Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

“United Russia”: Vladimir Putin’s Securitisation of the Threat to Russia’s Territorial Integrity in Domestic and Foreign Policy

Fri31  Mar02:30pm(15 mins)
James Watt South Room 375


Vassily Klimentov1
1 European University Institute, Italy


The article examines how Vladimir Putin securitized the threat to Russia’s territorial integrity, postulating that any loss of Russian direct or indirect, based on imperial conceptions of a sphere of influence, control over territory represented an existential threat to the country’s survival. From 2000 to 2022, this securitization, which, at different periods, incorporated threats of international terrorism, separatism, and the loss of Russia’s influence in the post-Soviet space, saw Putin pass exceptional measures that broke the established rules of Russian society and politics. The securitization led to, on one hand, domestic authoritarian reforms, and, on the other, military campaigns in Georgia, Chechnya, Ukraine, and Syria. Applying the Copenhagen’s School Securitization Theory, the article conducts a qualitative and quantitative text analysis of over 120 televised statements by Putin to support its argument.