This text describes the range of nationalist ideas that have taken root in Russia since 1856. Drawing on a wide range of archival documents and unparalleled interview material from the post-Soviet period, the author analyzes two cases - Russian panslavism in 1856-1878 and great power nationalism in 1905-1914 - when aggressive nationalist ideas clearly influenced Russian foreign policy and contributed to decisions to go to war. Yet not all forms of nationalism have been malevolent, and the author assesses competing nationalist ideologies in the post-Soviet period to clarify the conditions under which a particularly belligerent nationalism could flourish and influence Russian international behaviour. With its implications for US-Russian relations, this study should be essential reading for policy-makers and Russia scholars alike.
Astrid S. Tuminez is senior research associate with the U.S. Institute of Peace.