Welcome to listen to a lecture by Dr. Natalia Mamonova on 16 October 2018, at 12.15-13.45, Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40), sali 12
This study applies the concept of “naive monarchism” (i.e., the traditional peasant expressions of reverence for the tsar as their benefactor) to study contemporary rural politics in authoritarian Russia. While Russia is not a monarchy, and its rural dwellers are not traditional illiterate peasants, the veneration of its leader manifests itself in many rural grievances. I analyse three types of rural politics that have traits of naive monarchism: written petitions to the president, rural pickets and delegations to the Kremlin, and geographical renaming in honour of Vladimir Putin. Grievances, voiced in this way, are rarely subjects of repression from above, as they reinforce presidential authority and the existing order. This raises the question of whether rural dwellers faithfully believe in a benevolent president or intentionally exploit their subordinate position and Putin’s image as the present-day tsar. Whether sincere or strategic, these rural politics aim to enforce the existing state commitments. Although they are unable to challenge the status quo, they provide rural dwellers with a means to remedy occasional local injustices.
Natalia Mamonova is a Research fellow at the Russia and Eurasia Programme of The Swedish Institute of International Affairs & Affiliated researcher at the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies of Uppsala University, Sweden. She will be a visiting researcher in Development Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki during October 2018.