Headshot of Maria Kurbak

Eurasianism: From a Bookish Philosophy to the Official Ideology of Putin’s Russia

Eurasian Studies Seminar presents, Maria Kurbak

Eurasianism, Russia’s superiority and exceptionalism are the cornerstones of Putin's official ideology and, more generally, of Russian identity. In this presentation I will show how, starting as the philosophical duel between "Slavophiles" and "Westernisers" in the mid-19th century, the

ideas of Russian uniqueness, anti-Westernism, and anti-modernity resulted in Eurasianism, the concept that defines Putin’s ideology and ultimately the present Russia’s policy. I will primarily focus not on the Eurasianist doctrines themselves but on the way they have been twisted and manipulated in the works of today’s Russian ideologists. As I will show, Eurasianism is not just a philosophical school of thought anymore - it is the core ideological background that defines Putin's foreign policy and justifies Russian expansionism. I shall also explain why Russia’s war against Ukraine could be just the beginning.


Maria Kurbak is a Fellow with the Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund and Visiting Scholar in the Memory Lab, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis