Marharyta Fabrykant: Unintended Consequences of Neo-imperial Revivalism

Unintended Consequences of Neo-imperial Revivalism in Contemporary Eastern Europe

The research is dedicated to the current phenomenon of neo-imperialism in some Eastern European countries and aims at uncovering causes, internal logic, and visible as well as foreseeable consequences of the adoption of neo-imperialist imagery by so-called “small nations”. The study mostly, but not exclusively, draws on the case of a recent development in the contemporary Belarusian nation-building to show why and how a habitual national history narrative of a small nation victimized yet never conquered by a large empire may transform itself into a vision of two empires competing no equal grounds for power and influence. This neo-imperialism sheds some light on two important theoretical issues – first, the ways a national identity transforms when infused with geopolitical thinking in terms of “national interests”, second, how a self-styled ethnolinguistic nationalism regains its coherence after an amputation of one of its definitive components – the ascribed importance of the national language.

Marharyta Fabrykant

Marharyta Fabrykant is a research fellow at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow. Her research interests are nationalism, national identity, and national history narratives, with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe. She authored and coauthored three books and a number of articles, including, among the most recent ones, “‘Do It the Russian Way’: Narratives of the Russian Revolution in European History Textbooks”, Slavic Review, 76, 2017; together with R. Buhr, 2016, “Small state imperialism: the place of empire in contemporary nationalist discourse”, Nations and Nationalism, 22(1), pp.103-122; and together with V. Magun, “Grounded and Normative Dimensions of National Pride in Comparative Perspective”, in: Dynamics of National Identity: Media and Societal Factors of What We Are (ed. by P. Schmidt, J. Grimm, L. Huddy, J. Seethaler, Routledge, 2016. P. 109-138).


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