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At the edge of the nation: the Southern Kuril Islands and the search for Russia's national destiny

Richardson, Paul Benjamin (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

In post-Soviet Russia, the destiny of the Southern Kuril Islands has been used by the political and intellectual elite to define and contest ideas of national identity. From the early 1990s these islands became a symbolic territory for elite groups attempting to define what kind of state the Russian Federation should become. The various geographical visions projected onto these islands are part of a struggle between elite groups to define national values and to claim the state for their own political ends. However, such visions are not smoothly inscribed onto these islands. Instead, any idea of state, nation and homeland is negotiated, contested and inflected at every geographical scale. The debates over these islands expose a deep tension over the political control of space in the Russian Far East and beyond. It is suggested that these islands are a kind of ‘hyper-border’: a site which is distant, and at times even beyond the state’s control, yet at the same time can be instantaneously linked to the destiny of the entire country. It is a term intended to capture the struggles, contestations and unequal power relations inherent in the ideological process of constructing national space and identity.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects:G Geography (General)
DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
JZ International relations
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1623
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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