Russia’s Sacred Landscape, and the Place of Eastern Ukraine within It

April 13, 2014



The confrontation in eastern Ukraine (or Novorossia, as southern and eastern Ukraine were called during the days of the Russian Empire) between pro-Russia activists and the central government in Kiev has escalated dramatically over the weekend. The hottest point is the Donbass region. The government buildings in its capital Donetsk have been occupied by activists […]

Posted in: Blogs

States without Sacred Lands

April 7, 2014



At one point last week, as I was developing the Aeon article, a process that required multiple ‘back-and-forths’ between me and the editor Ed Lake, Ed asked me whether I could provide an example of a state without Sacred Lands, to illustrate the idea that such states are at a competitive disadvantage in the “ruthless […]

Posted in: Blogs

My Article on Aeon: To understand Crimea, we need an evolutionary theory of national honour

April 3, 2014


When Russia annexed Crimea in March, American policymakers were taken by surprise. They shouldn’t have been, argued the political theorist John J Mearsheimer in a New York Times op-ed. After all: ‘Mr Putin’s behaviour is motivated by the same geopolitical considerations that influence all great powers, including the United States.’ Mearsheimer is one of the […]

Posted in: Blogs

Battle of the Ukrainian Oligarchs: the Chocolate King versus the Gas Princess

March 31, 2014



At the end of my second blog on democracy and oligarchy in Ukraine, I came to a gloomy conclusion that there would be no real effort to curb the power of the oligarchs, and that it will be the common Ukrainians who will have to bear the costs of reforms. All this came to pass […]

Posted in: Blogs

Andrey Korotayev: Anatomy of the Egyptian Counterrevolution, Part II

March 27, 2014


As I wrote in the first part, one factor underlying the success of the 2001 Egyptian Revolution was strong intraelite conflict. The second factor that lead to an unexpectedly fast success of the protestors was the formation of a wide opposition alliance, which united in a single coordinated front very diverse forces including not only […]

Posted in: Guest Blogs

Andrey Korotayev: Anatomy of the Egyptian Counterrevolution

March 25, 2014


Our young Egyptian friends (a sort of “leftist liberal revolutionaries”) consider the post-July 3 events in their country [the ousting of president Morsi by the military] as “counterrevolution”. An example of a “counter-revolutionary”  broadsheet from the website of the Egyptian Socialist-Revolutionaries. The text says: “Down with your constitution! Down with your laws! Down with your […]

Posted in: Guest Blogs

Coevolution of Geopolitical Calculus and Sacred Values

March 20, 2014



In a previous blog, I have already commented on the poor quality of coverage of the Crimean crisis in the Western press. Most news articles about the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula show no understanding of the real motives of Putin or Russia. This is scary. Folks, Russia has the second largest nuclear arsenal […]

Posted in: Blogs

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