Organic Tradition or Imperial Glory? Contradictions and Continuity of Russian Identity Politics
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Russian identity politics and, more broadly, the country’s development in modern times has been conditioned by two constitutive splits: between the imperial elites and the peasant masses, on the one hand, and between Russia and Europe, on the other. The current conservative turn aims to overcome the internal split by attuning state policy to mass consciousness, with its alleged preference for ‘traditional values’. This strategy ignores the fact that today’s Russia is a modern, urbanised society. In the long run, it undermines the Kremlin’s effort to achieve and consolidate great power status.