Bringing together leading scholars from Russia and outside experts on Russia, this book looks at the difference between the image Russia has of itself and the way it is viewed in the West. It discusses the historical, cultural and political foundations that these images are built upon, and goes on to analyse how contested these images are, and their impact on Russian identity. The book questions whether differing images explain fractiousness in Western-Russian relations in the new century, or whether distinct ‘imaginary solitudes’ offer a better platform from which to negotiate differences. Providing an innovative comparative study of contemporary images of the country and their impact, the book is a significant contribution to studies of globalisation and international relations.

chapter |10 pages

1 The power of images and the images of power

Past and present identity in Russia's international relations
ByRay Taras

chapter |13 pages

2 Mirror, mirror …

Myth-making, self-images and views of the US ‘Other' in contemporary Russia
ByBo Petersson

chapter |18 pages

3 Russia in international society over the longue durée

Lessons from early Rus' and early post-Soviet state formation
ByIver B. Neumann

chapter |11 pages

4 The ‘Varangian problem'

Science in the grip of ideology and politics
ByElena Melnikova

chapter |20 pages

5 Russian and European mutual perceptions

Foreign policy stereotypes in historical perspective
ByAleksander V. Golubev

chapter |18 pages

6 Russia and ‘the West' in the 2000s

Redefining Russian identity in official political discourse
ByOlga Malinova

chapter |19 pages

7 Constructing Russophobia

ByValentina Feklyunina

chapter |23 pages

8 Images, metaphors, and power

Reinventing the grammar of Russian trans-border regionalism
ByAndrey S. Makarychev

chapter |16 pages

9 The embarrassing Russian connection

Selective memory of the Russian heritage in contemporary Poland
ByTomasz Zarycki