Russia’s Symbolic Power in the 21st Century
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Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2016-12-31
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2016;52(4):201-219
According to Pierre Bourdieu, symbolic power is the capacity to present own criteria of legitimacy and own systems of meaning as objective and universal. Symbolic power and the symbolic capital necessary to maintain it are the pillars of a hegemonic order. The evolution of Russia’s policy towards the West after the fall of the USRR, especially in the face of the ‘conservative turn’ observed recently, can be interpreted as Russia’s strategy to obtain the status of a major power – an equal partner to the West. Aware of its own material deficits, Russia is trying to undermine the West’s moral authority and juxtapose it with its own moral superiority. The intensification of rivalry in the sphere of symbols requires that Moscow strengthens its symbolic capital. This particular goal is achieved in post-Soviet Russia through the cooperation between the Kremlin and the Moscow Patriarchate.
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