Journal article Open Access

Perverse Conservatism: A Lacanian Interpretation of Russia's Turn to Traditional Values

Uzlaner, Dmitry

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    <subfield code="a">Postsecular Conflicts and the role of Russian Orthodoxy in the transnational alliances of moral conservative traditionalists</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;This article analyzes Russia&amp;rsquo;s &amp;lsquo;&amp;lsquo;conservative turn&amp;rsquo;&amp;rsquo;, which occurred in 2012 when Vladimir Putin was elected President for a third time. An overview of this turn &amp;ndash;incorporating anti-Westernism, an emphasis on tradition, the protection of symbols of purity, and the persecution of symbols of impurity &amp;ndash; opens the article. The author then explains the concept of &amp;lsquo;&amp;lsquo;perverse conservatism&amp;rsquo;&amp;rsquo; and elaborates its basic pattern with reference to such Lacanian psychoanalytic concepts as subjectification, perversion, disavowal, and what he calls the &amp;lsquo;&amp;lsquo;defensive fetish&amp;rsquo;&amp;rsquo;. Finally, this pattern and its subpatterns of fetishism and sadism are applied to an explanation of certain aspects of Russia&amp;rsquo;s domestic policy. The author concludes that the discourse on traditional values, at least in some respects, is subordinated to the pattern of perversion.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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