chapter  4
12 Pages

Concepts of fascism in contemporary Russia and the West


The 1990s have seen remarkable changes in both the Western and the Russian study of fascism, understood as a generic concept. On the one side, Western comparative fascist studies went through a process of consolidation: A number of tendencies in the study of interwar Europe have been synthesized into a relatively unambiguous conceptualization of fascism that has become more or less widely accepted in the English-writing scholarly community.1 In Russia, on the other side, the notorious standard orthodox Marxist definition of fascism has been abandoned.2 Subsequently, the post-Soviet Russian interpretation of fascism has suffered from fragmentation, and the usage of the term “fascism” in public discourse from what might be called “hyper-inflation.”3 In what follows I shall shortly juxtapose recent Western and Russian developments, and identify some points where the two trends meet.