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

Richardson, Paul Benjamin (2011). At the edge of the nation: the Southern Kuril Islands and the search for Russia's national destiny. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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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: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
J Political Science > JZ International relations


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