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Russia's New AuthoritarianismPutin and the Politics of Order$
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David G. Lewis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474454766

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474454766.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Defining the Enemy

Defining the Enemy

(p.100) Five Defining the Enemy
Russia's New Authoritarianism

David G. Lewis

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores the ways in which Russian elites sought to find a unifying idea and national identity for Russians after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Instead of forging a positive national idea, Putinism sought to create national unity by identifying enemies, both inside the country and externally. The West became the existential enemy for conservatives in the Kremlin, and liberal forces inside Russia were labelled a ‘fifth column’. This enemy discourse created a short-lived “Crimean consensus” after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, but this common feeling soon faded. After two decades of Putinism, the friend-enemy discourse no longer united Russians nor overcame deep-rooted social, political and economic cleavages in society.

Keywords:   Political community, Friend/Enemy Distinction, Fifth Column, National unity, Crimean consensus

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