The end of the Soviet system and the transition to the market in Russia, coupled with the inexorable rise of nationalism, has brought to the fore the centuries-old debate about Russia's relationship with Europe. In Russia and the Idea of Europe Iver Neumann discusses whether the tensions between self-referencing romantic nationalist views and Europe-orientated liberal views can ever be resolved.
Drawing on a wide range of Russian sources, Neumann outlines the argument as it has unfolded over the last two hundred years, showing how Russia is caught between the attraction of an economically, politically and socially more developed Europe, and the attraction of being able to play a European -style inperial role in less-developed Asia.
Neumann argues that the process of delineating a European "other" from the Russian self is an active form of Russian identity formation. The Russian debate about Europe is also a debate about what Rusia is and should be.
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Iver B. Neumann is the Head of Foreign Relations and Security Division of the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs _Review:
Overall, this is a concise, straightforward, and stimulating study.
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