Russian Elites and Dugin's Neo-Eurasianism: Empirical Analysis of 2012 and 2016
51 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 10, 2018
The mounting tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian crisis and Crimea's annexation in 2014; Russia's growing information warfare and cyberwarfare campaign, culminating in interference with the recent US presidential election; confrontation over the Syrian conflict, and many other events of that ilk --- have thrust Russia and the West into the reality of a new Cold War. The consistency and effectiveness of Russia's assertive foreign policy has earned Putin, both domestically and internationally, an image of a powerful and ambitious leader with strategic plan to reestablish the Russian empire and defend Russia's core national interests. Speculation regarding the presence of such "strategic plan" among scholars and practitioners make Alexander Dugin's conspiratorial neo-Eurasianism project especially appealing for research investigation. Surprisingly, so far, its major theoretical perspectives have had a good predictive power of Russia's contemporary policies, legitimately raising the question about the consistency of the elite's views with the theory's. I argue that by laying out a roadmap for Russia's contemporary imperialism and challenging the current international order, this theory remains quite popular among the Russian elites and could be partially used by them as guidance in policy-making. This paper explores key ideas of Dugin's neo-Eurasianism, as described in his "Foundations of Geopolitics", and empirically tests them with data from the "Survey of Russian Elites: 1993-2016" using a Bayesian Structural Equation approach.
Keywords: Eurasianism, Dugin, Russian elites, Bayesian SEM
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