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Author: Mikhail Suslov

Abstract

This article explores one of the oldest controversies over Slavophile thought: the question of whether it is a form of liberalism or conservatism. The author reassesses understudied neo-Slavophile ideologists through the prism of the debates on the public sphere. The paper focuses on the popular journalist S. F. Sharapov (1855-1911) and his utopias. Sharapov and the plethora of the Slavophile intellectuals, such as N. P. Aksakov, A. A. Kireev, D. A. Khomiakov, I. F. Romanov, A. G. Shcherbatov, and A. V. Vasil'ev, worked out a project of autocracy based upon local self-government. Their project featured such elements of liberalism as humanism, freedom of conscience and the press, and toleration of the non-Russian and non-Orthodox subjects of the Empire. One of the central themes of the neo-Slavophile project was criticism of the bureaucratic imperial regime and offering proposals of comprehensive reforms. At the same time, neo-Slavophilism embraced anti-Semitism and a deep-rooted aversion to the West and Western political practices. The distinctiveness of the neo-Slavophiles consisted of the Messianic belief in Russia's uniqueness and ability to develop a 'truly liberal' political regime, in which rigorously observed Christian morality would be present alongside civil rights and freedoms. The paper argues that Slavophilism is not a repository of ready-made illiberal ideas, but a practice of social criticism, which comes up when attempts at political modernization in Russia are half-hearted or have failed.

In: Russian History
Author: Mikhail Suslov

This paper documents and analyzes the building blocks of the Orthodox cultural canon and cultural policy. The author argues that in spite of the Church’s attempts to renegotiate its status in (post-) secular society, the Orthodox cultural products have restricted access to the nation-wide market, partially due to the lack of theoretical reflection on culture, and partially because of the Church’s unsettled accounts with Russian history of the 20th century. This produces an effect of increased reliance on the state’s restrictive measures in the cultural sphere.

In: Transcultural Studies
In: Contemporary Russian Conservatism
In: 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
In: Contemporary Russian Conservatism