Date: 22 May 2007

Tell Me Who is Your Enemy...

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Abstract

The purpose of the article is to show through the analysis of some recent publications, art exhibitions, trials and other types of discourse, who is considered to be “an enemy” in Russia today and how law enforcement and the judiciary respond to so called “threats,” emanating from the constructed enemies. The analysis reveals some dangerous tendencies in the formation of a common identity for people living in Russia. For instance, search for a “national idea,” “traditional roots,” “patriotism,” and “distinctive nature,” aimed at the formation of this common identity and strengthening the state, is implemented in a way, which leads to the exclusion of ‚others’ and thus undermines the possibility to lay the foundation for the multicultural state based on peace, harmony and tolerance. Russia must become a common house for all ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities living in it, and no one representing them should be in a position of the less favored and less protected. National identity in a multinational state can be only a plural identity, providing for the possibility of living in several communities simultaneously.