“Three ways of going through karma”: Russian Westernism in perception by N.N. Alekseev

Volume 5, Number 3, 2020, P. 286–302


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The status of dialogue and exchange of arguments with opponents is a normal one of any developed political and legal thought of any state and society. In such a case, they talk about the political and legal polemics of a particular period. It is precisely the status of political and legal polemics that characterizes Russian public thought in the XIX and XX centuries, which is quite normal for the time of the search for national and cultural self-identification. Since the 40s of the XIX century, movements of Westernism and Pochvenism have been ideologically shaped, the latter initially in the form of Slavophilism, then branching into other movements. Westernism is also heterogeneous, almost unanimously divided into conservative, liberal and radical trends. Eurasianism, which is a post-revolutionary movement of domestic political and legal thought, could not but comprehend the substantive features of the aforementioned polemic, and express their attitude towards its participants, especially in relation to Westernism, whose ideological opponents in many respects were Eurasians. N.N. Alekseev, a Eurasian jurist, elaborates the state, ideology and trends of Westernism in Russia in his article «Russian Westernism». His position is analyzed in this study, in comparison with other assessments of Westernism, with a real historical context, and also based on the conclusions made by the thinker. Three streams in Westernism are called «three ways of going through karma» not because Russia necessarily had to follow one of them, but because the Westernizers themselves felt that way. Anyway, the Russian state and society during the XIX, XX and XXI centuries tried to go all three ways, but ultimately, each time its own unique cultural and political world was created.


Eurasianism, N.N. Alekseev, Westernism, liberalism, conservatism, revolutionary radicalism


Egor A. Kulikov, Cand. Sci. (Juridical Sciences), Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology Department, Altai State University, Barnaul, Russia


The article was implemented with the financial support of RF President Grant Fund for young Russian scientists – candidates of sciences, Project № MK-483.2020.6 «The Eurasian alternative to the state and legal development of Russia: genesis, content, modern interpretation».

For citation:

Kulikov E.A. «Three ways of going through karma»: Russian Westernism in perception by N.N. Alekseev. Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. Vol. 5. No. 2. P. 286–302. (In Russ.)


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