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Fortress Russia

Paperback / softback By Ilya Yablokov
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Product Description

Allegations of Russian conspiracies meddling in the affairs of Western countries have been a persistent feature of Western politics since the Cold War – allegations of Russian interference in the US presidential election are only the most recent in a long series of conspiracy allegations that mark the history of the twentieth century. But Russian politics is rife with conspiracies about the West too. Everything bad that happens in Russia is traced back by some to an anti-Russian plot that is hatched in the West. Even the collapse of the Soviet Union – this crucial turning point in world politics that left the USA as the only remaining superpower – was, according to some Russian conspiracy theorists, planned and executed by Russia’s enemies in the West. This book is the first-ever study of Russian conspiracy theories in the post-Soviet period. It examines why these conspiracy theories have emerged and gained currency in Russia and what role intellectuals have played in this process. The book shows how, in the new millennium, the image of the ‘dangerous, conspiring West’ provides national unity and has helped legitimize Russia’s rapid turn to authoritarianism under Vladimir Putin.

Product Details

Format: Paperback / softback, 288 pages Language: English
Dimension: 148 x 22 x 224mm ISBN10: 1509522662
Weight: 386g ISBN13: 9781509522668
Publication Date: 20 Jul 2018 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Ilya Yablokov is a Teaching Fellow in Russian Studies at the University of Leeds.

Product Reviews


‘Fortress Russia is essential reading for anyone in the USA and Western Europe who wants a greater understanding of how Russia views the world. Yablokov provides key insights into the popular politics within Putin’s Russia, much of it framed by conspiracy theories, at a time of rising populism and fearful nationalism around the world and much of which is keyed to conspiracies surrounding Putin himself. The book helps to reveal the dangerous hall of mirrors in which we live.

’ Mark Fenster, author of Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture and The  Transparency Fix. ‘Ilya Yablokov takes us on a journey through the myriad conspiracy theories that flourish in post-Soviet political culture. The notion of a “subversive agency” is indeed a critical explanatory element for Russian society that gives sense to the profound and violent changes of the last three decades and has been opportunely instrumentalized by the Russian authorities to consolidate their legitimacy. Fortress Russia is a must-read for all those who wish to understand contemporary Russia and its perception of the world.

’ Marlene Laruelle, The George Washington University"Fortress Russia offers important insight into the origins, functions, and nature of Russian conspiracy theories, emphasizing continuities in their development since the Imperial period. It is sure to be a useful resource in a wide variety of subfields within Russian and East European Studies, while also offering generalizable insights that expand its relevance to historians, political scientists, and scholars of global cultural history."The Russian Review‘Yablokov offers a convincing model of the function of conspiracy in post-Soviet Russia.

’East-West Review"I certainly recommend Fortress Russia, particularly because of its contribution to the study of the toxic love affair between populist politics and conspiracy theories in authoritarian contexts… In a year that has catapulted Q

Anon to the very top of the trash can of history, the value of Yablokov’s book has risen even more."Eurasian Geography and Economics


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