Russia Before and After Crimea: Nationalism and Identity 2010-17

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Pål Kolstø, Helge Blakkisrud
Edinburgh University Press Limited, 2018 - Russia (Federation) - 334 pages
Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 marked a watershed in post-Cold War European history and brought East-West relations to a low. At the same time, by selling this fateful action in starkly nationalist language, the Putin regime achieved record-high popularity.

This book shows how, after the large-scale 2011-13 anti-Putin demonstrations in major Russian cities and the parallel rise in xenophobia related to the Kremlin's perceived inability to deal with the influx of Central Asian labour migrants, the annexation of Crimea generated strong 'rallying around the nation' and 'rallying around the leader' effects.

The contributors to this collection go beyond the news headlines to focus on overlooked aspects of Russian society such as intellectual racism and growing xenophobia. These developments are contextualised with an overview of Russian nationalism: state-led, grassroots and the tensions between the two.

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About the author (2018)


Pål Kolstø is Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Oslo. He has authored two books and a number of articles and book chapters on Russian politics, Russian history and nationalism. Previously, he was Researcher at the Norwegian Defence Institute, 1987-90, and Interpreter at the Norwegian-Soviet border, 1982-83. His main research areas are nationalism, nation-building, ethnic conflicts, nationality policy in Russia, the former Soviet Union and the Western Balkans. He has published roughly 40 articles in English-language refereed journals, in addition to numerous publications in other languages. He is the recipient of six large research grants to study nation-building and ethnic relations in the post-Soviet world and the former Eastern Europe.

Helge Blakkisrud is the Head of the Research Group on Russia, Eurasia and the Arctic, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. His main research areas are federalism and centre-region relations in the Russian Federation, nationalism and nation-building in Russia and Eurasia, including in Eurasian de facto states. He is editor in chief of Nordisk Østforum, the Nordic journal for East European and Eurasian Studies.

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