Issue of Russian identity — страница 2

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defines the Russian state as a global power. In this respect, I would propose that throughout the history of Russia, identity has formed its behaviour, interests, and actions in the world. It has gone through many changes. At every phase of change, it has formed its position, and therefore Russian identity in the world system. For example, an identity of Soviet Union was understood by a Western world as Russia during the existence of the USSR, despite the fact that the Soviet Union was trying hard not to have that identity. Likewise, European identities were incomplete until they encountered peoples in the Americas and India respectively. The necessity of difference with another to produce one’s own identity is important (Hopf, ibid.). In the case of geopolitics, Russia is in

strategic position in the centre of Eurasia. It is divided by Ural mountains into European and Asian parts. It is a country with huge natural resources, including oil, gas and gold. On the other hand, national identity of Russia is very strong. It is based on hundreds years of history, culture and traditions. The national identity together with language, traditions, culture, is the main characteristic of the Russian nation and forms the basis of its self-definition. The Russian national identity therefore has certain spiritual and materialistic soil which also includes culture and the politics of state. The national identity of Russia is its main identifying character. From the beginning of the 19th century, thinkers and officials such as Karamzin, Speransky and others look to

Europe for ideas to improve the Russian political order. Nicholas V.Riasanovsky in his book “Russian Identities. A Historical Survey” says that in Kievan Russia the political system was certainly pluralistic and to an extent even populist and democratic (Riasanovsky 2005 :19). Russian identity is very unique in Western civilization. Peculiarities lie within historical development and its specific features in comparison to Western civilization in general. Russian identity has its own value and is motivated by internal factors, as well as by external factors, for example in the context of the EU, by other neighboring states and world politics. Russia becomes more developed and interconnected in the world and West. In the context of constructivism, it will sound as a state

construction, and a theoretically approved fact. John O'Loughlin and Paul F. Talbot talk about Soviet Union. The end as a unified territory and the effect that this disintegration had on the geopolitical imaginations of Russian people. Another important issue is Russian Orthodoxy, which influences a Russian state and culture, as well as forms the Russian identity from its side. Phrases such as ”81% of Russians identify themselves as Orthodox”, ”To be Russian is to be Orthodox”, ”The special contribution of Orthodoxy to the history of Russia is the development of Russia´s spiritually” are significant. Special status of Orthodoxy over all other religious traditions in Russia is significant. On the other hand, the alternatives to the future of Orthodox church are,

for example, removing the church from the direct participation in politics, as well as keeping the state separated from the church. Thus the place of the church and other religious organizations is challenged in Russia. An international vision on the view of Russian identity is quite different from the one being developed inside of Russia. National policies which create internal state identity are quite different from the ones being developed in other countries. Therefore, I see Russia as a unique state with certain important values and own national identity. There are two ends of Russian foreign policy. It balances between East and West, preferably choosing the West as a path to follow and to negotiate with (see Karamzin 1803). It grants the West a significant task of

strengthening Russia in the spheres such as economy, politics, including International Politics. It gives an example to Russia how to build up the country. It provides significant ties in politics, as well as economic ties, which strengthen and unify Russia.Russia is constructing its nation. Russia is building up the nation both on micro and macro levels. Russia has its behavior in World Politics and provides strong ties within the economy and politics in the World and the International system. Russia develops a special nation in the World, and goes by a continuity in its political life and behavior (see Borshevsky 2000, Ponarin 2000). The search for Russian national identity is an important trend. Russians have easily identified with standard, dominant Russian cultures - be they