Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

Russia’s new illiberal conservatism

Fri31  Mar01:15pm(15 mins)
East Quad Lecture Theatre


Katharina Bluhm1
1 Freie Universität Berlin, Germany


Recently, illiberalism as a counter-hegemonic movement against Western liberalism and the financial market-driven globalization has become a right-wing project. In Russia, this project appears as a reinvention of conservatism, which posits itself against liberalism and communism (Mannheim). The paper explores the commonalities and differences between two major strands of illiberalism in Russia: 1) the conservative neo-imperial strand that regards Russia as a unique civilization and 2) an anti-imperial nationalist conservatism. The proponents of the first strand aggressively oppose the West, while the supporters of the second hoped for a transition of Putin’s regime without a complete break with the West. Both strands are deeply intertwined with contemporary liberalism in the West and its perceived crisis. The differences between the two strands became evident again when Putin started the war in Ukraine and ended the evolutionary nationalist project.