Political Mythmaking and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi: Olympism and the Russian Great Power Myth

Emil Edenborg, Bo Petersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The theoretical point of departure of this paper is that the perspective of political myth adds to the understanding of political developments in Russia. The upcoming Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014 are discursively constructed as a manifestation of Russia's return to great power status. In official Russian discourse, there is an encounter between the Russian great power myth and the myth of Olympism, both of which are employed to strengthen the status of Russia and of President Putin personally. Thus, the Olympic values of humanism, internationalism, and progress are merged with Russian great power ideals. But there are also examples where the prevailing myths are turned around to criticise the regime and the Sochi Games. However, the most serious challenge to the Putin regime may stem from the great power myth itself, should the regime prove unable to deliver what it requires.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-209
JournalEast European Politics
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science

Keywords

  • political myth
  • Russia
  • Olympic Winter Games
  • Sochi-2014
  • Putin
  • great power

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