Laruelle, Marlene. “Ideological Complementarity or Competition? The Kremlin, the Church, and the Monarchist Idea in Today’s Russia.” Slavic Review 79, no. 2 (2020): 345-364.


In 2018, Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, was the most popular of all Russian historical figures of the twentieth century; the fame of White officers such as Alexander Kolchak and Anton Denikin was also on the rise. Obviously, broad sympathy for the last Romanov does not imply support for a potential restoration of the monarchy, yet the past few years have seen the activation of several monarchist lobbies, especially around the Russian Orthodox Church and in some well-connected Kremlin circles that seek the ideological hardening of the Putin regime. In this article, I use the case study of the monarchist idea to explore how the Kremlin manages the production of a large and diversified set of ideologies. I explore how the relationship between state authorities, ideological entrepreneurs, and some societal actors such as the Church is articulated along a continuum of permanent complementarity and competition in the production of ideologies.