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Title: 'A nation split into fragments' : the geopolitics of Russian nationalism and the Congress of Russian Communities
Author: Ingram, A. R.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis is a study of the Congress of Russian Communities (KRO), a Russian nationalist movement which emerged in 1993, aiming to reunite all ethnic Russians within an enlarged Russian state. It is argued that the movement failed in its own terms due to ideological contradictions, organisational weaknesses, and counter strategies on the part of the Russian state, but did have a significant influence on Russian state policy, and constitutes a theoretically important phenomenon in the geopolitics of the post-Soviet states. A theoretical framework is developed through a critical review of work on nationalism, also taking into account literature on critical geopolitics, identity, social movements and the state. Nationalism is framed as a geopolitical strategy closely related to the geopolitics of the state system. In order to understand the context within which the KRO emerged, the geopolitics of Russian identity in the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and early post Soviet period are discussed. The KRO's ideology is analysed in terms of key discourses which forge a specific form of Russian identity and a programme for geopolitical change. This ideology is contrasted with those of other right wing movements and the policies of the Yeltsin administration. The KRO, and much Russian nationalism in general, is shown to be intimately (yet problematically) related to statism, another important post-Soviet ideology. The KRO's challenge for state power is then analysed. The origins, structure and development of the KRO, and the political careers of its key figures are reviewed. The KRO's emergence from within the Russian right wing, its links with pro-Russian organisations across the post-Soviet states, and its role in the forging of government policy are traced. Counter strategies on the part of Russian state institutions are also considered. The high point of the KRO's challenge came in 1995 with the construction of a broad electoral coalition. The political geography of the coalition and the geography of its performance at the elections to the Russian state Duma are examined and explained, both in terms of the KRO's ideology and organisation, and in comparison with competitor organisations. In conclusion, the consequences of the KRO's challenge for Russian nationalism and the geopolitics of the post-Soviet states in general are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available