Online seminar "Politics of Memory as a Populist Game: Political Uses of Memory about the Early Period of Post-Soviet Transformations in Contemporary Russia", 18.02.2022
The institutional partnership project between the Institute for East European Studies of the Free University Berlin (FUB) and HSE University supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) is inviting you to attend the series of online seminars "Varieties of populism in East and West". The theme of the fourth workshop will be "The Challenge of Populism: Impact on Traditional Left-wing and Right-wing parties in Europe".
News from Feb 10, 2022
The theme of the fifth workshop will be "Politics of Memory as a Populist Game: Political Uses of Memory about the Early Period of Post-Soviet Transformations in Contemporary Russia".
Speaker – Prof. Dr. Olga Malinova, School of Politics and Governance, Academic Director of the Doctoral School of Political Science, HSE University, Moscow
Main theses of the speaker:
Appealing to the common experience in remote or recent past is typical for political rhetoric. The paper explores a populist potential of political uses of the past considering the case of framing the early period of post-Soviet transformations in contemporary Russia. In Russian public discourse, the opposition between likhie devianostye (the troubled or hard 1990s) and the “stable 2000s” is an often used trop. It implies apparently self-evident contrasts: the weak state and bespredel (anarchy) vs. “strengthening” of the state and “maintenance of order”; the economic recession and crisis of nonpayment vs. stabilization and economic growth; the total crisis of social welfare vs. reliable welfare payments; the uncontrolled decentralization vs. establishing the “vertical” of federal power etc. The recent past is widely remembered through the lens of opposition between the presidency of Boris Yetlsin (1990-1999) and Vladimir Putin, who now holds the office for more than eighteen years (with a break of Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency in 2008-2011, when Putin was prime minister), and, after adopting the amendments to the Constitution, in 2024 can run for the next term. The paper presents the results of research of the in representations of the early period of post-Soviet transformations in the discourses of presidents Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, and the groups who succeeded the opposing political camps of the 1990s, i.e. the Communists and National Patriots (who later became labelling themselves the latter are also labelled as the Conservatives), and the Liberals. It demonstrates how the these groups of politicians contributed to consolidation of the myth of likhie devianosvye. Three factors were especially important here. First, making the negative framing of the 1990s a central element of Putin’s legitimizing narrative. Second, the creeping reconceptualization of the initial goals of the post-Soviet reforms in the 2000-2010s blocked an inclusion of positive remembrances about the 1990s into the shared narratives, as they either were associated with the failed hopes, or concerned private life stories that did not fit to the dominating public narratives. Third, in spite of important divergences in their stories, all of considered discourses, for different reasons, accentuated the negative aspects of the post-Soviet transformation.
Discussant – Prof. Dr. Michael Rochlitz, Universität Bremen, the author of numerous publications dealing with analysis of Russia’s political regime, in 2014-2017 – Assistant Professor, School of Politics, HSE University, Moscow
Date: 18th of February 2022
Time: 17:00 PM Moscow Time Zone
Online Platform: Zoom
We count with ca. 1.3 hours workshop duration.
More information about the seminar series of FUB-HSE "Varieties of populism in East and West" here and here.
If you have any questions, please contact Salavat Abylkalikov (firstname.lastname@example.org).