Postcolonial theory has developed as a critical reassessment of the legacy of colonialism and imperialism in relations between the West and the Third World. Using this perspective in post-Soviet studies is a relatively new but increasingly popular and productive approach. From this vantage point, Russia's position in the international system is somewhat paradoxical: depending on the situation, it can be considered both as an empire and as a subaltern actor opposing an overwhelming hegemony of the West. This straddling position produces considerable tension in making the country's national identity and foreign policy. On the one hand, Russia is one of the loudest critics of the existing world order, chastising the West for its interventionism. On the other hand, Russia still would style itself as a great power, claiming "special responsibilities" and other attributes of an imperial hub. After an explanation of these tensions, the lecture will conclude with an analysis of their impact on the practice of Russian foreign policy.
Viacheslav Morozov graduated from the Faculty of History of the St. Petersburg State University in 1994 and received a Master's degree in European Integration from the University of Limerick in 1996. In 1997, he defended his PhD in contemporary European history at the St. Petersburg State University. From 1997 until moving to Tartu in February 2010, he worked at the School of International Relations of the St. Petersburg State University. In 2003-2010, he was also Director of the International Relations and Political Science Programme at the Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of the same university. He was elected Professor of EU Russia Studies of the University of Tartu in January 2011. Since April, he also chairs the Council of the Centre for EU Russia Studies at the University of Tartu.
Professor Morozov's research interests lie in the field of poststructuralist and postcolonial political theory, and encompass Russian national identity and foreign policy, in particular Russia's relations with the EU. His most recent book, "Russia and the Others: Identity and Boundaries of a Political Community", was published (in Russian) in 2009 by the NLO Books in Moscow. His articles have appeared, inter alia, in Cooperation and Conflict, Global Governance, Journal of Baltic Studies, Journal of International Relations and Development, Russia in Global Affairs.
Viacheslav Morozov's professorship at the University of Tartu is supported by the European Social Fund through the DoRa Program Action 2. The aim of the doctoral studies and internationalization program DoRa 2 is to improve the quality of higher education by recruiting academic staff from abroad.