Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire

Overview

Since the dissolution of the USSR, an ideology promoting Russian-Asian greatnesshas taken hold among an influential group of Russian scholars and intellectuals. Theideology, Eurasianism, purports to tell Russians what is unalterably important aboutthem and why it can only be expressed in an empire. In Russian Eurasianism: AnIdeology of Empire, Marlène Laruelle examines the presuppositions and impact of thismovement.

"This book is a tour de force not merely because of the depth of the scholarship andthe skill of ...

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Overview

Since the dissolution of the USSR, an ideology promoting Russian-Asian greatnesshas taken hold among an influential group of Russian scholars and intellectuals. Theideology, Eurasianism, purports to tell Russians what is unalterably important aboutthem and why it can only be expressed in an empire. In Russian Eurasianism: AnIdeology of Empire, Marlène Laruelle examines the presuppositions and impact of thismovement.

"This book is a tour de force not merely because of the depth of the scholarship andthe skill of the argument but also because Laruelle unveils a subject crucial tounderstanding today’s Russia but never given proper due."—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

" Russian Eurasianism is a lucid and rational guide, based on thorough scholarship andan admirable reluctance to sensationalize or to claim too much."—Edmund Griffiths, Times Literary Supplement

" Russian Eurasianism is a must-read for intellectual historians, policymakers, culturalscholars, Russia watchers, or, for that matter, anyone who uneasily senses thatsomething is moving in the deep currents beneath the surface of contemporaryRussia, but is not sure of what it is."—Maria Carlson, The Russian Review

"Laruelle’s scrutiny of neo-Eurasianism is sympathetic, balanced and perceptive—a signal achievement given the muddled, and sometimes messianic, nature of muchEurasianist writing."—John Berryman, International Affairs

"The author writes with an erudition and breadth of insight that is unique in theburgeoning field of what we might call ‘Eurasianism studies.’ The basic point toemerge from her study is the utterly extraordinary ideological malleability ofEurasianism."—Mark Bassin, Slavic Review

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

A masterful job of describing the various philosophical threads of Eurasianism... The author's lucid style makes the book accessible to the educated general public.

International Affairs

Laruelle, an established authority in the field.

Choice

A masterful job of describing the various philosophical threads of Eurasianism... The author's lucid style makes the book accessible to the educated general public.

Foreign Affairs - Robert Legvold

A tour de force not merely because of the depth of the scholarship and the skill of the argument but also because Laruelle unveils a subject crucial to understanding today's Russia but never given proper due... Even the most serious student of contemporary Russia will get from this book a vastly deeper sense of what makes Russian intellectual life, for all of its vexed affinity with the West, fundamentally different.

Eurasian Geography and Economics - Kathleen Macfie

This volume certainly engages the reader to explore... Laruell's deft treatment of Eurasianism's shifting position in contemporary discourse makes this a fascinating volume that extends beyond the boundaries of any single academic discipline.

Russian Review - Maria Carlson

Laruelle is to be congratulated on her lucid and intellectually disciplined discussion of the ambiguous, intricate, and often contradictory ideas that shape Russian Neo-Eurasiansim... a must-read for intellectual historians, policymakers, cultural scholars, Russia Watchers, or for that matter, anyone who uneasily senses that something is moving in the deep currents beneath the surface of contemporary Russia, but is not sure of what it is.

Times Literary Supplement - Edmund Griffiths

Russian Eurasianism is a lucid and rational guide, based on thorough scholarship and an admirable reluctance to sensationalize or to claim too much.

Journal of Slavic Military Studies - Sharyl N. Cross

A richly interdisciplinary and meticulously researched analysis of both the historical and contemporary sources of Eurasianist cultural and philosophical/ideological traditions and discourse... this book will be an invaluable resource for policymakers and academics providing a deeper understanding of the forces shaping Russia's identity and the unfolding of circumstances for the entire Eurasian region.

Slavic Review - Mark Bassin

An impressive achievement. The author writes with an erudition and breadth of insight that is unique in the burgeoning field of what we might call 'Eurasianism studies.'

Europe-Asia Studies - Andreas Umland

Extremely informative and enlightening reading.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421405766
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/14/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 900,441
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marlène Laruelle is currently a research fellow at the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. In Paris, she is an associate scholar at the French Center for Russian, Caucasian, and East-European Studies at the School of Advanced Social Sciences Studies.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: Eurasianism-Marginal or Mainstream in Contemporary Russia? 1

The Historical Roots of the Eurasianist Idea 2

Neo-Eurasianism and Its Place in Post-Soviet Russia 4

Neo-Eurasianist Doctrine and Russian Foreign Policy 7

Marginal or Mainstream? 9

Premises of This Study 12

Plan of the Book 14

1 Early Eurasianism, 1920-1930 16

The Life and Death of a Current of Thought 17

A Philosophy of Politics 25

A Geographic Ideology 31

An Ambiguous Orientalism 40

Conclusions 46

2 Lev Gurnilëv: A Theory of Ethnicity? 50

From Dissidence to Public Endorsement: An Atypical Biography 51

"The Last Eurasianist"? 55

Gumilëv's Episteme: Subjecting the Humanities to the Natural Sciences 60

Theories of the Ethnos or Naturalistic Determinism 65

The Complex History of the Eurasian Totality 70

Xenophobia, Mixophobia, and Anti-Semitism 74

Gumilëv, Russian Nationalism, and Soviet Ethnology 77

Conclusions 81

3 Aleksandr Panarin: Philosophy of History and the Revival of Culturalism 83

Is There a Unified Neo-Eurasianist Theory? 84

From Liberalism to Conservatism: Panarin's Intellectual Biography 86

"Civilizationism" and "Postmodernism" 89

Rehabilitating Empire: "Civilizational" Pluralism and Ecumenical Theocracy 95

Highlighting Russia's "Internal East" 101

Conclusions 105

4 Aleksandr Dugin: A Russian Version of the European Radical Right? 107

Dugin's Social Trajectory and Its Significance 108

A Russian Version of Antiglobalism: Dugin's Geopolitical Theories 115

Traditionalism as the Foundation of Dugin's Thought 120

The Russian Proponent of the New Right? 126

Fascism, Conservative Revolution, and National Bolshevism 131

A Veiled Anti-Semitism 135

Ethno-Differentialism and the Idea of Russian Distinctiveness 138

Conclusions 141

5 The View from "Within": Non-Russian Neo-Eurasianism and Islam 145

The Emergence of Muslim Eurasianist Political Parties 146

The Eurasianist Games of the Russian Muftiates 155

Tatarstan: The Pragmatic Eurasianism of Russia's "Ethnic" Regions 162

Conclusions 169

6 Neo-Eurasianism in Kazakhstan and Turkey 171

Kazakhstan: Eurasianism in Power 171

The Turkish Case: On the Confusion between Turkism, Pan-Turkism, and Eurasianism 188

Conclusion: The Evolution of the Eurasian(ist) Idea 202

The Unity of Eurasianism 204

Organicism at the Service of Authoritarianism: "Revolution" or "Conservatism"? 209

Nationalism: Veiled or Openly Espoused: The Cultural Racism of Eurasianism 211

Science, Political Movement, or Think Tank? 214

Is Eurasianism Relevant to Explanations of Contemporary Geopolitical Change? 217

Psychological Compensation or Part of a Global Phenomenon? 219

Notes 223

Bibliography 255

Index 269

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