National Identity and Nationalism: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives in Russia and Eurasia, 15 credits

Creative Commons License
  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 2EU021
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Russian and Eurasian Studies
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Course Coordinators: Alexandra Brankova; Susanna Rabow-Edling
  • Starting Date: 15 Jan 2024
  • End Date: 2 June 2024
  • Assessment Type: Written Assignment, Oral Presentation, Seminar Participation
  • Format of the Course: The course will be running face-to-face at IRES (Gamla Torget Campus). Room details will be published on the course Studium page and TimeEdit
  • Syllabus:

Course Description:

The conceptualisations of the nation and nationalism have driven identity formation, state, and nation-building processes. The relevance of these concepts and clashing national imaginaries obtained growing salience after the fall of the Soviet Union and importance in current political affairs and relations.

The course aims at developing an in-depth understanding of theoretical perspectives on nationalism but also investigating a variety of empirical cases from Russian and Eurasian studies. The course includes both historical and present-day examples. It will take you on a journey discovering national identity construction among various countries in the region: Baltic states, Ukraine, Central Asia, and non-Russian minorities in the Russian Federation. The course offers a section assessing Russian nationalism starting from the formation of early 19th century Russian national identity and its cultural idea, progressing towards Eurasianism and neo-Eurasianism as nationalism movements and reaching post-Soviet and contemporary movements. The concept of a nation in times of war will further be discussed during the sessions about Ukraine and contemporary Russian nationalism. The course will finish with a workshop exploring banal nationalism in popular culture media content.

This course is highly relevant for students interested in national identity construction, nationalism, memory studies, social movements, history of ideas, and nation-/ state-building processes. The course is focused on Russia and Eurasia.

The course consists of three (3) main, interconnected parts (modules):

  • Part 1: Theories of nationalism
  • Part 2: Nation-building and nationalism in Baltic states, Ukraine, Central Asia, and non-Russian minorities
  • Part 3: Russian nationalism and its development

The first part aims at developing theoretical knowledge when understanding debates and theories of nationalism which can later be applied in studying empirical cases. The first theoretical part will also cover the link between nation states, minorities, and their external homelands. The second part examines empirical cases when studying nationalism: such as Baltic Independence Movements, Ukrainian nation-building, nation-building among Central Asian states (workshop), and national identity among non-Russian minorities in Siberia. The third part examines the development of Russian nationalism, in particular. Both historical and contemporary movements perspectives are key elements for this part (early movements such as the Slavophiles, Early Eurasianist and progressing towards neo-Eurasianists, and other contemporary movements such as Izborski Club, Russian far-right, and Political Orthodoxy networks such as Tsargrad). The contemporary movements lecture will further explore the activation of nationalist and conservative organisations in the light of the invasion of Ukraine.

Recommended Course Literature:

  • Textbook: Theories of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction (3rd Edition), Umut Ozkirimli, 2017, Palgrave (Available as an e-book at UU library)

  • Russian Nationalism, Marlene Laruelle, 2019, Routledge (Available as an e-book at UU library)

  • Bassin, Mark, and Catriona Kelly, eds. Soviet and post-Soviet identities. Cambridge University Press, 2012.(Available as an e-book at UU library)

  • Kolstø, Pal, and Helge Blakkisrud. The new Russian nationalism. Edinburgh University Press, 2016. (Available as an e-book at UU library)

  • Brown, David. Contemporary nationalism: civic, ethnocultural, and multicultural politics. London, Routledge 2000.
Senast uppdaterad: 2023-09-19