This seminal book explores the complex relationship between popular geopolitics and nation branding among the Newly Independent States of Eurasia, and their combined role in shaping contemporary national image and statecraft within and beyond the region. It provides critical perspectives on international relations, nationalism, and national identity through the use of innovative approaches focusing on popular culture, new media, public diplomacy, and alternative "narrators" of the nation. By positing popular geopolitics and nation branding as contentious forces and complementary flows, the study explores the tensions and elisions between national self-image and external perceptions of the nation, and how this complex interplay has become integral to contemporary global affairs.

chapter 1|31 pages

Of idols and idylls

The question of national image

chapter 2|27 pages

The supermarket of nations

Competitive identity and the brand state

chapter 3|30 pages

The mind's eye

Popular culture, geographical imagination, and international relations

chapter 4|30 pages

A brand new Eurasia

Places, spaces, and peoples of the post-Soviet realm

chapter 5|28 pages

The post-Soviet bogeyman

A guide to the dangerous personae of the former USSR

chapter 6|25 pages

Laughable nations

Parodying the post-Soviet republics

chapter 7|29 pages

Mapping Trashcanistan

The post-Soviet badlands in popular culture, news media, and academe

chapter 8|38 pages


Marketing Eurasia's new nations to the (Western) world

chapter 9|8 pages

Conclusion: Post-Soviet Eurasia

The once and future geopolitical imaginary