Item description for Russia Between East and West: Scholarly Debates on Eurasianism (International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology) by Dmitry Shlapentokh...
Throughout most of Russian history, two views of who the Russians are have dominated the minds of Russian intellectuals. Westerners assumed that Russia was part of the West, whilst Slavophiles saw Russia as part of a Slavic civilization. At present, it is Eurasianism that has emerged as the paradigm that has made attempts to place Russia in a broad civilizational context and it has recently become the only viable doctrine that is able to provide the very ideological justification for Russia's existence as a multiethnic state. Eurasians assert that Russia is a civilization in its own right, a unique blend of Slavic and non-Slavic, mostly Turkic, people. While it is one of the important ideological trends in present-day Russia, Eurasianism, with its origins among Russian emigrants in the 1920s, has a long history. Placing Eurasianism in a broad context, this book covers the origins of Eurasianism, dwells on Eurasianism's major philosophical paradigms, and places Eurasianism in the context of the development of Polish and Turkish thought. The final part deals with the modern modification of Eurasianism. The book is of great relevance to those who are interested in Russian/European and Asian history area studies.
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Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2006
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN 9004154159 ISBN13 9789004154155
Availability 0 units.
More About Dmitry Shlapentokh
Dmitry Shlapentokh is associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Indiana, South Bend. Among his books are "The French Revolution and the Russian Anti-Democratic Tradition: A Case of False Consciousness (available from Transaction), The French Revolution in Russian Intellectual Life, 1865-1905, Soviet Cinematography, 1918-1991 (with Vladimir Shlapentokh), and East Against West, The First Encounter: The Life of Themistocles. "
Reviews - What do customers think about Russia Between East and West: Scholarly Debates on Eurasianism (International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology)?
High quality papers which could have been presented better Mar 31, 2007
While Shlapentokh has to be thanked for this addition to the small body of literature on Eurasianism, the book is not always what its title suggests. In spite of what its sub-heading promises, there is little 'debate' in this book. This is a standard collection of papers that relate to a common set of topics, yet rarely to each other. Neither do the scholars debate among themselves, nor do they particularly focus in their contributions on Russian or non-Russian scholarly debates on Eurasianism of which there has been a lot (although Rossman partly deals with non-scholarly debates on Eurasianism in post-Soviet Russia). To be sure, Laruelle's, Rossman's and Lesourd's contributions as well as, in particular, Stefan Wiederkehr's 'Eurasianism as a Reaction to Pan-Turkism' and Roman Bäcker's 'Poles and the Interwar Eurasian Movement' are all of a high caliber. Especially, Wiederkehr's essay makes an important addition to theories explaining the origins and rise of Eurasianism. Yet, the set-up of this project will leave those among us familiar with the use and abuse of 'Eurasianism' in post-Soviet Russia not entirely satisfied. As Shlapentokh in both the introduction and conclusions to this volume refers to not only to the intellectual, but also political dimension of Eurasianism in today Russia, one would have liked to see a 'debate' on the issue of continuities and discontinuities between classical Eurasianism, on the one side, and Gumilev's dubious philosophy of history as well as Dugin's notorious 'neo-Eurasianism', on the other. For instance, Laruelle has argued in a 2001 essay in 'Acta Eurasica' that the formation of Gumilev's theory of ethnogenesis has, in spite of Gumilev's own pretension to be 'the last Eurasian', little to do with classical Eurasianism and is more related to crypto-racist tendencies in Soviet social sciences in the 1960s and 1970s. And Dugin's conspirology has, as Rossman indicates, not only little direct relation to Gumilev's fantasies. Dugin's intellectual biography, as Vinkovetsky or Wiederkehr, among others, pointed out before, had become influenced by Eurasianism (and Russian sources, in general) only relatively late. One could even argue that Dugin adopted Russian Eurasianism in order to hide more important non-Russian sources of his ruminations on world history and politics including the inter-war German 'conservative revolution', international occultism, integral Traditionalism, and the post-war European 'New Right'.
All contributions to this collection are by themselves worth-reading and Shlapentokh is to be congratulated to have published them. Still, a different combination and contextualization of scholarly essays on the book's theme might have given the reader a more suitable impression of major issues in assessing the relevance of classical Eurasianism for post-Soviet politics.