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An investigation into the approach of modern Russian liberal thinkers towards nationalism

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posted on 2023-06-07, 15:23 authored by Kristian Paul McDonald
The aim of this study is to show how liberal thinkers have responded to the problems liberalism as an ideology faces in Russia, and to the challenges which Russia is encountering as a country in transition. I will argue that liberals are constantly aware both of their marginalisation (which is seen as being cultural, historical and political) when they react to other ideologies and to those who hold political power, and also of the difficulty of shaping Russia’s future along liberal lines. The liberal response to nationalism, therefore, provides a useful model in showing how liberals have reacted to ideologies which are typically regarded as being outside the liberal movement in Russia and also how they have sought to respond to many of the central questions relating to transition. I will show in this study that the response of liberals towards nationalism demonstrates a huge increase in the diversity of the liberal movement from the mid 1990’s onwards, as the internal divides amongst liberals have become apparent under the impact of transition. Secondly, liberals have been torn between the possible strategic benefits of combining liberalism with non-liberal elements, weighed against the ideological problems these combinations cause. These dilemmas have left Russian liberalism as an essentially stagnant ideology which remains incapable of forming a united and coherent response both to its own marginalisation and to the challenges faced by Russia.


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