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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Concentrating on the political and cultural capital that various elites have extracted from notions of the West, this chapter identifies four phases in the development of the most consistently articulated binary opposition in modern Russian culture: Russia’s entry into the European state system in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the era of national awakening from the Napoleonic wars to the 1860s; the era of mass national politics and decolonization from the 1860s to the 1950s; and the era of American hegemony, globalization and European peace from the 1950s onwards which has eventually caused the Russian nation to reinvent itself in a postcommunist guise.

Keywords: Orientalism, occidentalism, Slavophiles, Westernizers, Westernization, modernization, Russian nationhood, intelligentsia, Russian Marxism

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