Seminar on Russian nation-building at Uppsala

On 3 May at 15.15, Marina Henrikson will give a talk at the UCRS seminar.

The Russo-Georgian War in August 2008, and especially Russia’s role in the conflict, was subject to highly divergent interpretations. Many international observers argued that the military intervention into Georgia and the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia demonstrated contemporary Russia’s neo-imperialistic nature. In contrast, the Russian political leadership presented a starkly different picture than its critics in order to counter the critique while simultaneously uniting the Russian nation behind the flag and framing the war as demonstrating Russia’s heightened importance in the world political arena. The presentation will focus on Russian official discourse, which contained certain themes that were familiar to both international and domestic audiences – themes often concerning Russian nationhood and membership in the collective. It will discuss the discursive construction of Russia as a non-imperial great power, historical (primarily Soviet) legacy and the protection of Russian citizens/compatriots. These themes all touch upon questions concerning the ‘just’ borders of the Russian nation/state and the belongingness to the Russian nation.

Marina Henrikson is a guest PhD Candidate at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, with the University of Manchester in the UK as her home university. Her research interests include Russian foreign policy, identity formation, the South Caucasus, International Relations, constructivism and discourse analysis.