Yitzhak M. Brudny
What caused the emergence of nationalist movements in many post-communist states? What role did communist regimes play in fostering these movements? Why have some been more successful than others? This text aims to answer these and other questions. It starts by tracing the Russian nationalist movement from its origins within the Russian intellectual elite of the 1950s, to its institutionalization in electoral alliances, parliamentary factions, and political movements of the early 1990s. It argues that the rise of the Russian nationalist movement was a combined result of the reinvention of Russian national identity by a group of intellectuals, and the Communist party's active support of this reinvention in order to gain greater political legitimacy. Through analysis of major Russian literary, political and historical writings, published memoirs of Russian nationalist intellectuals and Communist Party officials, and documents and archives, this text sheds light on the social, intellectual and political origins of Russian nationalism and emphasizes the importance of ideas in explaining the fate of the Russian nationalist movement during late communist and early post-communist periods.