Academic anthology

What Liberalism? Russia’s Conservative Turn and the Liberal Order

Published: 15 Jun 2020

A re-occurring theme across the specter of new, religious and radical right is the nuclear family. The protection of the family as a ‘traditional’ institution has become a rallying point not only in domestic politics, but also as a way to mark one’s opposition to the liberal, decaying West. The heteronormative family has within the context become a marker of civilizational politics, where conservative forces across regions, and religions, unite. Russia is at the front-stage, with the Orthodox Church and the President operating in a close alliance to mark their moral superiority against decadent, liberal values, such as same-sex marriage and abortion. In the UN, Russia has been at the vanguard of promoting ‘traditional values’ in relation to human rights. They have also sponsored resolutions operating with conservative definitions of what it is to be a ‘family’, in cooperation with Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt and Qatar. Russia’s conservative stance is by no means unique, with both religious and far-right movements elsewhere propagating the same message. In countries who are also EU-members, such as Poland, Italy, Austria and Hungary, the defense of the nuclear family has become intermixed with EU-skepticism and a defense of national sovereignty. In the US, American evangelicals have sided with pro-family conservative Russian movements, as well as sponsored anti-LGBT messages in African countries, presenting it as part of an ‘anti-imperial’ message. This chapter addresses these developments and discusses their potential implications for world politics, placing them in connection with the greater conservative international ‘culture war’ against the liberal and decadent West.

  • Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
  • Page count: 17
  • Language: English