Understandings of the Nation in Russian Public Opinion: Survey Evidence from Putin’s Russia (2001–2014)

In: Russian Politics
Paul Chaisty St. Antony’ College, Oxford

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Stephen Whitefield Pembroke College, Oxford

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Drawing on surveys conducted in Russia from 2001 to 2014, this article considers citizens’ conceptions of the nation in the Putin period; whether views of the nation have been shaped by political, economic and social developments over this 15 year period; and the correlates of these national perspectives in terms of regime support and political mobilization. We find, first, that understandings of the nation are multidimensional at the mass level, and in part reflect the main nationalist discourses in Russia. Second, we describe how contextual changes over this period – political, economic and social – relate to the ways in which the nation is understood. Third, we consider how different understandings of the nation connect to political attitudes and behaviors. The findings of this research have implications for how we should analyze nationalism and its bases of support in Putin’s Russia.

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