Sunday, February 10, 2019

MGIMO Book Shows Moscow More Worried about Regionalism in Russia than It Admits, Shtepa Suggests

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 10 – In a book entitled Regionalism as an Ideology of Globalism (in Russian, Moscow, 2017, 188 pp.) published by MGIMO, Vasily Shipkov says that regionalism and globalism are part of a grand conspiracy against the nation state, Vadim Shtepa says in a new review (

            Because MGIMO is the main training center for the Russian foreign ministry, the book represents that institution’s views on regionalism and on how Moscow should respond to that phenomenon, not only abroad but within the Russian Federation itself, the editor of the Tallinn-based Region.Expert portal argues.

            The book’s message is clear from the editorial annotation it carries: “The author of the monograph analyzes regionalism as one of the types of the contemporary ideology of globalism which is being formed in the post-modern era and is directed at the struggle with the historical phenomenon of the nation state.”

            According to the annotation, Shipkov’s book holds that “the main task of regionalism is to deprive the concept of the nation state of primacy in the system of present-day international relations and its goal is to form a new world order which will allow for a deeper globalization of the world space.”

            In brief, the book is not an analysis of regionalism but an attack on it, Shtepa says, something that becomes clear when the author discusses regionalists in Russia. According to Shipkov, regionalists actively came to the fore in the “’unstable’ years of 2011-2012” and contributed to that instability by seeking to spread regionalist ideas to the masses.

            “If before that time, such a paradigm was characteristic of the self-conscioiusness of part of the elites in the national republics, then the regionalists tried to spread it to the regions lacking a clearly expressed nationality character, that is, to Russian oblasts.” They began talking about “’the federalization of Siberia’” for example.

            Liberals in Moscow picked up on these ideas and even hosted a conference at the Higher School of Economics on federalism and regionalism in 2013 ( Thus “the seed was sown,” Shipkov continues, for the growth of regionalist ideas in the service of globalism and liberalism against the Russian state.

            The MGIMO author continues: “regionalism is a young political technology which is directed at the construction of a new image of the region and the preparation of an information base which can be used for the organization of mass protests. The social base of the regionalists are urban residents and students; the main idea is regional pride, the overcoming of provincial feelings of inadequacy, the spread of the idea that the federal authorities and capital city are evil, the struggle for the growth of regional economic and political autonomy and the moral right for regions to leave the Russian Federation.”

            “Regionalists are creating flags and hymns, creating myths about the origin of the regions, making heroes out of particular historical figures, introducing new toponyms and units of money … they are seeking to transform cultural-historical activity into a political form … [and] thus create a threat to the socio-cultural unity of Russian society,” Shipkov argues.

No comments:

Post a Comment