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NUPI skole

Russland og Eurasia

Russland er det mest sentrale landet i Eurasia.

Sentrale temaer i NUPIs forskning på Russland og Eurasia er russisk utenriks- og sikkerhetspolitikk. Energipolitikk og økonomi er også viktig, på grunn av Russlands rolle som en stor produsent av olje og gass. Etnisitet, nasjonsbygging, nasjonalisme og nasjonale identiteter, samt demokrati og menneskerettigheter er også prioriterte forskningsfelt.
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Vitenskapelig artikkel

Myths in the Russian Collective Memory: The “Golden Era” of Pre-Revolutionary Russia and the “Disaster of 1917”

This paper examines shared ideas, values and interpretations of the past in the “collective memory” of the 1917 October Revolution. Employing a qualitative approach to examine collective memory “from below,” two age cohorts were interviewed in three Russian cities from a variety of social groups in 2014–2015. What was revealed was the existence of a strong positive myth about the pre-revolutionary era of 1900–1914, as well as positive references to the current Putin era. Both eras were “positive” in that Russia was/is a “normal European power,” “on the rise economically” and “respected by the other powers.” In terms of the definitive national trauma, an overwhelming majority viewed the 1917 October Revolution as a break or rupture in Russian history that caused appalling destruction. This view of 1917 as catastrophic leads to certain key “lessons”: that revolutionary change is inherently destructive and wasteful and that external forces had (and have) a vested interest in weakening Russia from without whenever she is at her most vulnerable. Overall, at the heart of myths over 1917 we find a central occupation with the threat of disintegration and a yearning for stability and normality, highlighting how collective memory interacts with political values and social identity.

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  • Russland og Eurasia
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Vitenskapelig artikkel

Discourses of Russian-speaking youth in Nazarbayev’s Kazakhstan: Soviet Legacies and Responses to Nation-building

Research into post-independence identity shifts among Kazakhstan’s Russian-speaking minorities has outlined a number of possible pathways, such as diasporization, integrated national minority status and ethnic separatism. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with young people in Almaty and Karaganda, I examine how Russian-speaking minorities identify with the state and imagine their place in a ‘soft’ or ‘hybrid’ post-Soviet authoritarian system. What is found is that Russian-speaking minorities largely accept their status beneath the Kazakh ‘elder brother’ and do not wish to identify as a ‘national minority’. Furthermore, they affirm passive loyalty to the political status quo while remaining disinterested in political representation. Russian-speaking minorities are also ambivalent towards Kazakh language promotion and anxious about the increasing presence of Kazakh-speakers in urban spaces. This article argues that two factors are central to these stances among Kazakhstan’s Russian-speaking minorities: the persistence of Soviet legacies and the effects of state discourse and policy since 1991.

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Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Vitenskapelig artikkel

Mainstream Russian Nationalism and the “State- Civilization” Identity: Perspectives “from below”

Based on more than 100 interviews in European Russia, this article sheds light on the bottom-up dynamics of Russian nationalism. After offering a characterization of the post-2012 “state-civilization” discourse from above, I examine how ordinary people imagine Russia as a “state-civilization.” Interview narratives of inclusion into the nation are found to overlap with state discourse on three main lines: (1) ethno-nationalism is rejected, and Russia is imagined to be a unique, harmonious multi-ethnic space in which the Russians (russkie) lead without repressing the others; (2) Russia’s multinationalism is remembered in myths of peaceful interactions between Russians (russkie) and indigenous ethnic groups (korennyye narodi) across the imperial and Soviet past; (3) Russian culture and language are perceived as the glue that holds together a unified category of nationhood. Interview narratives on exclusion deviate from state discourse in two key areas: attitudes to the North Caucasus reveal the geopolitical-security, post-imperial aspect of the “state-civilization” identity, while stances toward non-Slavic migrants in city spaces reveal a degree of “cultural nationalism” that, while sharing characteristics with those of Western Europe, is also based on Soviet-framed notions of normality. Overall, the article contributes to debates on how Soviet legacies and Russia’s post-imperial consciousness play out in the context of the “pro-Putin consensus.”

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  • Russland og Eurasia
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Vitenskapelig artikkel

Political Legitimacy in Contemporary Russia ‘from Below’: ‘Pro-Putin’ Stances, the Normative Split and Imagining Two Russias

This paper explores how urban Russians perceive, negotiate, challenge and reaffirm the political configuration of the country and leadership in terms of the ‘imagined nation’. Based on around 100 interviews in three Russian cities, three main pillars appear to prop up the imagined ‘pro-Putin’ social contract: (i) the belief that ‘delegating’ all power into the hands of the President is the best way to discipline and mould state and society; (ii) the acceptance of Putin’s carefully crafted image as a ‘real man’, juxtaposed against negative views of the Russian ‘national character’; (iii) the internalization of a pro-Putin mythology on a ‘government of saviors’ that delivers normality and redeems a ‘once-ruined’ nation. The paper shows that those who reject these pillars do so due to differing views on what constitutes ‘normality’ in politics. This normative split is examined over a number of issues, leading to a discussion of internal orientalism and the limited success of state media agitation in winning over the skeptical.

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Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Vitenskapelig artikkel

Parade, Plebiscite, Pandemic: Legitimation Efforts in Putin’s Fourth Term

Putin’s fourth term as president (2018–2024) has involved new challenges for Russia’s hybrid regime. COVID-19 hit the Kremlin at a sensitive time, when the old institutional forces had been demounted and new arrangements, including extensive constitutional changes, had yet to become cemented. There is an emerging gulf between state rhetoric, PR events, and patriotic performances, on the one hand, and economic chaos, social disorder and dysfunctional state capacity, on the other, which is likely to reduce system legitimacy and cause increased reliance on repressive methods. This article examines Kremlin legitimation efforts across Beetham’s three dimensions: rules, beliefs, and actions. We argue that the regime’s legitimation efforts in 2020–21 have failed to reverse emerging cleavages in public opinion since 2018. Increased reliance on repression and manipulation in this period, combined with the contrast between regime promises and observable realities on the ground, speak not of strength, but of the Kremlin’s increased weakness and embattlement.

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  • Pandemier
  • Styring
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  • Russland og Eurasia
  • Pandemier
  • Styring
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Vitenskapelig artikkel

Covid-19 and the Russian Regional Response: Blame Diffusion and Attitudes to Pandemic Governance

As was the case with other federal states, Russia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was decentralized and devolved responsibility to regional governors. Contrary to the common highly centralized governance in Russia, this approach is thought to have helped insulate the government from criticism. Using local research and analysis based on a national representative survey carried out at the height of the pandemic during the summer of 2021, the article charts the public response to the pandemic across Russia. It examines the regionalization of the response, with an in-depth focus on two of the Russian cities with the highest infection rates but differing responses to the pandemic: St. Petersburg and Petrozavodsk. There are two main findings: at one level, the diffusion of responsibility meant little distinction was made between the different levels of government by the population; at another level, approval of the pandemic measures was tied strongly to trust levels in central and regional government.

  • Russland og Eurasia
  • Pandemier
  • Styring
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  • Russland og Eurasia
  • Pandemier
  • Styring
Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Vitenskapelig artikkel

Cheering and Jeering on the Escalator to Hell: One Year of UK Media Coverage on the War in Ukraine

While there is a common awareness of wartime media censorship in both Ukraine and Russia, there has been less research on Western media coverage and expert analysis of the war in Ukraine. This essay considers the extent to which a skewed and partisan version of the war’s evolution has been presented in UK media. Five stages are identi- fied in the emergence and evolution of a British meta-narrative on the war in Ukraine, replete with ‘cheering’ and ‘jeering’, that works against a realistic understanding of the war’s nature and reasonable consideration of possible future scenarios. It is argued this coverage has sidestepped critical questions of the war’s stage-by-stage escalation and has essentially avoided serious debate of the risks, costs and benefits of such a course.

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Publikasjoner
Publikasjoner
Vitenskapelig artikkel

Escaping the Long Shadow of Homo Sovieticus: Reassessing Stalin’s Popularity and Communist Legacies in Post-Soviet Russia

It is often asserted that the values and attitudes of Homo Sovieticus, marked in the rising “popularity” of Stalin, live on in contemporary Russia, acting as a negative factor in social and political development. This article critiques the argument that attitudes to Stalin reflect unreformed Soviet values and explain Russia’s authoritarian regression and failed modernization. Our critique of this legacy argument has three parts. First, after examining the problematic elements of the Levada Center approach, we offer alternative explanations for understanding quantitative data on Stalin and the repressions. Second, we examine interview data showing that, for those with a pro-Stalin position, “defending Stalin” is only a small part of a broader worldview that is not obviously part of a “Soviet legacy.” Third, we consider survey data from the trudnaia-pamiat’ project and find common reluctance to discuss much of the Stalinist past, which we argue represents an agonistic stance. Thus, we interpret attitudes to Stalin within a broader context of complex social and cultural transformation where the anomie of the 1990s has been replaced with dynamics toward a more positive identity construct. On the one hand, the antagonistic mode of memory is visible in statist and patriotic discourses, which do not seriously revolve around Stalin but do resist strong criticism of him. On the other hand, we find many more in Russia avoid the Stalin question and adopt an agonistic mode, avoiding conflict through a “de- politicized” version of history.

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Forskningsprosjekt
2022 - 2025 (Pågående)

Arctic Pressures (ArcPres)

  • Security policy
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Europe
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • North America
  • The Nordic countries
  • Climate
  • Oceans
  • International organizations
  • Security policy
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Europe
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • North America
  • The Nordic countries
  • Climate
  • Oceans
  • International organizations
Arrangement
08:30 - 12:30
Sentralen
Engelsk og norsk
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Arrangement
08:30 - 12:30
Sentralen
Engelsk og norsk
14. nov. 2023
Arrangement
08:30 - 12:30
Sentralen
Engelsk og norsk

Russlandskonferansen 2023: Russland og Vesten – en ny virkelighet

Bli med når vi 14. november sparker i gang Russlandskonferansen 2023!

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