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Nation-building and nationalism in today’s Russia (NEORUSS) (completed)

About the project

The nation-building program designed by Yeltsin for post-Soviet Russia is under strain. Central to this program is the concept of the ‘Rossiiskii’ nation, signaling a non-ethnic nation model with significant cultural and political rights to non-Russians, but held together with a high degree of common values and traditions. Today, the loss of the large, multiethnic Soviet state is accepted by an increasing number of Russians, but in the process the civic understanding of the nation is being jettisoned, and Russian nationalism, for the first time in history, seems to be turning towards a focus on ethnicity: ‘Russian’ is increasingly being understood as ‘ethnic Russian’ (‘Russkii’).


This project examined the nationality question in Russian discourse and aims to determine to what extent the Russian national identity is shifting from an imperial (and implicitly multiethnic) understanding of the nation, towards an ethnic and exclusive one. We will also look at the potential consequences this shift might have for Russian politics.

In order to document and analyze the new preconditions for nation-building in Russia, four key issues will be taken up for separate scrutiny;

  • Changes in political signals as well as the state’s actual policies
  • The nationality issue in the opposition and political fringe groups
  • Role of the media
  • Changes in the public mood

For further information on the details of this project, please see the following document and the Final report.




Servey data from Krasnodar, Moscow, and Vladivostok in 2013, Stavropol in 2014, and from National serveys in 2013 and 2014:


Krasnodar 2013 Krasnodar 2013 (excel) Krasnodar 2013 (dat)
Mosocow 2013 Moscow 2013 (excel) Moscow 2013 (dat)
Vladivostok 2013 Vladivostok 2013 (excel) Vladivostok 2013 (dat)
National survey 2013 National survey 2013 (excel) National survey 2013 (dat)
Stavropol survey 2014 Stavropol survey 2014 (excel) Stavropol survey 2014 (dat)
National survey 1200 National survey 1200 (Excel)  



The project is coordinated by Pål Kolstø, Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Oslo. The main project partner is Helge Blakkisrud, Head of Department of Russian and Eurasian Studies, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). The third member of the Norwegian research team is a PhD candidate Christine Myhrdal Lukash. To complement and strengthen the Norwegian team, we have recruited a team of leading international experts in the field of Russian nationalism.

At the core of the project will be a large survey carried out in partnership with ROMIR, a Russian polling agency. In the various sub-studies, quantitative data will be complemented with qualitative insights.

As part of the project we will organize a series of ‘New Russian Nationalism Seminar,’ scheduled to run throughout the project period with seminars once every three months at NUPI and with presentations of all national as well as external partners.

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Tags: Russia
Published Jan. 17, 2013 4:44 PM - Last modified May 15, 2019 1:54 PM