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The Gumilev MystiqueBiopolitics, Eurasianism, and the Construction of Community in Modern Russia$
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Mark Bassin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801445941

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801445941.001.0001

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“The Patron of the Turkic Peoples”

“The Patron of the Turkic Peoples”

(p.273) 10 “The Patron of the Turkic Peoples”
The Gumilev Mystique

Mark Bassin

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers the development of Gumilev's influence in three Turkic regions: Kazakhstan, Tatarstan, and the Republic of Sakha. Since 1992, Gumilev's popularity among non-Russians has expanded exponentially. The factors underlying his appeal relate directly to the political and social exigencies that confronted post-Soviet regimes at the moment of their formation and indeed continue to do so. One of these is the complex process of establishing and managing bilateral relations with the power center in Moscow, either on a federal level within the Russian Federation or internationally between now-independent states. For this purpose, non-Russian versions of Eurasianism inspired by Gumilev proved very useful. No less important are the needs associated with “nation-building” within the numerous post-Soviet polities themselves: their self-representation (or invention) as coherent communities and their demand for external acknowledgement as legitimate national-political entities.

Keywords:   Lev Nikolaevich Gumilev, Russia, former Soviet Union, Eurasianism, Kazakhstan, Tatarstan, Republic of Sakha, bilateral relations, nation-building

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