The Russian elite's imperial nationalism and the Russian society: The emergence of a grand consensus
This article uses various Russian elite and mass survey data to explain, from a post‐structuralist perspective, the ongoing confrontation between Russia and the West. It argues that the Russian elite, in the wake of the 2013–2014 Ukrainian crisis, opted for imperial nationalism, different from either ethnic or civic varieties of nationalism, because it best suited its goals. Imperial identification eases ethnic tension within Russia and rallies the nation around its government in the face of perceived external threats. This choice finds an enthusiastic support at the mass level, contributing to rising happiness in spite of economic hardship due to rising national pride. The article also briefly discusses some implications of this momentous shift in identity politics.