Memory politics in contemporary Russia: Television, cinema and the state

Wijermars, M., 2016, [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 301 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

Copy link to clipboard


  • Mariëlle Wijermars
Since Vladimir Putin was elected president of Russia in 2000, the rhetorical use of the past has increasingly become a defining characteristic of Russian politics. Through a new national holiday, references to history in official statements, the erection of monuments and other forms of state symbolism the regime has sought to mobilise cultural memory in support of its legitimacy. The recent and distant past alike were drawn upon to create a historical foundation for the regime’s emphasis on a strong state and centralised leadership, as well as for stepping up the restrictions on political opposition.

Yet the Russian government is not the only one who has used history to spread its ideas about how the Russian state “traditionally” should be governed. Various societal, cultural and religious groups and organisations, have put forward their own historically framed visions on Russian statehood. This dissertation examines this societal dynamics of memory politics in contemporary Russia in the period 2000-2012. It analyses a wide range of actors, from the central government and the Russian Orthodox Church, to cultural heavyweight Nikita Mikhalkov and radical thinkers such as Aleksandr Dugin. In addition, in view of the steady decline in media freedom since 2000, it critically examines role of cinema and television in shaping and spreading these historical narratives. This makes it possible to, on the one hand, gain a better understanding of the various means through which the Russian government practices its memory politics (e.g., the role of state media) and, on the other hand, to sufficiently value the existence of alternative and critical voices and criticism that tend to be missed.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Baak, van, Joost, Supervisor
  • Brouwer, Sander, Co-supervisor
  • Bosscher, Doeko, Assessment committee
  • Kemper, M., Assessment committee, External person
  • Rutten, E., Assessment committee, External person
Award date28-Nov-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-9255-4
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-9254-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 36864131