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The Arctic in the political discourse of Russian leaders: the national pride and economic ambitions

Khrushcheva, O and Poberezhskaya, M (2016) The Arctic in the political discourse of Russian leaders: the national pride and economic ambitions. East European Politics, 32 (4). pp. 547-566. ISSN 2159-9165

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Abstract

This article explores how Arctic policy is presented in Russian political narratives. This is achieved through the discourse analysis of 109 official documents published within a seven-year timeframe (2008–2015) on the official website of the Russian President. The article argues that Russian leaders emphasise the state’s geographical location and significant contribution to historical exploration and environmental protection of the region to frame Russia as an “Arctic Great Power” which has natural rights to possess and utilise the Arctic’s abundant resources. The logic of “our Arctic, our rules” can justify any necessary sacrifices, and the assertive policy of the state. However, this discursive representation of the Russian Arctic does not correlate with the reality of the country’s current interests in international cooperation and its willingness to “play by the rules”.

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