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  • 1.
    Engström, Maria
    Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Russian.
    Contemporary Russian Messianism and New Russian Foreign Policy2014In: Contemporary Security Policy, ISSN 1352-3260, E-ISSN 1743-8764, Vol. 35, no 3, p. 356-379Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article aims to explore the connection between the new 2013 Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation and Christian messianism in contemporary Russian intellectual thought. The ‘conservative turn’ in Russian politics is associated with the return to the cultural and political ideologeme of Katechon, which is proposed by several right-wing intellectuals as the basis for the Russia's new state ideology and foreign and security policy. The theological concept of Katechon (from the Greek ό Κατέχων, ‘the withholding’) that protects the world from the advent of the Antichrist originates in the Byzantine Empire. In Russian tradition, this concept is presented in the well-known doctrine of Moscow as the Third Rome, dating back to the 16th century. The term ‘Katechon’ in contemporary Russian political discourse is relatively new and can be traced to the post-Soviet reception of Carl Schmitt's political theology. The concept of Russia as Katechon is directly connected to the national security and defence policy, because it is used as the ideological ground for the new wave of militarization and anti-Western sentiment, as well as for Russia's actions during the Ukrainian crisis. This analysis puts the internal political and cultural debate on Russia's role in international affairs and its relations with the West into historical perspective and demonstrates the right-wing intellectual circles’ influence on the Kremlin's new domestic and foreign policy.

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