Laruelle, Marlene. Russian nationalism: Imaginaries, doctrines, and political battlefields. Routledge, 2018.


This book, by one of the foremost authorities on the subject, explores the complex nature of Russian nationalism. It examines nationalism as a multilayered and multifaceted repertoire displayed by a myriad of actors. It considers nationalism as various concepts and ideas emphasizing Russia’s distinctive national character, based on the country’s geography, history, Orthodoxy, and Soviet technological advances. It analyzes the ideologies of Russia’s ultra-nationalist and far-right groups, explores the use of nationalism in the conflict with Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, and discusses how Putin’s political opponents, including Alexei Navalny, make use of nationalism. Overall the book provides a rich analysis of a key force which is profoundly affecting political and societal developments both inside Russia and beyond.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Part I: Nationalism as Imperial Imaginary: Cosmos, Geography, and Ancient Past
    • Chapter 1. Cosmism: Russian Messianism at a Time of Technological Modernity
    • Chapter 2. Larger, Higher, Farther North… Russia’s Geographical Metanarratives
    • Chapter 3. Alternate History and New Chronology: Rewriting Russia’s Past
  • Part II: Nationalism as Doctrine: Experimenting new Repertoires
    • Chapter 4. Beyond Slavophilism: The Rise of Aryanism and Neo-Paganism
    • Chapter 5. A Textbook Case of Doctrinal Entrepreneurship: Aleksandr Dugin
    • Chapter 6. Pamiat 2.0? The Izborskii Club, or the New Conservative Avant-Garde
  • Part III: Nationalism as Political Battlefield: In the Streets, for or against the Kremlin
    • Chapter 7. Black Shirts and White Power: The Changing Faces of the Far Right
    • Chapter 8. Aleksei Navalny and the Natsdem: A pro-Western Nationalism?
    • Chapter 9. The Three Colors of Novorossiya, or the Mythmaking of the Ukrainian War
Marlene Laruelle

About Marlene Laruelle