Defence and promotion of desired state identity in Russia’s strategic narrative

Szostek, J. (2017) Defence and promotion of desired state identity in Russia’s strategic narrative. Geopolitics, 22(3), pp. 571-593. (doi: 10.1080/14650045.2016.1214910)

167877.pdf - Accepted Version



This article examines how the Russian state promotes and protects its preferred self-identity, using the conceptual framework of ‘strategic narrative’. Nation branding practices, including state-funded ‘mega-projects’ like the Sochi Olympics, have contributed to the narrative by characterising Russia as a welcoming, attractive destination. However, a more salient feature of Russia’s strategic narrative is intense ‘anti-Western’ and ‘anti-American’ political and media discourse, formulated to defend against rival, threatening narratives projected from other countries. Through analysis of official statements and state television content, this article demonstrates how determination to protect ‘great power’ and ‘European’ identities underlay Russia’s strategic narrative in 2014. It considers responses which the narrative has prompted, arguing that desired results in domestic reception have been achieved at the expense of unsatisfactory results internationally. Heavy-handed attacks on the identities of other states boost collective self-esteem among Russian citizens, but they fail to produce – and arguably obstruct – desired responses among foreign audiences.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Szostek, Dr Joanna
Authors: Szostek, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Geopolitics
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge
ISSN (Online):1557-3028
Published Online:11 August 2016
Copyright Holders:
Error parsing XML in render_xhtml_field: :1: parser error : xmlParseEntityRef: no name
<fragment>Copyright © 2017 Taylor & Francis</fragment>
First Published:First published in Geopolitics 22(3):571-593
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record