Identity under Siege: Selective Securitization of History in Putin's Russia

Johannes Due Enstad and Håvard Bækken explore state efforts to safeguard national history and identity in Putin's Russia.

Front page of the Slavonic & East European Review
Photo: Modern Humanities Research Association

Selective securitization

It is argued that a process of selective securitization has been taking place in Putin's Russia, whereby elite actors have defined certain (but not all) aspects of Russia's history and identity as vital and existentially threatened interests that need to be forcefully defended. This has paved the way for wide-reaching state policy on the Great Patriotic War and given security actors an important role in its formulation.

State policy under Stalin

Bækken and Enstad argue that while the narrative of victory and unity surrounding the Great Patriotic War has become subject to securitization, state policy on the more contentious issue of Stalin's dictatorship has been much more ambiguous. When it comes to Stalin, the state has not sought to unify the population behind a common narrative, but rather to accommodate the value pluralism present among Russian elites and in society at large.


The publication is available through JSTOR.

By Håvard Bækken and Johannes Due Enstad
Published Apr. 25, 2020 11:23 PM - Last modified June 10, 2020 10:11 PM