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Smuta: Cyclical visions of history in contemporary Russian thought and the question of hegemony
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies. (Identitetsformation)
2018 (English)In: Studies in East European thought, ISSN 0925-9392, E-ISSN 1573-0948Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the post-Soviet context, various cyclical models of recurrent Russian “Times of Troubles” (smuty) have become increasingly popular. This perspective emerged first in Soviet dissident circles (Alexander Yanov, Aleksandr Akhiezer), who used it as a means to expose as mistaken the Soviet belief in continual historical progress on Russian soil. In post-Soviet Russia this critical approach has been continued by members of the “Akhezier circle,” the economist Egor Gaidar, and others. Meanwhile it was given an affirmative, conservative reinterpretation by Aleksandr Panarin, according to whom Russia has always managed to overcome its phases of devastating Westernization and state collapse. This idea of Russian history has become influential; even Vladimir Putin has talked about Russia as a strong state able to survive various “Times of Troubles” from the early seventeenth century to the early post-Soviet period. It also figures prominently among members of the neoconservative Izborsk Club. This article analyzes different conceptions of Russian history as cyclical and their prominent place in the prevailing civilizational discourse of post-Soviet Russia. By means of postcolonial perspectives, this discourse is seen on the one hand as an attempt to question and reject Western hegemony, attempts that on the other hand nevertheless seem unable to liberate themselves from a normative dependence on the West.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
History of Ideas
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-339843DOI: 10.1007/s11212-018-9298-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-339843DiVA, id: diva2:1176691
Available from: 2018-01-23 Created: 2018-01-23 Last updated: 2018-01-26Bibliographically approved

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