chapter  5
15 Pages

Future prospects of contemporary Russian nationalism

ByALEXANDER VERKHOVSKY

Nationalism as a movement driven by the idea of building a nation, be it civic or ethnic, has potential for success in two cases: either when it is associated with ideas of social modernization – as was the case with the “modernizing nationalism” of the French Revolution – or when it is used for institutionalizing the state, as has recently been the case in many post-socialist countries. Today’s Russian nationalism is neither; all of its versions are directed against modernization. From this perspective it is neither necessary for the country’s development nor does it have any strategic potential.1 Russia is fully institutionalized as a state, and any remaining doubts about this soon disappeared during the first half of the 1990s (at this very time there was a noticeable decline in the kind of Russian nationalism that had emerged in the late 1980s and at the beginning of the 1990s during the USSR’s crisis and collapse).