 102–103, 106 primogeniture 34 Prizel, I. 17 propaganda 65–66; anti-Western 105; effect of World War II 68–69; encirclement of Russia 91; Soviet 98, 105; unintentional effects 66 Prus, Bolesław 139 Prussia 48, 135, 136 Pskov 114–115, 124 public opinion; on democracy 104; on Russophobia 103–105; surveys 103; in USA 68; of USA 18; in USSR 66–67, 68 pupilhood 80–81, 84 Pushkov, Alexei 101 Pustilnik, Marina 99 Putin, Vladimir 11, 73, 75, 94, 105; and Chechnya 94; and collective identity 80–82; criticism of predecessors 83; and democracy 83; and discrediting of Russia 95; and great power tradition 12; and liberal slogans 36; and political and ecnomic recovery 20; political reforms 82, 83; presidential addresses 78–82; relations with Bush 19; and Russophobia 91; and strong state 35; and Western criticism 94–96 realist political studies 24 Rech Pospolitaya 54, 56 regional difference, logic of 113–115 regional self-assertion 112–113 regions, as Foucauldian signs 116– 121; as partial objects 114–115 ‘reset decision’ 19 revolution of 1905 64 Reymont, Władysław 146

Index  153

RIA Novosti 91, 98 Riga 126 rod 33 Rodina faction 102 ‘Romano-Germanic’ world 15 Rostov-on-Don 128 rule of law, Russian understandings of 37 Rurik (Rörek) 33, 34, 43, 48, 49, 50 Rus’: etymology of name 44, 46; external relations 32–34; khaganate 30, 31; state formation 28, 29–34, 38; succession system 34 Russia: anti-democratic tendencies 95; as an Asiatic state 25; as backward 75; ‘belonging’ to the West 16–17; collapse of USSR 73; and East Asia 21; as Eurasian 93; as European 84, 93; and European powers 25; external social models 28, 29; federalism in 114; as a great power 11, 37, 50; gross domestic product 37; ideological inclinations 17; image in West 53–54; identity discourses of 100–102; ineptitude of policy 36–38; internet in 99; and norms 20–21; opposition to the West 56–57; the Other 54, 74; political myths 12, 13; post-Soviet period 16, 34–37; ‘propensity to expand’ 26; public opinion 18; as pupil 80–81; regionalism 114– 115; relations with Europe 15, 74–75; self-conceptualization 73; self-dependence 82–83; similarity to the Other 80–82; views of United States 15–16; Western images of 54–56; window on the West 15 Russia–Georgia war 19 Russian archipelago 114 Russian collective identity, tradition of 74–76 Russian culture: development of 74; viewed as barbarian 54 Russian discourse, themes in 18 Russian Federation: after Soviet regime 16; as a successor state 54 Russian foreign policy, stereotypes in 53–54 Russian identity, discourses of 93–94

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154 Index

Russian national identity 30; and dissolution of Soviet regime 16, 73–74; and Europeanness 15 Russian national identity construction 21 Russian nationalism 25 Russianness 74 Russian parliament, opposition to Yeltsin 17 Russian–Western relations 25–28 Russia–US relations 15–16 Russo-Japanese War 64 Said, Edward 133 Sakharov, Andrej 47, 48, 49 Sarmatians 30 Scythians 30 securitization 93, 97, 106, 107 self-conceptualization 73 self-identification 77, 80; regional 112–113 Self/Other 14–15 Serbia 85 Shafarevich, Igorʹ 102 shamanism 32 Shevtsova, L. 18 Shlapentokh, Vladimir 105 signifier/signified 116–121 Silesia 142 Slavophiles 102, 105; Slavophiles vs Westernizer controversy 75 Slavs 30, 31 smuta 11–12 Snyder, Jack 29 social classes and knowledge of external world 59–60 social construction: of Russophobia 92; role of memory 24 social constructivism: political myths 13; practice of 24; and Russia’s identity 92–93 Solidarity trade union 141 South Baltic Arc 113 Southeastern ray 112 Southern ray 112 South Ossetia 85, 86, 97, 99, 104 sovereign democracy 82–85, 87 Soviet Constitution 67 Soviet cultural diplomacy 55 Soviet state, and the West 63–69 Stalin, Joseph 66; policy of isolation 45

Stalinist period 55, 65; relations with West 27 Stalinist state, and stereotypes 67–68 state formation 38–39; Marxist theory of 46; post-Soviet 34–38; Rus’ 29–34, 42–43, 44 state–society relations 35–36, 36–38 stereotypes 13–15; anti-Russian 54–56; construction of 70–71; development of 53; dismantling of 71; ethnic 70; foreign policy 67–72,; geopolitical 64; negative 69; orientalizing 143; of Poland 54; propaganda stereotypes 66, 68; in Russian foreign policy 53–54; and Stalinist state 67–68; of the West 53–54, 70 Stockholm 126 St Petersburg 54, 114–115, 116, 118–120, 122–123, 125–126, 140 St Petersburg Academy of Sciences 43 Strana.Ru 98 stranger-king 33, 38 Strasbourg Russophobia 103 struggle against cosmopolitanism 45, 48, 69 succession systems 34 Svjatoslav, Prince 46 Szelényi, Ivan 142 Tallinn 126 Tatar invasion 57 tax collection 31 Tazbir, Janusz 139 technological progress, Western model 66 Third Reich, and normanism 45 Third Rome 58, 61 Time of Troubles 11–12, 20; Yeltsin 12 totalitarianism 64–65, 83 Townsley, Eleanor 142 tribute-taking 30, 31 Turkey 21 Tusk, Donald 137 Tyutchev, Fyodor 91 Ukraine 61 Umayyads 31 Union of Right Forces 104 United Kingdom 15 United Russia 104

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United States: as embodiment of the West 15; as the Other 11–21, 13, 16; relations with Russia 15–16; as a role model 18; Russian public opinion of 18; as security threat 18; stereotypical images 15; superpower status 21 University of Warsaw 138 UN Security Council 37 ‘Us’ and the ‘Others’ 76 USSR 55; collapse of 73; and Germany 55; modernization 55; relations with West 68–69 Varangian problem 42–50; historiographical origins 43–44; in post-Stalinist period 47–48; in Stalinist period 45–46 Varangians 30, 31–32, 39 VASAB 112 velikaya derzhava 11 Vendil Pallin, C. 11 VGTRK 98 Vikings 30 Vladimir, Prince 32

Wajda, Andrzej 146 war on terror 94 Warsaw 135, 138 Weber, Max 135 Wendt, A. 14, 24 Western criticism, as biased and unfair 97

Index  155

Westernism 77–78, 84, 88 Westernization 61–63 Westernizers 77, 88, 102, 105; vs Slavophile controversy 75 West, the: criticism of Russia 94–98; get all Europe entries; models of 76–80; as the Other 74, 75, 77; Putin’s terminology for 78; relation to Russia 74–75; Russian views of 15, 57, 59–60 White House (Moscow) 17 White, Stephen 93 Wielkopolska 136, 137–138 Wilhelm II, Kaiser 138 Wohlforth, William 25, 26 World War I 55, 64, 140 World War II 15, 27, 68, 141 Yabloko 93, 104 Yakovenko, I.G. 66 Yakovlev, Vladimir 122 Yaroslav I, Grand Prince (the Wise) 34 Yeltsin, Boris 11, 12, 73, 83, 96; as hero 17 Yugoslavia 104 Yukos affair 95 Zamiatin, Dmitry 120 zapadnichestvo 75 Zdziechowski, Marian 136 Zhirinovsky, Vladimir 93 Žižek, Slavoj 114, 122, 125, 126 Zyuganov, Gennady 93, 101