The Historical Basis for the Understanding of a State in Modern Russia: A Case Study Based on Analysis of Components in the Concept of a State, Established Between the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

  • Natalia P. KoptsevaEmail author
  • Alexandra A. Sitnikova


Using semiotic and historical methods, the article recovers the ancient Russian concept of ‘state’, which appeared and gained a foothold in the Russian social and cultural space in the fourteen and fifteenth centuries. In the authors’ opinions, this content has determined the basic features for understanding the State in modern post-Soviet Russian society to date. Accordingly, it is important to reassemble the main conceptual threads in the ‘state’ concept during the epoch of Ivan the Terrible, the Muscovite Tsar, the epoch when the ‘state’ concept gained a foothold in Russian political culture. To re-establish the content of the ‘state’ concept, a historical description, an etymological and comparative analysis of this concept, as well as content analysis of the first epistle from Tsar Ivan the Terrible to Duke Andrei Kurbsky were employed. As a result, it was possible to recover the aspects of the ‘state’ concept that continue to be reproduced in post-Soviet Russian culture and predetermine certain elements of modern Russia’s political outlook. This concerns the central role of the ‘sovereign ruler’ in the State, the ideal of the ideological unity, the State’s mission of mediation between man and God, the hierarchy of the State and the sacral role of the ruler at the peak of this hierarchy.


Semiotic analysis The concept of “state” Ancient Russian history Ivan the Terrible Content analysis Etymological analysis 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Siberian Federal UniversityKrasnoyarskRussia

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