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The Nature of Russian "Neo-Eurasianism": Approaches to Aleksandr Dugin's Post-Soviet Movement of Radical Anti-Americanism


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The Nature of Russian "Neo-Eurasianism": Approaches to Aleksandr Dugin's Post-Soviet Movement of Radical Anti-Americanism.
Hrsg.: Umland, Andreas
Armonk, NY : M. E. Sharpe, 2009. - 101 S. - (Russian Politics and Law ; 47,1)
ISBN 1061-1940


Guest Editor's Introduction
The collection of articles in this issue of RUSSIAN POLITICS AND LAW is related to a previous examination of the post-Soviet extreme right in RUSSIAN POLITICS AND LAW (vol. 46, no. 4 [July 2008]), and a presentation in RUSSIAN STUDIES IN PHILOSOPHY (vol. 47, no. 1 [Summer 2008]) of recent Russian interpretations of classical Eurasianism. Taken together, these three issues provide insight into the changing context, various sources and different permutations of a particularly virulent, and, arguably, consequential current of anti-Westernism in contemporary Russian intellectual and political discourse.
The five analyses of the Dugin phenomenon in post-Soviet society contained in the current issue sometimes compete with, but more often complement, each other. They all deal with the same object: Aleksandr Dugin, the political context of his activities, and his historical sources as well as – to a lesser degree – his followers, collaborators and competitors. It is telling that, despite such a relatively narrow empirical focus, these papers only rarely duplicate or overlap one other. In view of this circumstance, the purpose of bringing these closely related yet divergent interpretations of “neo-Eurasianism” together was threefold.
First, the papers illustrate the multifarious nature of post-Soviet “neo-Eurasianism,” and eclecticism of Dugin’s ideological worldview. Whereas Leonid Luks identifies in Dugin’s thinking and strategy continuities with inter-war Germany’s “Conservative Revolution,” Mikhail Sokolov interprets the Dugin phenomenon primarily as a specifically Russian variety of the so-called “New Right” in post-war Europe. While supportive of these viewpoints, Marlène Laruelle sets “neo-Eurasianism” initially, like Valery Senderov, within the context of classical Eurasianism and its revival in post-Soviet Russia. Whereas Senderov detects resemblances between classical and “neo-Eurasianism,” Laruelle finds more differences than similarities between these two intellectual movements, and discerns the most important congruence in their political behavior rather than ideology. My essay focuses on Dugin’s positive references to the varieties of inter-war fascism and, in particular, to German Nazism thereby introducing yet another comparative framework within which “neo-Eurasianism” can be viewed.
The issue thus demonstrates that an unambiguous classification of Dugin’s outlook and “neo-Eurasianism’s” nature is not an easy task. This is even more true in view of the fact that the present edition does not even present all relevant historical approaches to Dugin’s ideas. Among the major interpretative frameworks missing here are classical geopolitics, National Bolshevism and conspirological occultism – the latter understood as something yet to be differentiated from the esotericism of Integral Traditionalism on which Sokolov focuses.
The second purpose of this publication – similar to the motivations for producing the earlier RUSSIAN POLITICS AND LAW issue on the Russian extreme right – is to illustrate the emergence of a nascent international scholarly community that is trying not only to describe but also to understand current trends in Russian ultra-nationalism from a cross-cultural and diachronic perspective. This comparative approach is an advance in relation to most of the publications on Russia’s radical right of the 1990s that could often only chronicle the fast developments within the newly emerging anti-Western trends in a variety of sections of post-Soviet Russian society – party politics, the youth scene, high and popular culture, education, intellectual life, mass media, etc. – after the fall of the Soviet Union.
As in the case of the contributions to the earlier issue on the extreme right, the authors of this collection can regard themselves as lucky that their papers were translated from Russian, in an especially competent way, by one of the founding fathers of post-Soviet Russian right-wing extremism studies, Stephen D. Shenfield. Shenfield’s 2001 monograph RUSSIAN FASCISM: TRADITIONS, TENDENCIES, MOVEMENTS set, in several ways, the standard for later research in that he provided the first comprehensive as well as an especially dense intra- and internationally comparative study of the Russian radical right pushing our sub-field outside the realm of narrowly understood area studies. To be sure, Alexander Yanov’s brilliant 1995 survey WEIMAR RUSSIA AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT too can and should be regarded as a pioneering study that applied the comparative approach to the scholarly study of the post-Soviet Russian extreme right. Although Yanov demonstrated in his book (as he had in earlier publications) prophetic qualities, however, he could rely on an only slim body of primary and secondary sources that had been made available in the early 1990s. By 2001, in contrast, enough Russian and English literature – including the important 1998 monograph THE RUSSIAN QUESTION by Wayne Allensworth – was available to allow Shenfield to produce his in-depth investigation that has been informing and will continue, for years to come, to inform the international study of the Russian extreme right.
The articles in the current issue fall within this trend. The availability of high-quality English translations of them should contribute to further integrating our subfield into the larger disciplines of international studies of political extremism and neofascism. The effect of spreading the findings of Russian right-wing extremism studies to a wider public is here especially relevant with regard to the papers by Sokolov and Laruelle, which were previously published in two recently founded Russian print journals, AB IMPERIO and ACTA EURASICA/VESTNIK EVRAZII, that are available at only few Western libraries, despite their very high quality.
A final and related rationale for the present collection, as well the earlier issue on the extreme right, was to make the members of our subdiscipline and related fields better acquainted with their colleagues’ research. This goal is, of course, rather trivial, but re-stating this general purpose of academic publishing seems worthwhile in this particular case. In a 1997 review article (“The Post-Soviet Russian Extreme Right,” PROBLEMS OF POST-COMMUNISM, vol. 44, no. 4 [July-August 1997]) I lamented a tendency toward mutual ignorance among the different subdisciplines of Russian nationalism studies. Since then, some of the contributors to the subfield of Russian right-wing extremism have continued to suffer from a regrettable – and, arguably, unscientific – myopia. Those of us who have been following the stream of scholarly papers and books published on the Russian radical right in recent years might agree that, so far, there has been insufficient communication between, and sometimes plain disregard of, the various authors occupying our field. Therefore, we are no yet justified to call ourselves contributors to an academic subdiscipline. Perhaps, we should, instead, understand ourselves as belonging to an exclusive club of commentators, the members of which often still busy themselves with “re-inventing the wheel” rather than engaging in cumulative research based on previously published scholarly studies and on dialogue with colleagues working on the same or related topics. The current collection of articles should make a small contribution to overcome what was, in the 1990s, a still understandable childhood disease of post-Soviet Russian right-wing extremism studies but is now, in 2009, a situation that has become anachronistic.

Weitere Angaben

Schlagwörter:Russland, Faschismus, Rechtsextremismus, Nationalismus, Transformation
Institutionen der Universität:Geschichts- und Gesellschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät > Geschichte > Lehrstuhl für Mittel- und Osteuropäische Zeitgeschichte
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Eingestellt am:26. Jun 2009 14:08
Letzte Änderung:01. Jan 2010 21:22
URL zu dieser Anzeige:http://edoc.ku-eichstaett.de/128/