Eurasian Integration and the Russian World

Regionalism as an Identitary Enterprise
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Publication date: 
223 pages

Russian discourses of regionalism are examined as a source of identity construction practices for the country's political and intellectual establishment. The overall purpose of the monograph is to demonstrate that, contrary to some assumptions, the transition trajectory of post-Soviet Russia has not been towards a liberal democratic nation state that intended to emulate Western political and normative standards. Instead, its foreign policy discourses have been constructing Russia as a supranational community which transcends Russia's current legally established borders.

The study undertakes a systematic and comprehensive survey of Russian official (authorities) and semi-official (establishment affiliated think tanks) discourse for a period of seven years between 2007 and 2013. This exercise demonstrates how Russia is being constructed as a supranational entity through its discourses of cultural and economic regionalism. These discourses associate closely with the political project of Eurasian economic integration and the “Russian world” and “Russian civilization” doctrines. Both ideologies, the geoeconomic and culturalist, have gained prominence in the post-Crimean environment. The analysis tracks down how these identitary concepts crystallized in Russia's foreign policies discourses beginning from Vladimir Putin's second term in power.

Foreword by Viatcheslav Morozov
Chapter 1. Regionalism as a Russian Identity-Building Project
Chapter 2. The Post-Soviet as Postmodern? Theorizing Identitary Discourses in Russia
Chapter 3. The Language of Civilizations in Post-Soviet Russia
Chapter 4. A "Russian Civilization": Constructing Unity across Fragmentation
Chapter 5. Cultural Regionalism as a Non-Western Model of Global Order
Chapter 6. Toward a "Eurasian Union"? Economic Regionalism and Reconstitution of Russian Identity
Chapter 7. Eurasian Regionalism and the European Union: New Uses for the Old Other

"The book illuminates some essential aspects of Putin’s political project and its hegemonic success. Moreover, it allows us to get away from an analysis of modern Russia based on Putin’s self-image as the strong man exercising sovereign power in a sort of permanent state of exception because it shows that the image is the effect of a hegemonic project relying on the consent of a range of actors, institutions and agencies."