The westernization movement in the Russian world, which began in the I. Petro period, has led to the emergence of various trends and the emergence of anti-westernism in Russia. As a result of these developments in the Russian world, Slavophile flow was followed by Eurasian flow. The common direction of these two streams is their birth as a response to the westerns. The purpose of this study is to reveal the factors that cause the emergence of the Eurasian idea which has also affected Russian foreign policy and to compare it with other currents and to show how effective it is in Russian foreign policy.

Key words: Russia, Eurasianism, Russian Foreign Policy, Slavophile, Westernism



The westernization movement that started with Russia, especially with Petro I, also brought forth discussions. Thinking that the development of Russia would take place by taking the West as an example, Petro put Western institutions and western lifestyles in Russia with reforms.

This westernization movement in Russia has begun to debate whether Russia is Western or Eastern. An opinion at this time suggested that the institutions and lifestyles of the West should be applied to the Russian world, while another view suggested that Russian traditions were superior to the West and that their self-worth should be improved. These debates have given birth to westerners and westerners who are still present in Russia today. At first, slavophil caused the emergence of thinking. The main problem between the Westerners and the Slavic nationalists was knotted over which scarcity Russia belongs to or will be.

According to Çaadayev[1], a 19th century Russian thinker, Russia did not make any contribution to the civilization of humanity, and Russia has almost created a vacuum in the moral order of the world.[2] The Westerners regarded their values ​​as reactionary.

In the midst of these discussions, a group of refugees in the 1920s brought forth the idea of ​​Eurasianism in the Russian scientist Sofia. They emerged as a third road project. In this study, it will be investigated why Russia is in search of an identity, then Westernism, Slavophile thought and Eurasian thought will be examined and finally the effects of Eurasianism on Russian Foreign Policy will be investigated.

  1. Seeking Identity in Russia:

Founding systems of thought often emerge in times of crisis in societies. In this period, it is considered how the society will respond to the challenges confronted, the projects related to the transition from the crisis chaotic environments to the long-term healthy community schemes are produced and conceptual and theoretical frameworks are drawn for all of them. In this sense, Eurasianism, which was based on Russian intellectuals in the 1920s and revitalized in a new way in the 1990s, will also eliminate the challenges Russia is facing and provide conceptual and theoretical planes that will reinterpret the identity of the divided civilization[3] a system of thought. [4]

In order to explain the birth and development of the Eurasian thought, we can say that historical repetitions and models offer us: Throughout Russia’s history, Russia has tried to protect its national pride with the achievements it has achieved from its immediate vicinity in order to compensate for its failures against the West, afterwards he found it appropriate to return to Asian roots and traditions or apply them.[5] That is why Khzanov defines Eurasianism as a ‘crisis ideology’. Stephan in CARTER sees Eurasia as a symptom of weakness rather than a strength. [6]

In Brzezinski, Russia has said that Eurasianism fills the gap in the quest for identity, ie, “what is Russia, what is its true mission, what is rightful of what it is”. [7] In order to better understand the Eurasian movement, ideas of Westernism and Slavophile will first be referred to.



[1] He is shown as close to westernist.

[2] Prof. Dr. Ömer Göksel İŞYAR ‘Avrasya ve Avrasyacılık’ pp:11 ‘Dora Yayıncılık second edition 2013’

[3] Hantington tells us in his clash of civilizations that Russia is a divided country and that it is not exactly a civilization. Turkey also contains the puts this category.

[4] Vügar İMANOV ‘Avrasyacılık’ pp:3 ‘Küre Yayınevi second edition June 2008’

[5] Prof. Dr. Ömer Göksel İŞYAR ‘Avrasya ve Avrasyacılık’ pp:16 ‘Dora Yayıncılık second edition 2013’

[6] e.i. sf:17

[7] Brezezınskı ‘Büyük Satranç Tahtası’p:156 ‘İnkılap Yayınevi 2014’

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Muhammed İsmail AKKAYA

IR (Researcher on Russia and Central Asia) [email protected]


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