Friday, September 17, 2021

‘Russian National Identity in a Certain Sense is International,’ Fabrikant Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 15 – However paradoxical it may seem, Margarita Fabrikant says, growing pride in Russia among residents of the Russian Federation has been accompanied by growing trust in members of non-Russian nationalities who clearly identify as such than toward others who do not.

            That was not the focus of research conducted by the Higher School of Economics based on the findings of the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey. Instead, her investigation traced the interrelationships between growing national pride among Russians and trust in key institutions (

            Fabrikant says that, on the one hand, Russians follow the pattern typical of many advanced countries where greater national pride leads to greater trust in institutions, but that, on the other, Russia has seen far more radical and rapid shifts in the amount of national pride and this has had an impact on the trust they display to many institutions.

            She found that “national pride in Russia has a stronger link with institutional trust” than in many countries and that “the greater national pride becomes, then the lower becomes trust to outsides and conversely,” the lower national pride is, the greater trust there is to institutions felt to be extra-national.

            “As was expected,” Fabrikant says, “the link between national pride and trust to all types of institutions in Russia turned out to be positive and, in the majority of cases, statistically significant.” The strongest correlation was between pride and the armed forces, then to the parliament and political parties, and only then to public organizations.

            That pattern is typical for most countries. Russia differs in that the level of pride appears to have greater impact on the size of expressions of trust in these institutions than is the case elsewhere. “Positive links were found regarding trust in the family, neighbors, and acquaintances and weaker and insignificant in trust to people of different religions, and negative to outsiders.”

            “Nevertheless and unexpectedly,” Fabrikant says, “the correlation between trust in people of a different nationality is positive,” a reflection of the fact that those who show trust in their own nations are viewed as more like Russians than those who are less closely tied to those communities.

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