Contemporary Russian Conservatism

Problems, Paradoxes, and Perspectives


This volume is the first comprehensive study of the “conservative turn” in Russia under Putin. Its fifteen chapters, written by renowned specialists in the field, provide a focused examination of what Russian conservatism is and how it works. The book features in-depth discussions of the historical dimensions of conservatism, the contemporary international context, the theoretical conceptualization of conservatism, and empirical case studies. Among various issues covered by the volume are the geopolitical and religious dimensions of conservatism and the conservative perspective on Russian history and the politics of memory. The authors show that conservative ideology condenses and reworks a number of discussions about Russia’s identity and its place in the world.

Contributors include: Katharina Bluhm, Per-Arne Bodin, Alicja Curanović, Ekaterina Grishaeva, Caroline Hill, Irina Karlsohn, Marlene Laruelle, Mikhail N. Lukianov, Kåre Johan Mjør, Alexander Pavlov, Susanna Rabow-Edling, Andrey Shishkov, Victor Shnirelman, Mikhail Suslov, and Dmitry Uzlaner

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Mikhail Suslov, PhD (2009, European University Institute), is Assistant Professor of Russian History and Politics at the Institute for Trans-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He has published and edited a variety of studies on Russian intellectual history, including “The ‘Russian World’ Concept: ‘Spheres of Influence’ in the Post-Soviet Geopolitical Ideology” (in: Geopolitics 23:2 [2018]).
Dmitry Uzlaner, Ph.D. (2009, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University), is a research fellow at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (MSSES) and at the University of Innsbruck (Austria). He is editor-in-chief of the journal Gosudarstvo, religiia, tserkov v Rossii i za rubezhom, published by the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.
"a unique and welcome contribution to studies on conservatism [...] a sophisticated and multifaceted manuscript."

Elizaveta Gaufman, University of Groningen, in Europe-Asia Studies 73.2, pp. 413-415 (DOI:10.1080/09668136.2021.1880780) "This book offers an exciting panorama of Russian conservative thought from the late Soviet era to the present. Contemporary Russian Conservatism sheds important light on influential intellectual currents in today’s Russia. It should be read by scholars, students, and anyone interested in understanding Russian political, social, and cultural thought."

Jonathan Daly, University of Illinois at Chicago, in The Russian Review, 79.4, pp 681-682


Part 1: Introduction

 1 Dilemmas and Paradoxes of Contemporary Russian Conservatism: Introduction
  Mikhail Suslov and Dmitry Uzlaner
 2 A History of Russian Conservatism, from the 18th Century to the End of the 20th Century
  Mikhail Loukianov, Kåre Johan Mjør, Susanna Rabow-Edling, and Mikhail Suslov

Part 2: Conceptualizing Conservatism

 3 Russian Conservatism as an Ideology: The Logic of Isolationism
  Mikhail Suslov
 4 The Logic of Scapegoating in Contemporary Russian Moral Conservatism
  Dmitry Uzlaner
 5 Postmodernity and Modernity as Political Terms in Russia’s New Conservatism
  Katharina Bluhm

Part 3: Russian Conservative Tradition in the Post-Soviet and International Context

 6 The Great Expectations of Russian Young Conservatism
  Alexander Pavlov
 7 Mirror Games? Ideological Resonances between Russian and US Radical Conservatism
  Marlene Laruelle

Part 4: The Geopolitical Dimension

 8 Russia’s Contemporary Exceptionalism and Geopolitical Conservatism
  Alicja Curanović
 9 “Making Europe Great Again”: Anti-Western Criticism from Orthodox Conservative Actors Online
  Ekaterina Grishaeva
 10 From Expansion to Seclusion and Back Again: Boris Mezhuev’s Isolationism and Its Roots in Solzhenitsyn and Tsymbursky
  Irina Karlsohn

Part 5: History and Memory Narratives in Russian Conservatism

 11 “Russia’s Thousand-Year History”: Claiming a Past in Contemporary Russian Conservative Thought
  Kåre Johan Mjør
 12 The Monument to Grand Prince Vladimir in Moscow and the Problem of Conservatism
  Per-Arne Bodin

Part 6: Religion and Traditional Values

 13 Eastern Orthodoxy, Conservatism, and (Neo)Palamite Tradition in Post-Soviet Russia
  Andrey Shishkov
 14 Russian Neoconservatism and Apocalyptic Imperialism
  Victor Shnirelman
 15 Framing “Gay Propaganda”: Morality Policy Arguments and the Russian Orthodox Church
  Caroline Hill

The target audience of this volume consists of experts on Russia, scholars of intellectual history, religion and politics, as well as university students, studying contemporary Russia, and anyone interested in the ideological scaffoldings of Russia’s present regime. Keywords: conservatism, Putinism, conservative turn, moral values, ideology, Russian Orthodox Church, geopolitics, anti-Westernism, right-wing politicians
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