Master's Theses

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Department

International Relations

First Advisor

Rajan Menon

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kucik

Keywords

globalization, de-secularization, national identity

Abstract

A cultural aspect of westernization remains in the shadow of widely discussed economic and political ones. While many states are conforming to the Western rules of the global market game, the cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and thus less easily compromised and resolved than political and economic ones. The dissolution of the U.S.S.R. has left behind a void in the Russian identity. After unsuccessful attempts to assume a Western liberal identity during the first half of the 90s, Russia has opted for tried and tested Orthodox Christianity to fill that void and to form a new post-Soviet Russian identity. In the uncertain socio-economic conditions of post-Soviet Russia, many Russians looked to the Orthodox Church for guidance. The Church was frequently invoked in discussions on national identity and in deliberations over the country’s future. The separation of the state and the church of the Western Europe has become one of the democratic staples of domestic and international policies. The westernization of traditional societies (e.g. India, Russia) introduces liberal principles along with a complete secularization of the society and political life. This incites an opposing reaction of the Church and state coming together in Russia to secure Russian national identity. To re-affirm and secure its national identity Russia began pushing itself away from Western secular identity. The criminalization of blasphemy in 2013 has become a step to secure and to re-affirm Russian national identity.

 
 

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