Regime Legitimation, not Nation-Building: Media Commemoration of the 1917 Revolution in Russia’s Neo-Authoritarian StateCitation formats

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Regime Legitimation, not Nation-Building: Media Commemoration of the 1917 Revolution in Russia’s Neo-Authoritarian State. / Chatterje-Doody, Precious N. ; Tolz, Vera.

In: European Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3, 2019, p. 335-353.

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Chatterje-Doody, Precious N. ; Tolz, Vera. / Regime Legitimation, not Nation-Building: Media Commemoration of the 1917 Revolution in Russia’s Neo-Authoritarian State. In: European Journal of Cultural Studies. 2019 ; Vol. 23, No. 3. pp. 335-353.

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@article{70ee4f88fe614969b994d3d8390845d9,
title = "Regime Legitimation, not Nation-Building: Media Commemoration of the 1917 Revolution in Russia{\textquoteright}s Neo-Authoritarian State",
abstract = "Scholars predicted that official Russian commemorations of the centenary of the 1917 revolutions would prioritise {\textquoteleft}reconciliation and accord{\textquoteright} between pro- and anti-communists. Such a frame might help construct a new post-Soviet Russian identity. Yet, in 2017, state-affiliated political and media actors gave accounts that contrasted with their previous narratives and with each other. Domestic state-aligned media were unprecedentedly negative about the revolutions{\textquoteright} events and enduring legacies; whilst Russia{\textquoteright}s international broadcaster, RT, emphasised the revolution's positive international legacies. We explain this paradox by arguing that regimes of commemoration are directly related to political systems: in neo-authoritarian regimes such as contemporary Russia, history is not used primarily for nation-building, but to build legitimacy for the ruling regime. Referencing similar practices in other neo-authoritarian regimes, we show how state-affiliated actors selectively co-opt interpretations of historical events that circulate in the global media ecology, to {\textquoteleft}arrest{\textquoteright} the {\textquoteleft}memory of the multitude{\textquoteright}. Simultaneously, they reinforce core messages that legitimise the existing government.",
keywords = "memory of the multitude, legitimation, media commemoration, narrative, neo-authoritarian legitimacy, Russia Today (RT)",
author = "Chatterje-Doody, {Precious N.} and Vera Tolz",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1177/1367549419871346",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "335--353",
journal = "European Journal of Cultural Studies",
issn = "1367-5494",
publisher = "Sage Publications Ltd",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Regime Legitimation, not Nation-Building: Media Commemoration of the 1917 Revolution in Russia’s Neo-Authoritarian State

AU - Chatterje-Doody, Precious N.

AU - Tolz, Vera

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Scholars predicted that official Russian commemorations of the centenary of the 1917 revolutions would prioritise ‘reconciliation and accord’ between pro- and anti-communists. Such a frame might help construct a new post-Soviet Russian identity. Yet, in 2017, state-affiliated political and media actors gave accounts that contrasted with their previous narratives and with each other. Domestic state-aligned media were unprecedentedly negative about the revolutions’ events and enduring legacies; whilst Russia’s international broadcaster, RT, emphasised the revolution's positive international legacies. We explain this paradox by arguing that regimes of commemoration are directly related to political systems: in neo-authoritarian regimes such as contemporary Russia, history is not used primarily for nation-building, but to build legitimacy for the ruling regime. Referencing similar practices in other neo-authoritarian regimes, we show how state-affiliated actors selectively co-opt interpretations of historical events that circulate in the global media ecology, to ‘arrest’ the ‘memory of the multitude’. Simultaneously, they reinforce core messages that legitimise the existing government.

AB - Scholars predicted that official Russian commemorations of the centenary of the 1917 revolutions would prioritise ‘reconciliation and accord’ between pro- and anti-communists. Such a frame might help construct a new post-Soviet Russian identity. Yet, in 2017, state-affiliated political and media actors gave accounts that contrasted with their previous narratives and with each other. Domestic state-aligned media were unprecedentedly negative about the revolutions’ events and enduring legacies; whilst Russia’s international broadcaster, RT, emphasised the revolution's positive international legacies. We explain this paradox by arguing that regimes of commemoration are directly related to political systems: in neo-authoritarian regimes such as contemporary Russia, history is not used primarily for nation-building, but to build legitimacy for the ruling regime. Referencing similar practices in other neo-authoritarian regimes, we show how state-affiliated actors selectively co-opt interpretations of historical events that circulate in the global media ecology, to ‘arrest’ the ‘memory of the multitude’. Simultaneously, they reinforce core messages that legitimise the existing government.

KW - memory of the multitude

KW - legitimation

KW - media commemoration

KW - narrative

KW - neo-authoritarian legitimacy

KW - Russia Today (RT)

U2 - 10.1177/1367549419871346

DO - 10.1177/1367549419871346

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 335

EP - 353

JO - European Journal of Cultural Studies

JF - European Journal of Cultural Studies

SN - 1367-5494

IS - 3

ER -