Image of enemy as factor of political regime legitimation


Кozyrev G.I.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Department of Political Sociology of the Russian State University for the Humanities; D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Moscow, Russia genkozyr@mail.ru

DOI: 10.7868/S0132162518010063
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For citation:

Кozyrev G.I. Image of enemy as factor of political regime legitimation. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 1. P. 52-58




Abstract

The article analyses the situation of Russian society under condition of economic crisis in 2014 to 2017 in which, on the one hand, the political regime, for raising own legitimacy, is stimulating the process of looking for foreign “enemy” and, on the other hand, the increasing domestic contradictions are “superimposed’ on real foreign challenges, which objectively furthers the actualization of the problem of the image of the enemy in public opinion. In such situation, the society faces the choice: to consolidate with an ineffective regime of power, to reconcile with difficult living conditions, or to defend own interests, despite the foreign threat. One of the examples of such “conditions” can be the situation that arose in Russia on the eve of the 1917 February Revolution, when there was a war with a foreign enemy. The main method of this research is the analysis and interpretation of data from the representative polls and Rosstat data, as well as the analysis of real historical and contemporary events. This paper examines following aspects: the enemy image as factor for negative consolidation of society; domestic “challenges” of Russian society; foreign threat as a factor for raising legitimacy of the political regime; dynamics of actualizing of the enemy’s image in public opinion; the reasons for the actualization of the problem of the enemy image in public opinion of Russians; the reaction of society to the real domestic and foreign challenges and to the media propaganda. As a result, the author comes to conclusion that even under conditions of foreign threat and visible loyalty of population, it is impossible to keep the country in “patriotic tension” for a long period of time, without settling the problems turgent for society.


Keywords
the image of an external enemy; external threats; consolidation of companies; internal calls; social tensions

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Content No 1, 2018