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Branching out or inwards? The logic of fractals in Russian studies

Lankina, Tomila ORCID: 0000-0002-8303-1747 (2023) Branching out or inwards? The logic of fractals in Russian studies. Post-Soviet Affairs, 39 (1-2). 70 - 85. ISSN 1060-586X

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Identification Number: 10.1080/1060586X.2022.2147382


This essay reflects upon the consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine on the sub-field of Russian studies in political science. I argue that the war has exposed some blind spots in our knowledge. Notably, it has left us struggling to understand the historically deprived communities in Russia whose values, sentiments, and vulnerabilities may be indirect buttresses to both support for Putin and the war. I discuss two key issues in the sub-field: (1) the elite-centered approaches in research in mainstream work on Russia, not least due to data availability preoccupations; and (2) the paucity of inter-disciplinary perspectives, particularly the reluctance of mainstream studies to cast their nets into history and sociology. Disciplinary pressures–the credibility revolution–complicate a historically sensitive revision of long-internalized assumptions. I draw on my recent work on the historical underpinnings of social structure and its implications for civil society, protest, and support for democracy in Russia.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2022 15:09
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 17:24

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