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Patriotism and Governmentality - A Biopolitical Conceptualisation of Russia's 21st-century Identity Politics

Student: Tobias maximilian Vollmer

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: International Relations in Eurasia (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2018

This dissertation argues that the traditional-value agenda of the past years does not represent nationalism but rather a form of conservative patriotism. It can be assumed that the Russian government has shifted its legitimation tactics from the social contract of the 2000s towards a more sophisticated approach, manifesting biopower as a new form of power in authoritarian Russia, to construct a patriotic national identity that serves regime consolidation. Examining the legal discourse on traditional values using such proxies as family, sexuality, and gender issues, the dissertation seeks to find out to what extent the shift towards a biopolitical form of rule, which ultimately decentralises power and moves the focal point of legitimacy towards the population, has been successful or poses risks for governmental stability.

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