Fachbereich Literaturwissenschaft
Department of Literature

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Konferenzen, Tagungen und Workshops

Resignification of borders: Eurasianism and the "Russian World"

15. und 16. April 2016 Bischofsvilla, Otto Adam Str. 5, Konstanz

The discrepancy between the concepts of Eurasianism and the Russian world constitute a major controversy embedded in integrationist policies in the post-Soviet space. The distinction between the two is substantial: Eurasianism is a set of geopolitical ideas more focused on governing territories rather than articulating identity discourses, while the Russian world is a biopolitical doctrine premised on protecting an imagined transterritorial community of Russian speakers allegedly sharing a common macro-identity.

On the one hand, the two doctrines may overlap, as epitomized by the annexation of Crimea and the Russian de-facto insistence on spheres of influence in Europe. On the other hand, the concept of the ‘Russian world’, being a key ideological tool in Russia‘s support for the military insurgency in Ukraine, might in many respects be detrimental for the implementation of the Eurasian project. It also rendered two controversial effects for a wider Moscow‘s policy in the post-Soviet area. First, the Russian world concept is grounded in cultural and religious tenets of identity and contains strong exclusionary notes. Thus, Central Asia is gradually bracketed out of Russian foreign policy calculations, which is definitely an important factor in the changing balance of power between Russia and China. Second, being a biopolitical doctrine, the Russian world does not serve the practical purposes of governance and lacks a clear and consistent picture of Russia‘s regional policies.

The workshop seeks to unpack the complexities of discursive construction of the Eurasianism and the Russian World concepts as exemplified by different dimensions of cultural, political, religious, ethnic, and social practices.


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