Remembering War, Forgetting Peace: Historical Memory and Securitisation of the Russian Intervention in Syria

Makhortykh, Mykola (6 September 2019). Remembering War, Forgetting Peace: Historical Memory and Securitisation of the Russian Intervention in Syria (Unpublished). In: ECPR General conference. Wroclaw, Poland. September 4-7.

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Memories of past conflicts are a major part of Russian foreign policy discourse. Scholarly literature highlighted the widespread use of Second World War references in Russian discourse during the Ukraine crisis. However, the use of historical memory in the context of Russia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war remains under-investigated. Applying securitisation theory, the paper analyses a set of political statements made by Russian pro-government and opposition politicians between 2015 and 2018. It examines how these actors employed references to the past for (de)securitising the Russian intervention in Syria. The analysis identifies several ways in which they integrate memory and security discourse. These include justifying the intervention through references to the War on Terror and Chechen Wars (pro-Kremlin actors), de-securitising the Syrian conflict by exposing manipulative uses of history (anti-systemic opposition) and presenting the intervention itself as an existential threat to Russia through references to the Soviet-Afghan war (systemic opposition). The paper concludes by comparing the use of references to the past in the Ukraine and Syria conflicts and by providing insights into the relationship between historical memory and security discourse.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Mass Communication Studies

UniBE Contributor:

Makhortykh, Mykola

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Mykola Makhortykh

Date Deposited:

30 Sep 2019 17:25

Last Modified:

30 Sep 2019 17:25

Uncontrolled Keywords:

securitisation, Syria, Russia, historical memory, international relations

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/133569

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