Przejdź do treści

Viacheslav Morozov

Viacheslav Morozov is Professor of EU–Russia Studies at the University of Tartu and chairs the Council of the UT’s Centre for EU–Russia Studies (CEURUS). Before moving to Estonia in 2010, he had taught for 13 years at the St. Petersburg State University in Russia. His current research explores how Russia’s political and social development has been conditioned by the country’s position in the international system. This approach has been laid out in his most recent monograph Russia’s Postcolonial Identity: A Subaltern Empire in a Eurocentric World (Palgrave, 2015), while the comparative dimension is explored, inter alia, in the edited volume Decentring the West: The Idea of Democracy and the Struggle for Hegemony (Ashgate, 2013). He is a member of the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia). In 2007–2010, he was a member of the Executive Council of the Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA).

New Nationalisms and Identity Politics: Minorities, Majorities and Universal Emancipation

A defining feature of the new nationalisms, which are the focus of this conference, is the way they are exploiting the regime of truth established in liberal democratic societies. Their use of the language of democracy, human rights and identity is sometimes hard to differentiate from the mainstream convention. In my talk I will concentrate on identity politics, in order to demonstrate that despite being majoritarian in the way it seeks democratic legitimacy, new nationalist discourse always makes use of the rhetoric of minority protection. This is done by presenting the existence of ‘our’ nation as threatened by overwhelming forces of neo-liberal globalisation (embodied in the EU, the West or even in ‘the Washington establishment’). I will argue that there is no way of preventing the language of minority protection from being hijacked by ‘predatory identities’, unless one foregrounds the universal dimension of equality and emancipation, as opposed to rights and entitlements associated with particular identities. The key political question today, as always, consists in how to navigate between totalitarian disregard of the local and the parochialist concentration on the particular.