Iain Ferguson to speak on ' Russia’s Monologues of Civilisation: A Conservative Dilemma '
On December 11, the International Research Seminar of the International Laboratory of World Order and New Regionalism will organize an academic workshop with Iain Ferguson, who will give a report "Russia’s monologues of civilisation: A conservative dilemma".
This presentation is about what Russian conservative elites, policymaker and intellectuals, believe is Russia’s unique role as a ‘state civilisation’ in world politics. It seeks to describe and explain the difficulty these elites have had in trying to sustain civilisational dialogues on matters of global and European importance. This predicament is explained in terms of two competing tendencies in conservative thought; two opposing ways of thinking about the purpose and scope of Russia’s civilisational development and its role in world politics. One is optimistic and inclusive. The other is pessimistic and exclusive. The dilemma, of the title, refers to the ‘victory’ of the pessimistic tendency over the course of Russia’s international dialogues. I argue this is the product of the perceived failure to achieve recognition (from the West, especially) of Russia’s conservative and optimistic vision of a multi-civilisational world order. This presentation offers a corrective to analyses of Russian conservativism and civilisational discourse that emphasise only the pessimistic and nationalist side to this body of political thought. And it also offers a reassessment of why Russia’s conservatives have tended to withdraw from international dialogues. By choice, certainly, but also out of sense of disappointment and frustration of not being listened to.
Iain Ferguson is a research fellow at the HSE’s International Laboratory on New Regionalism and World Order studies. Previously, he has held research and teaching positions at the University of Edinburgh, the University of St. Andrews, the University of Tartu and RANEPA. This presentation is based on research conducted together with Prof. Sergei Akopov of the Political Science department at HSE in Saint Petersburg.
The workshop will be held on December 11, 5 p.m.