Laruelle, Marlene. “Russia as an Anti-liberal European Civilisation.” in The new Russian nationalism. Kolstø, Pal, and Helge Blakkisrud ed. Edinburgh University Press, 2016.
In this chapter I agree with Henry Hale’s double argument that Putin has generally avoided making nationalism a central element of his popular appeal, and that the majority of the population has not interpreted Putin as a standard-bearer of nationalism – other, competing political groups are more distinctly associated with the nationalism niche. I share the view that in his third presidential term, marked by a sharp decrease in popular support and the anti-regime protests of 2011/12, Putin has been advancing a conservative value agenda in order to reinforce some of the regime’s constituencies and to marginalise the liberals – and the nationalists. However, I challenge the view, advanced in several chapters in this volume, that Putin has suddenly brought nationalism into the picture, despite what is widely said about his ‘shift’ toward ethnonationalism during the Ukrainian crisis.