Ideologies of Eastness in Central and Eastern Europe (BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies)
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This book explores how the countries of Eastern Europe, which were formerly part of the Soviet bloc have, since the end of communist rule, developed a new ideology of their place in the world. Drawing on post-colonial theory and on identity discourses in the writings of local intelligentsia figures, the book shows how people in these countries no longer think of themselves as part of the "east", and how they have invented new stereotypes of the countries to the east of them, such as Ukraine and Belarus, to which they see themselves as superior. The book demonstrates how there are a whole range of ideologies of "eastness", how these have changed over time, and how such ideologies impact, in a practical way, relations with countries further east.
interests. In the third zone, that is, in Russia, the liberal pro-European opposition is a weak opposition, while the Western-skeptic camp is dominant within the government supporting block and relies on a wider spectrum of resistance discourses, from technocratic to nationalistic, and on openly anti-Western ideologies which emphasize Russia’s distinct, non-European identity. Interestingly, in the ﬁrst zone (the internal periphery of the EU) open critiques of the EU are less common than critiques
be interpreted as a structural eﬀect of the Soviet domination which by rule of inertia lasted for over a decade. It has transformed itself into a liberal vs. conservative cleavage, which can be seen as a reaction to global forces’ increasing grip over the region primarily due to the enlargement of the European Union, which clearly deﬁned a dominated position for zone one within wider Europe. What is important is how the post-communist cleavage characteristic for the zone one countries, in
They have a certain fear of being forever marginal, of not being actors in history, of not having recognition on equal terms and ultimately of their own disappearance. (Schöpﬂin, 2003: 12) The Western core’s ability at naturalization of arbitrary cultural forms and historical narratives may be also related to what Michael Billig called “banalization” when writing about “banal nationalism” (Billig, 1995). Universalization may be seen as the ability to move certain cultural traditions, including
other resources, in particular, political and economic. Let me quote in this context Alexander Kiossev’s note on the Bulgarian discourse of glorious past. Among all the Slavic peoples it was precisely the Bulgarians who were the most glorious nation – they were the ﬁrst to crown their kings, they were the ﬁrst to have an Orthodox patriarch, they were the ﬁrst to be baptized and they have conquered the greatest territories.’ For a long time we have been used to thinking that the rhetorical
better common understanding and to the examination of conscience ( … ) Kresy-character (Kresowos´c´) as a component of mentality forces one to get rid of xenophobia, to distance oneself from cosmopolitanism without roots and from relativism. (Hadaczek, 2011: 401) Such views on Kresy’s heritage as a version of Polish European identity and a discourse of Polish originality can be traced in the accounts of several other authors. Felix Gross, for example, presented a vision of Kresy with a strong