Is Nationalism Rising in Russian Foreign Policy? The Case of Georgia

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Abstract

In this article, the foreign policy influence of Russian nationalism, from the Putin to the Medvedev eras, is traced, with a focus specifically on Russian nationalist arguments for and reactions to the August 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia. The typical relationship between Russian nationalism and foreign policy is one in which the authorities have generally promoted a pragmatic, conservative "statist nationalism." Nevertheless, they have simultaneously stoked more aggressive ethno-nationalist "civilizational nationalism" in the domestic sphere. The Russia-Georgia War was a marked deviation from this pattern, showing an unprecedented spill-over from the domestic to the foreign policy realms. Since 2009, there has been a partial return to the norm. However, without more fundamental domestic change, the likelihood of nationalism increasingly affecting Russian foreign policy remains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-208
JournalDemokratizatsiya
Volume19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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