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The Myth of Russian Exceptionalism: Russia as a Civilization and Its Uniqueness in Aleksandr G. Dugin’s Thought


politics religion & ideologyJournal abstract

The conviction of Russia’s uniqueness, both in the past as well as at present, is widespread among Russian conservative intellectuals and currently enjoys the support of President Putin. However, its most coherent, expressive, and distinct form can be found in Russian far-right circles. This study presents the concept of Russia as a civilization according Aleksandr G. Dugin, a controversial Russian scholar and political activist. This concept is supposed to prove Russia’s civilizational uniqueness and its exceptional place in the world history. The article presents Dugin’s criticism towards the Western view on contemporary civilizational transformations (1). It discusses Dugin’s attitude to Huntington’s theory (2) in order to, consequently, describe Dugin’s concept of civilization (3–5). Finally, it explains the socio-political significance of his concept in Russia’s contemporary internal and international situation (6). Although Dugin’s ideas can be considered extreme in numerous aspects, they do reflect Russia’s pursuit to radically separate itself from any foreign influences. This pursuit is a result of not only temporary political interests of Russian elites but it is also rooted in the whole Rus’ social and religious tradition.

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