Matthew Blackburn

Postdoctoral position at Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Faculty

Email:
matthew.blackburn[AT-sign]ires.uu.se
Visiting address:
Gamla Torget 3, 3 tr

Postal address:
Box 514
751 20 UPPSALA

Short presentation

My research focuses on the role of nationalism in contemporary Russia, where a 'State-Civilization' identity promoted from above, attempts to manage the mainstream nationalism of Russian society. I study imaginaries of the Russian nation 'from below' and 'from above', using in-depth interviews in urban Russia to explore which discourses emerge across generational, geographic and socio-economic divisions.

Keywords: geopolitics political sociology nationalism indigeneity ethnicity and nationalism political communication political attitudes collective memory

My courses

Biography

I completed my doctoral thesis on nationalist discourses and the imagined nation in Post-Soviet Russia at the University of Glasgow in June 2018, taking up a two-year postdoctoral position at IRES the following October. My current research uses a bottom-up approach to examine how dominant representations of the Russian national identity emerge in state discourse and how this compares to the micro-level of lived experience in the current period.

I am currently working on a monograph entitled The Imagined Nation in Contemporary Russia: Soviet legacies, Nationalist Discourses and the Civilizational Turn. Based on a longitudinal analysis of state discourse (2012-2020) and over 150 semi-structured interviews with ordinary Russians in four cities, the monograph examines how different groups of varying social backgrounds adopt different frames of ‘normality’ when thinking of the Russian nation: what is Russia’s ‘normal’ past, what is a ‘normal’ state, how do ‘normal’ interethnic relations work, what is a ‘normal’ great power? In my book, I reveal how certain dominant discourses on the nation are ‘socialised’ on level of ordinary people in urban Russia, a process of central importance in determining stances of loyalty, indifference or opposition to the current status quo in the country.

Research

Research interests include Nationalism, national identity, theories of nationalism, Post-Soviet transitions, (political) legitimacy, popular geopolitics, popular historical memory

Publications

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