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Nash sovremennik 1981-1991: a case study in the politics of Soviet literature with special reference to Russian nationalism

Cosgrove, S.A.; (1998) Nash sovremennik 1981-1991: a case study in the politics of Soviet literature with special reference to Russian nationalism. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This study of the Moscow-based, Russian-language 'thick' journal, Nash sovremennik, with special reference to Russian nationalism, in the last decade of the Soviet polity (1981-1991), is based on a distinction between popular and statist Russian nationalist tendencies. In the conditions of an 'imperial state', such as the Soviet Union, it is argued, nationalist ideology exhibited a strong polarisation between a 'popular' tendency, oriented towards the idea of the nation; and a 'statist' tendency, oriented towards the state. The exigencies of Soviet politics meant that both popular and statist nationalist tendencies appeared in the journal in 'truncated' form: the popular nationalist tendency lacked an idea of statehood appropriate to its vision of the nation; and the statist tendency was inhibited from advocating a policy of thorough-going cultural Russification, appropriate to its views of the state. In the Gorbachev period, while Westernisng policies tended to make nationalists of both types oppose reform, the issue of the state was fundamental in determining the conservative political orientation of nationalists. There are five conclusions of the study, with regard to the period 1981-1991: 1 Nash sovremennik played an important role in the articulation of Russian nationalist ideology; 2 the publication policy of Nash sovremennik was strongly influenced by the appointments to the key internal posts, not only of chief editor, but also of deputy chief editor; 3 conservative political elites in the Soviet Union sought to use nationalist ideology to control and limit reform; 4 Russian nationalist ideology was characterised by a marked polarity between statist and popular tendencies; 5 the 'imperial' nature of the Soviet state, and the ethnic heterogeneity of Soviet elites and masses alike, made Russian nationalist ideology unsuitable, as an ideological instrument, for Soviet political elites.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Nash sovremennik 1981-1991: a case study in the politics of Soviet literature with special reference to Russian nationalism
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES

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